BBC's Ireland Correspondent Denis Murray to retire

Denis Murray, the BBC’s veteran Ireland Correspondent, is to retire.He began his career with the Belfast Telegraph in 1975 and then moved to Irish broadcaster RTE, where he stayed from 1977 to 1982.

“I’m 57 now, despite my boyish good looks – hard to believe, eh? It’s a good time to find other projects as Ireland as a world story winds down. I always say that as a BBC journalist I’d love to be on the news programmes three days a week. But as a citizen, if all I’ve got to report is that nothing out of the ordinary happened today, then that’s what I’d call a break-even day. I think I still have a lot to offer in terms of experience, knowledge and how a peace process in a deeply divided society can work. I’m going to take a brief break; my daughter’s getting married for one thing ,” Denis Murray says.

He then became the BBC’s Dublin Correspondent and, after that, BBC Northern Ireland Political Correspondent. In 1988 he became BBC Ireland Correspondent and has spent the last 20 years as a familiar face and voice on BBC News programmes, covering the last years of the Northern Ireland Troubles and, of course, the peace process from start to finish.

“Denis has been one of the greatest broadcast journalists of his generation.He has covered Northern Ireland affairs in such a professional, authoritative and accessible manner for so many years and involving so many dimensions. His tone and use of language have been as brilliant as his insight, understanding and judgement – and his stamina and commitment are legendary. His passion for the BBC, public service broadcasting and high standards in journalism have been his mark. I thank him from the bottom of my heart for his truly outstanding contribution to BBC Journalism ,” Mark Byford, BBC Deputy Director General and Head of Journalism, said.

Denis Murray has also covered political and other events in the Irish Republic and he’s travelled to Germany, France, Norway, Colombia and the United States to report aspects of the Irish story.

He was awarded an OBE for services to journalism in 1997 and the same year was also Royal Television Society Journalist of the Year.Denis says it’s a good time to retire from full-time reporting.

Francesca Unsworth, Head of BBC Newsgathering, says: “Denis has had a long and distinguished career with the BBC, covering some key moments of history in the story of the troubles and the Northern Ireland peace process. His insight, wit and personality combined with deep knowledge and authority have made him a familiar and much respected face for our audiences.”

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