herald

Sunday 23 November 2014

I wouldn't mind a shot at the Aras - Bill O'Herlihy

RTE World Cup host Bill O'Herlihy with grandchildren Bill O'Herlihy-Ryan (4), Jack Conlon (5) and Martha O'Herlihy-Ryan (5). 
Pic: Sally O'Herlihy - Free to use
Bill with his grandchildren on his last RTE football broadcast
Bill O'Herlihy. Photo: Caroline Quinn

He has just stepped down from his prime seat as 
football broadcaster, but Bill O'Herlihy said he wouldn't turn down a stint in the Aras.

The broadcasting legend hung up his microphone on Sunday after the World Cup final.

And while Bill was discussing his retirement options on the Pat Kenny Show, he mentioned that he had been approached about a potential run for Aras an Uachtarain.

Joan Fitzgerald (pictured inset), the wife of former Taoiseach Garrett 
Fitzgerald, once asked Bill if he'd run for the Irish presidency. "Not a chance," he replied bluntly.

"I'd like to be president, but I wouldn't have a ghost of a chance of getting in. I'd get more Christmas cards than I would votes," he added.

Generous

Celebrations went on into the early hours of the morning in the RTE studios as Bill's former colleagues gathered to give him a fitting send off.

"Others may have had a later night than I, but I left RTE at quarter past two, or thereabouts.

"It was an extraordinary night, people were saying things that I just thought were so generous that they couldn't have been true," said Bill.

After 49 years at the national broadcaster, Bill hosted his last soccer panel show for the final match of this year's World Cup in Brazil.

The Corkman admitted that he hadn't really thought of what it would mean to leave his job, but he was adamant that he made the right choice.

"Today is the first day that it has dawned on me what I've done," he said.

Despite announcing his retirement last year, the 75-year-old has no plans to sit at home, twiddling his thumbs.

Bill will continue to work with his public relations company. On top of that, as the chairman of the Irish Film Board, he will push the 
Government to make sure that more studio space is available for film production.

"If someone came along and offered me a series of interviews or something I'd be interested, but nobody has offered me anything," he said.

hnews@herald.ie

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