RTÉ News: Nine O'Clock

RTÉ News: Nine O'Clock is the nightly news programme of Irish television station RTÉ One. It airs every day at 9:00pm and is presented by Eileen Dunne. Sharon Ní Bheoláin joined as a rotating anchor on the programme. But RTÉ sometimes air this programme at 9:20pm-9:35pm depending on the duration of WHAT movie they air straight after RTÉ News: Six One, and then after Winning Streak airs.

RTÉ News: Nine O'Clock
Presented by
Country of originIreland
Original language(s)English
Production location(s)Donnybrook, Dublin
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time35 minutes (Weekdays) + 30 minutes (Weekends)
Original networkRTÉ One
Original release31 December 1961 (1961-12-31) 
Related showsRTÉ News: One O'Clock
RTÉ News: Six One
External links


In the early years of RTÉ Television, the main evening bulletin was broadcast on the half-hour, at 9:30pm, as were the station's radio bulletins, which were broadcast at 1:30pm and 6:30pm. By 1974, the main television bulletin of the day was moved to 9:00pm. The main radio bulletins were also moved, in stages, with the last to move, the 6:30pm news, not being moved until 1990.[1]

RTÉ followed the BBC in having its news bulletins presented by a newsreader, (i.e., professional readers, often actors) who took no part on news gathering but simply read a script presented to them.

Among the most prominent readers of the 9:30pm bulletins were Charles Mitchel and Maurice O'Doherty. Later presenters of the Nine O'Clock News included Don Cockburn and Derek Davis. RTÉ journalists were eventually introduced as news presenters including Bryan Dobson and Anne Doyle.

Current programme

The bulletin usually runs for 30 minutes, including an advertising break which divides the broadcast in two.

Traditionally three separate elements were incorporated within the programme: news, sports results and the weather forecast. The weather forecast was subsequently separated and is now broadcast directly after the programme. There is usually no sports mentioned unless a major event is occurring. [2]


On Sunday 7 January 2007, the programme was embroiled in controversy after reporting that Northern Irish politician David Ervine had died following complications from a heart attack. His death was given extensive coverage on RTÉ News: Nine O' Clock that night, with newsreader Anne Doyle going so far as to say he had just died as she was reading the headlines, and tributes beginning to pour in from RTÉ's Northern Editor, Tommie Gorman, but this was retracted at the end of the bulletin. Whether he was alive or dead was to be disputed as confusion and panic arose following the broadcast, prompting Anne Doyle to state that she could neither confirm nor deny his death. He then died the following day.[3]

On 29 May 2012 RTÉ apologised after it emerged a member of their graphics team had airbrushed the logo of a TV3 microphone during a news report on the 27 May edition of the programme. Both broadcasters had been covering the return home of the pop duo Jedward following their 23rd-place finish at the Eurovision Song Contest in Azerbaijan, and the logo was removed from a still image that appeared behind the newsreader during the story. A spokesman said of the issue:

In March 2009, RTÉ News at Nine O'Clock carried a report on 2 oil paintings depicting Brian Cowen, then-Taoiseach (prime minister) of Ireland, in the nude that were briefly displayed in Dublin art galleries in March 2009 as an act of guerrilla art. The report by Tadhg Enright displayed the paintings and mentioned that Cowen was "not thought to have posed for the anonymous artist".[4] The report was not used on subsequent newscasts. On 24 March, the Nine O'Clock News included an apology "for any personal offence caused to Mr Cowen or his family or for any disrespect shown to the office of Taoiseach by [the prior] broadcast."[5][6] The apology was read on air by Eileen Dunne. The original item was removed from the online archives at RTÉ.ie, and the apology added.[6] The RTÉ News report was criticised as being in bad taste by Fianna Fáil Senators Maria Corrigan and Mary O'Rourke and TDs M. J. Nolan and Michael Kennedy. Fine Gael TD Michael W. D'Arcy called it the "most distasteful report I have seen on RTÉ in years".[4] Kennedy urged consideration for the feelings of Cowen's wife and children, and called on Director-General of RTÉ, Cathal Goan, to resign, but did not advocate charging the artist.[7]


  1. "Irish Public Service Broadcasting - 1960s". RTÉ Libraries and Archives. Retrieved 30 June 2009.
  2. "Nine News". RTÉ. Retrieved 30 June 2009.
  3. "'It was all my mistake and I regret the hurt,' says Gorman". The Irish Independent. 9 January 2007. Retrieved 30 June 2009.
  4. McGreevy, Ronan (26 March 2009). "Cowen not consulted before complaint to RTÉ". The Irish Times. Retrieved 1 April 2009.
  5. "Cowen artist 'could be charged'". BBC News. 25 March 2009. Retrieved 27 March 2009.
  6. "Gardaí visit radio station in Cowen painting inquiry". The Irish Times. 25 March 2009. Retrieved 28 March 2009.
  7. "Today FM producer brands reaction 'crazy'". Irish Examiner. 26 March 2009. Retrieved 28 March 2009.
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