The Gweedore woman has been celebrated for her life-long service to the radio station.

Maria Ní Bhaoill finished up her work with RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta on Wednesday after more than 44 years.

She has made history as the longest-serving staff member at RnaG and worked under 11 different heads of service.

Maria was just 17 when her career began at the station in 1972, the year the station came on air.

She worked part time that summer in the station HQ in Connemara, and the following summer, then spent 3 years working full time in Connemara before moving back to Gaoth Dobhair in 1976.  Maria has worked on the secretarial and support team in the Derrybeg studio for over 40 years.

RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta staff at Na Doirí Beaga (1994)

In her final broadcast, Maria was interviewed in a special edition of Barrscéalta on Wednesday from Derrybeg. The programme was inundated with messages from well-wishers.

Edel Ní Chuireáin, now Regional Manager, recalled her first day and asked Maria if she liked working there. Maria answered “I love it”, adding “I did and I still do, I grew up here.”

“We’ll be lost without her,” was the comment made with a touching video posted by RnaG yesterday: