Lawlor signs off 'Morning Ireland'

Fri, Oct 14, 2011, 01:00

RTÉ Morning Ireland presenter Áine Lawlor is to leave the programme after being diagnosed with cancer.

Ms Lawlor said at the end of this morning's programme she leaving temporarily after 16 years as a presenter.

"That’s all from me for a while as I'm taking a break for medical treatment. Thanks to all of you who have listened over the past 16 years," she said.

Ms Lawlor was diagnosed recently with the disease. Though she will no longer present Morning Ireland for the foreseeable future, she will continue her One to One series of interviews on RTÉ television and also continue her work on a documentary about the Irish presidency.

A statement from RTÉ this stated: "We can confirm that RTÉ presenter Áine Lawlor is undergoing treatment for cancer. She will be continuing to work and is positive about the outcome. She would be grateful for privacy during this period."

Ms Lawlor joined RTÉ’s flagship radio programme in 1995 and is one of its longest running presenters.

A mother-of-four, she is a keen gardener. "I spend a lot of time growing and cooking food. Potatoes, peas, beans, chillies, salads, asparagus whatever doesn't get eaten by the slugs,” she said in an interview in The Irish Times' Healthplus supplement in February.

She also said she gets plenty of exercise and does yoga and Pilates twice a week. She listed smoking and a lack of sleep as her two health vices.

"When I’m working, I'm up at 4.30am and I’m only going to sleep after Vincent Browne so not a lot of sleep," she said.

As Morning Ireland presenter she has had many memorable encounters. She cited a programme which was dedicated to the Lost Lives book which chronicles all those who died in the Troubles as one of the highlights of her time on the programme.

Her interview with the then minister for agriculture Brendan Smith when he promised free cheese was another highlight which made her worldwide headlines as was her recent interview with presidential candidate David Norris who sought to invoke the symposium of Plato to explain his views on pederasty.

Her response provided one of the most memorable soundbites of the presidential campaign to date. "But you are not running for election in ancient Greece. You are running for election in modern Ireland."