Where did it all begin?

Way back in time, July 1963, an official monthly magazine called “On THE Air” was introduced for the staff of RTÉ. All content was sourced and published on a monthly basis by the Editorial Committee of Radio Eireann Telefis Eireann and this also included “Club News”.

The message from the then Director General, Kevin McCourt, noted that the publication “…will, I am sure, play a vital part in our organisation by encouraging close professional and social contacts between all members of our staff…”.


A message from the RTÉ DG, Kevin McCourt

A message from the RTÉ DG, Kevin McCourt

The epicenter of the social hub was a building based in Ely Place. As can be seen from the articles, there was a real effort placed into developing a social base for staff.

on-the-air-02-11-02 on-the-air-02-11-03

(We also have a proud history of Club members engaging in field sports. Can you recognise any of the following people?)


By the 1980’s, the staff of RTÉ were looking for a new social home. In a highly progressive move the staff impressed upon RTÉ the need to establish a home on campus to promote sporting and cultural activities. A meeting of minds resulted in a fundraising event among members with the purpose to save money to build a facility for staff. In 1986 works commenced with a building program to erect a bricks and mortar home for the new RTÉ Sports and Social Club. With this, a new era was born.

Such was the success of the initial build, which opened in 1986, that a further expansion of the Club occurred with Phase 2 of the development opening in 1990.

So who runs the Club?

The simple answer is, volunteers. A group of RTE staff members volunteer their own time and services. We always need help and if you have time please think about volunteering. There’s lots to do but many hands make light work. Whether it’s sticking up some posters, coming up with new event ideas, holding a quiz night, every little bit of effort helps. Please drop a line to club@rte.ie if you want to find out more information.

Let us not forget about our members! The Club exists for their benefit and they shape the activities within the Club. Any material change to the Club is voted on by members. Who says democracy is dead :-)
There is an active and growing membership, which is quite the motley crew. My childhood sporting idols were, the Irish cyclist and European sporting legend, Sean Kelly and the German football power house, Lothar Matthaeus. Little did I know that some years later stories from Sean Kelly’s manager (who is still an active gym member !!!) about their time on the European cycling circuit would be still knocking around the Club. I haven’t caught up with Lothar yet, but who knows, maybe he has some connection with us?

Gary O'Donovan, Kieran Keenan, Paul O'Donovan in the RTÉ Sports & Social Club Gym

Gary O’Donovan, Kieran Keenan, Paul O’Donovan in the RTÉ Sports & Social Club Gym



We have runners, cyclists, calisthenics enthusiasts, squash players and a 3 time European rowing indoor champion uses our facility every day. Another recent trend is that more of the boys are catching up on the girls and attending the Yoga and Pilates classes.

We even had these Olympic Skibb’ legends drop in on us lately.

The sports side of the house and well being is catered for by Kieran Keenan of Fitsquad. Kieran has a range of sports partners who offer FREE classes throughout the week. Why not drop in for a quick session at lunchtime. No excuses! If you cannot make time to keep your heart and body in shape there’s something seriously wrong with your lifestyle. Your health is your wealth and with a fantastic staff institution onsite, now is the time to make a lifestyle change that matters.





New faces on the Committee have brought in novel events, such as a “hula hoop” class and a “stitch and bitch” session. I can imagine this latter activity was in full flight in front of an open fire, as the people of yesteryear sat in sugan chairs working the wool.

We warmly welcome other RTÉ activities and societies to use our facilities and have partnerships with the RTÉ clubs, such as golf, running, bowling, squash…

The Club is open for lunch 5 days a week and the bar is open on Friday evenings. If you wish to have a social pint and a game of snooker, a quiet one at the end of the week or even a party… get in contact with us.

It is fair to say that we have a fantastic setup for our Club members. This is thanks to our RTÉ pensioners who funded the build of this staff institution out of their own pockets and fundraising, not to mention the valuable membership contributions from our current active membership.

So what’s on offer? Well there’s 2 squash courts, a fabulous old style snooker room, a conference room, a lounge with a PA system and TV, food service with bar coupled with a viewing platform to look down on squash games, 2 squash courts, separate male and female changing rooms with shower facilities, toilet facilities and 2 saunas, a stretching room with mats and punch bags, and a fully equipped gym.

Your health is your wealth and we strive to ensure that people keep a balanced lifestyle and in good condition. The highlight of the Club’s social calendar is the Christmas party… which is nearly here.

Why are you still not signed up?

Please do not hesitate contacting clubmembership@rte.ie or 01 208 2042 if you would like to check out the facility or have any queries about membership options. The Club’s very own “Superman”, Kieran Keenan will be delighted to assist you.

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Many of our members are wondering when the Club will be re-opened. We are currently working with RTÉ as part of their overall plan for the campus. As your safety and wellbeing is our main priority, we will not reopen until it is deemed safe to do so. We will be in touch once we
As we all work from home, ensure you continue to make time to exercise.  Check out my articles on the LifeStyle section of the RTÉ website for useful advice and tips. My guide through a simple but effective home workout can be read here Stay safe everyone
If you enjoyed ‘The Punisher’ in February, ‘Predator’ is waiting to be explored during March!  Every Wednesday, two classes @ 13:00 and 13:35 from March 4th
Check out the best circuit class in the world every Thursday at The Club.  This month’s class is ‘Stinger’ starting March 5th @ 1 pm
Get your teeth into a seriously effective HIIT workout for the month of February.  We bring you Metafit ‘Piranha’, Two classes every Wednesday @13:00 and 13:35 from February 5th