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Lansdowne Past President Michael ‘Butch’ Cassidy puts down his professional camera today as he retires from RTÉ after 43 years. No better person than his RTÉ colleague Colm Hand to sum up Butch’s career who posted the below on Twitter in tribute today:

“In a career spanning over 40 years, Michael travelled to more than 50 countries for RTÉ News – covering wars, conflicts, famines and natural disasters in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Syria, Kosova, Chechnya, Somalia, Etiopia to name but a few.

In the most challenging of environments, he was the eyes and ears for the Irish people in far away places, putting some of the most important international stories on our TV screens.

Michael started out his career as a soundman in 1978. He was witness to some of the darkest days on this island, and was on the ground in Northern Ireland at the height of the Troubles. Michael was the soundman on a small RTÉ crew that filmed the IRA Hunger Strikers inside the cells of the H-Block in 1980. The footage captured that day reverberated around the world and focused global attention on what was happening there.

Michael picked up the camera in 1998.

Just two days after the September 11th attacks, Michael was reporting from the border of Afghanistan with Tony Connelly. In 2004, he was in Banda Ache with Mark Little to cover the devastating Indonesian tsunami that killed over 200,000 people and he was in Saipan for that very famous Roy Keane exit.

As well as many major international stories, he has captured thousands of everyday stories about everyday people. Michael has had the most remarkable career and is a massive loss to public service broadcasting in Ireland.”

While Butch may have retired from RTÉ, we very much hope that he has no plans to retire from his role in Lansdowne, as he continues to film our games, a vital resource to the club. We wish Butch, his wife Yvonne and his family all the best and hope for a very long and happy retirement.

Many thanks to Colm Hand and Tony O’Donoghue from RTÉ for the photos of Butch in action!

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