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Saturday 10 December 2016

Editorial: TV legend Bill O'Herlihy signs off for the final time

Bill O'Herlihy pictured with John Giles, Eamon Dunphy and Liam Brady ahead of the FIFA 2014 World Cup Final
Bill O'Herlihy pictured with John Giles, Eamon Dunphy and Liam Brady ahead of the FIFA 2014 World Cup Final

FOR many of us the World Cup wasn’t the World Cup without Bill O’Herlihy.

It may have been just one role in a career that was varied and hugely successful but his role behind the desk for RTE’s soccer coverage defined the broadcaster, who passed away yesterday.

Eamon Dunphy paid tribute by pointing out that O’Herlihy made a massive contribution to the happiness people derived from sport.

This is true – from soccer to the Olympics O’Herlihy helmed TV coverage in an expert fashion – but one which had a common touch.

His journalism career stretched back to investigative reporting in the 1960s, and he also ran a hugely successful PR firm.

But for all his success in those fields people will remember Bill O’Herlihy best as the affable voice of common sense amidst a unique panel of often-sparring soccer pundits.
Many remembered him yesterday by way of his catchphrase: “We’ll leave it there so.” Rest in peace.

Power move tells us much

JUST when Micheal Martin thought things were looking up for Fianna Fail – in the wake of a by-election win for the party last weekend – one of his party’s leading lights dropped a bombshell yesterday.

Averil Power’s exit – and her damning assessment of her former colleagues and party leader – was a serious, headline-grabbing blow to Fianna Fail and Martin.

Power was unequivocal in her statements – Martin is not an effective leader, the party’s approach to same-sex marriage was “cynical and cowardly” and some in Fianna Fail were afraid to canvass for it.

Her exit yesterday saw Power praised by many for her honesty. Others suggested that, with an election coming, she stood a better chance of making it to the Dail and power as an independent than a Fianna Failer. We shall see. But her decision to quit tells us much about the state of Fianna Fail.

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