Kells native and former reporter with RTÉ Radio’s news and current affairs show Morning Ireland, Pat McGrath was last week appointed RTÉ’s new western correspondent.
Taking the baton from longest-serving regional reporter Jim Fahy, McGrath will be based in Galway.
After studying Arts and Applied Communications at NUI, Galway, McGrath cut his teeth at Clare FM before becoming a journalist in Lyric fm and then moving to RTÉ 2fm News in 2002. He then became a reporter on the 2fm Newsbeat programme, where he remained until he joined Morning Ireland team in early 2010.
Speaking to The Mayo News, Mr McGrath said he was ‘really looking forward to the role’. “It’s going to be challenging and exciting. I’m looking forward to meeting people around Mayo and Galway. There’s a great storytelling tradition in these areas and I’d like to develop it,” explained McGrath.
He was also full of praise for his predecessor. “They’re huge shoes to fill, and it’s a big challenge. I know Jim had such a vast presence in the life of the region,” said the father of two, soon to be three.
The determined reporter said he is ‘fully prepared for it’, noting that he is accustomed to chasing stories and providing information for all types of news outlets, from his three years with Morning Ireland.
“I was three years out there getting stories and servicing online, radio and TV. It all comes back to a journalist being a journalist. As long as you make sure the information is accurate and as salient as it can be to an audience, then the role remains the same,” said the NUI Galway graduate.
McGrath also understands the importance of local media, telling The Mayo News that although contacts are important, ‘you write off local papers and radio at your peril’.
“For people, the tradition of buying The Mayo News on a Tuesday morning is religious and that tradition shows the appetite to be informed,” he said.
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