RTE weather presenter Jean Byrne retires after 25 years at Met Eireann

by 24britishtvJan. 14, 2022, 9 a.m. 15
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RTE’s popular weather presenter Jean Byrne has “quietly” retired after 25 years at Met Eireann, The Star can reveal.

Insiders have revealed the Kerry woman, who is understood to be in her 40s, retired early from Met Eireann and RTE just before Christmas.

Sources said the meteorologist didn’t want a fuss made of her departure and left at the end of October, with her last TV forecasting bulletin for RTE on October 25.

Paying tribute to a dear friend and colleague, Evelyn Cusack said: “After a long career at Met Eireann and many years spent gracing our screens at RTE Weather, Jean Byrne hung up her weather charts at the end of 2021.

“Although we will miss Jean’s presence both in the Met Eireann forecast office and on our screens, we wish Jean every happiness and success in the future.”

Ms Byrne, from Tarbert in Co Kerry, had been a staple figure on TV screens since 1996.

But she previously told how she was originally destined to be a doctor before heading off to study maths instead.

“There are so many humanitarian things that need addressing and need doing. I suppose I would have gone to Africa.

“I really thought I was only taking a break from medicine so it’s kind of hard to imagine myself being a doctor now. I guess there are certain aspects that I feel like I would have liked to have done.

“I think I have chosen the right bank and that’s what I’ve done. It also allowed me to study mathematics because that’s what I loved in school.

“I did a mathematical science degree in Trinity and then when I did that I would have felt like I had left something undone if I didn’t pursue that.”

She followed her passion and implemented her mathematical talents as a meteorological officer, then upon graduating with an honours degree she became a meteorologist.

But Jean wasn’t always at the centre of conversations for her forecasts — instead she raised temperatures and eyebrows with some daring ensembles over the last 25 years.

In 2019, she revealed that while she has a lot of control over her own style on telly, she revealed there are some things she cannot wear.

“I basically choose my own outfit and some of the stuff I have worn in the past has been my own, I never even intended to put it on air because it was what I wore outside,” she said.

“The costume department in RTE are terrific as well.

“The camera makes you look bigger anyway, it puts on at least 10lbs and jackets make you look even bigger.

“It became a little bit more relaxed at one point and then I just decided, ‘OK, I’m a bit tired of the old jackets, I’ll wear one or two of my own things.

“I don’t go out of my way to find new designers but I do go out of my way in my spare time to source things and put them together.

“I don’t paint, but in a way, that’s my way of expressing my creativity.

“My main thing is getting what I want and I like things that nobody else is wearing — one-off pieces.

“In the weather office, we have a blue screen so you can’t wear certain types of blue, not anything that’s like a royal blue. Certain patterns don’t work either, they have what you call a strobing effect, so the best things are block colours.”

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