Miriam O'Callaghan gives Stephen Rochford toughest interview of his GAA career 5 years ago

Miriam O'Callaghan gives Stephen Rochford toughest interview of his GAA career

A lot of people questioned Stephen Rochford's decision to appear on Sunday with Miriam.

Having only announced his resignation as Mayo manager at the start of the week, it seemed very soon and, even though it was an All-Ireland preview special, many felt it was the wrong programme to get his points across.


O'Callaghan has been in the broadcasting game for a long time, though, and Rochford was never going to get an easy ride, even if it is a Sunday morning with much of the buzz focused on Tyrone and Dublin.

Rochford trotted out everything you'd expect from a manager who's recently stepped away from the job. He's disappointed to have left. It was a decision not taken lightly. He has massive respect for the playing panel and is sure they'll pick themselves up for the challenge that lies ahead in 2019.


And so on.

O'Callaghan rather shrewdly cut through some of Rochford's answers.

When the presenter asked Rochford why he had decided to resign, he said:

"I don't think we have long enough to get into the complexity of the GAA but in order to deliver at a high level, I didn't feel I had the support of the executive, the key people in Mayo, to bring the team forward. In many ways, it's not a decision I would agree with but I've had to accept it.

"I suppose, we didn't win any silverware in my three years in charge, and that was a big change for Mayo, they'd won five Connacht championships in a row, there was no All-Ireland which was always going to be a barometer for my success and no Super 8s this year and a perceived lack of young players being brought through. 

"I don't know of any one reason, as such, but it was clear to me that the level of support you need to take the team forward just wasn't there, unfortunately." 


Cue O'Callaghan cutting through the shit.

"And to put that into English," the presenter responded, "did you really feel that they didn't want you to stay on? Hadn't you put together your backroom team?"

Rochford's response to that was, once again, mostly impenetrable, waxing on about how sport doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things and that life 'will move on' and 'so will Stephen Rochford' (yes, he referred to himself in the third person).


Again, O'Callaghan wasn't having any of it, plainly asking Rochford to explain the difference between an executive committee and the county board.

In the end, Rochford didn't really say anything explosive or revelatory, but he seems intent on making clear his 'disappointment' with how things panned out.

If he keeps coming up against seasoned, no-nonsense interviewers, something is bound to come out eventually.