Dolan, (Una) Kathleen (1921–2003), radio announcer, was born 11 April 1921 in Church Street, Strabane, Co. Tyrone; she was one of three children, two daughters and a son, of James Dolan and his wife Kathleen Theresa Maude (née Reid). James had been a national school teacher, but was appointed secretary of the Irish Wholesale Society, an organisation linked with the co-operative movement. The Dolan family subsequently moved to Dublin, where James died in 1924, aged just 35. Kathleen was educated in Loreto College, St Stephen's Green, Dublin, and spent some time near Rouen in northern France, improving her knowledge of French. She returned to Ireland just as the second world war broke out. In 1944 she joined Radio Éireann as a reserve announcer, though she was still under 25, the minimum age of appointment in the station. She was an attractive young woman, with a beautiful speaking voice, and quickly became a newsreader and an announcer. For six years, she was presenter of the weekly Hospitals' requests programme, the most popular programme on Radio Éireann. She was also active in medical charities and in 1949 she helped Frank Cahill (d. 1988) to organise a successful concert in Dublin's Capitol Cinema to fund the Post-Sanitoria League for tuberculosis patients. Funds raised helped in the establishment of the Rehabilitation Institute in Dublin in that year.
In 1950, she resigned from Radio Éireann in order to marry. Eamonn Andrews (qv), who was leaving the station at the same time, regretfully denied the rumours that he was her intended. In February 1950 she married, in SS Alphonsus and Columba church, Ballybrack, Robin (Robert Hartpole Hamilton) McDonnell (1909–84), the only son of Randal McDonnell (qv), engineer, novelist and poet. Her husband was a widower with a teenage daughter. The McDonnells were relatives of the earl of Antrim and of many notable northern families. Alexander MacDonnell (qv), and Robert McDonnell (qv) were Randall McDonnell's uncles, and Barbara McDonnell (qv) was his aunt. In later life, Kathleen's husband Robin McDonnell assumed the title of count, and liked to be known as Count Robert McDonnell of the Glens. He had a long career as a radio and television engineer, having joined the BBC in 1935; he moved to Granada Television in 1955 and retired in 1974 as director of sound engineering in Granada.
Kathleen Dolan returned to Radio Éireann in 1953 to present Between ourselves, a weekly magazine programme for women, but she moved to England in 1956 with her husband. She wrote children's stories, including 'Sean the leprechaun', which in 1971 was produced as a television cartoon in English and in Welsh. In 1984, the year her husband died, she returned to Ireland where she lived for the rest of her life. She died at home in Dublin in February 2003, and was buried in Glasnevin cemetery after requiem mass in the pro-cathedral on 18 February. She was survived by her two sons, by her stepdaughter and by her sister Ethna Dolan (Devaney), an architect. Her brother Jim Dolan was one of the members of a successful 1950s radio and recording vocal group, the Four Ramblers (which included the singers Brendan O'Dowda (qv) and Val Doonican (qv)). At one stage in her life she was most probably the best-known voice in Ireland.