Veteran television presenter Mark Cagney has announced that he is leaving VIrgin Media One’s Ireland AM at the end of the month.
In a statement, Mr Cagney (63) said: “I will be stepping down as anchor and moving on from the 31st of July 2019. To everyone who ever worked on, contributed to, and especially watched AM over the years, my heartfelt thanks.”
“It has been one of the great privileges of my life, professionally and personally, to be part of this thing we call Ireland AM.”
Mr Cagney has been a part of Ireland AM since its inception in 1999: “I was approached by a friend and asked would I be interested in getting involved in a new media project. The project was the launch of commercial breakfast television in Ireland and ultimately became known to the public as Ireland AM.”
“As we approach July 2019 twenty years later – which honestly, is nineteen years longer than any of us thought it would last – it seems like the perfect time to stop getting up at 3.00am.”
Mr Cagney continued: “Over the twenty years, Ireland AM has become part of the Irish broadcasting landscape, an institution even, which has stitched itself into Irish daily life. Every day I met someone new, and I learned something new and I did it in the company of people I admired and respected, what more can anyone ask from a job?”
Director of Content at Virgin Media Television, Bill Malone, said: “I would like to thank Mark for his contribution to Ireland AM for the past 20 years. He is a giant of Irish broadcasting and has become a staple in Irish viewers’ homes each morning. He will be greatly missed by both viewers and colleagues alike and I wish him all the best for the future”.
Cagney previously worked as a radio presenter at Today FM, 98FM and RTÉ 2FM before he joined what was then known as TV3 Ireland in 1998.
Cagney’s exit from Ireland AM is another big change for the show, with his former co-presenter Sinead Desmond quitting suddenly in October 2017 after 11 years. Meanwhile, Aidan Cooney left the flagship programme in December 2018.
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