Mary Kennedy's broadcasting career started in 1978 when, as a secondary school teacher, she applied for a job as television continuity announcer in RTÉ. A BA (Hons) graduate of UCD, she taught English in Brittany, France before returning to teach at Colaiste Bride in Clondalkin, Dublin. In 1982 she presented a bi-lingual television chat show called 'An Crúiscín Lán'and in 1988 presented 'Give Us a Chance, aimed at Leaving Certificate students
She became a newscaster in 1992 and in 1995 was invited to present the 40th Eurovision Song Contest. In May 1999 Mary hosted the gala opening of RTÉ Lyric FM.
She has also presented a number of radio series on RTÉ Radio 1. Besides co-hosting Open House, the afternoon television programme, with Marty Whelan for six years, she has hosted numerous other programmes on RTÉ Television including 'Up for the Match', and The People of the Year Awards as well as commentating on many important occasions.
These include the funeral of Mother Teresa in Calcutta in 1997; the re-internment of the ‘Forgotten Ten’ volunteers who fought for Irish Freedom (the most well-known of whom was Kevin Barry) in 2001; the inauguration of President Mary McAleese for a second term in 2004; the funeral of Pope John Paul II in 2005 and that of former Taoisigh, Charles Haughey, in 2006 and Albert Reynolds in 2014. She also provided commentary for the funeral of President Hillery, the inauguration of President Michael D. Higgins and the Royal Wedding in 2011, followed by the visit of Queen Elizabeth II also in 2011. She also provides the Irish language commentary for the National Day of Commemoration every year and on September 18th was commentator, along with John Bowman for the State Funeral of Tomás Ceannt,(Thomas Kent), one of the signatories of the 1916 Proclamation of Independence.
Mary Kennedy joined the hugely-successful regional news programme, Nationwide, as its co-presenter with Michael Ryan in August 2004. She was joined by presenter Anne Cassin after Michael’s retirement in 2011. Mary is also the author of four books, Paper Tigers, a memoir, (2003), Lines I Love (2007) which was shortlisted in the Irish Book Awards in 2008, Lines for Living (2011) and What Matters in 2015.