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20th Jun 2023

Liam Brady paid a lovely tribute to “great man” Bill O’Herlihy on his final RTÉ show

Patrick McCarry

Liam Brady

“Never a dull moment!”

Liam Brady paid a lovely tribute to “great man” Bill O’Herlihy and his long-time punditry partners John Giles and Eamon Dunphy during his final RTÉ show.

The Irish footballing legend, who finished up on RTÉ after 25 years during the broadcaster’s coverage of Ireland’s win over Gibraltar, had the big farewell video shared early on the night. Many TV viewers that tuned in late were asking why Brady did not get a big send-off, but producers opted to do the tribute early so the slate would be left free to discuss the footballing action.

The tribute from RTÉ was a touching trip down memory lane:

Liam Brady on Bill O’Herlihy

When the broadcast cut back to Liam Brady, on the sideline with Didi Hamann, host Joanne Cantwell asked what emotions the video stirred up.

“It was sad seeing it, to be quite honest,” said Brady, “because we all miss Bill. He was a great man in the presenter’s chair. He knew how to keep order, which was difficult at times!

“He knew how to throw in a grenade every now and again. Working with Eamon, there was never a dull moment. Great memories, fantastic memories.”

Bill O’Herlihy worked with RTÉ for 49 years and signed off as main football presenter after the 2014 World Cup, in Brazil. He passed away only a year later, at the age of 76.

Liam BradyLiam Brady pictured with John Giles, Eamon Dunphy and Bill O’Herlihy in 2014 and, right, speaking on RTE. (Credits: Rolling News and RTE)

Liam Brady on favourite Ireland game, as pundit

When pressed for his favourite game to cover as a pundit, Liam Brady picked Ireland’s 1-0 win over the Netherlands, at Lansdowne Road, in 2001.

He marvelled at the high level of the Irish performance, that day, and stressed how “magnificent” Ireland captain Roy Keane was. That led to a brief chat on the Saipan crisis, the following year, that saw Keane miss out on the 2002 World Cup. Brady commented:

“Eamon [Dunphy] wouldn’t speak to us, he wouldn’t speak to John or I because we took Mick McCarthy’s side. It really was a nasty atmosphere in the studio and Bill had to control it all. It wasn’t an easy job.”

“Once the Champions League started the next season and the World Cup was forgotten about, we buried the hatchet,” he added.

Ireland would go on to beat Gibraltar 3-0 but Liam Brady, in his final bit of RTÉ analysis, said the team would not make the Euro 2024 playoffs but could push The Netherlands close, at home, later this year.

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