Sunday 15 September 2019

'She went back to New York on a propeller plane for a 17 hour flight with me in her arms' - Marty Morrissey reveals mum Peggy made sure he was born in Ireland

Marty Morrissey and his mother Peggy. PIC: RTE
Marty Morrissey and his mother Peggy. PIC: RTE
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Marty Morrissey has revealed his mother Peggy flew back to Cork from New York when she was pregnant to ensure Marty was born in Ireland.

Although the RTE broadcaster is widely known as a proud Clare man, he was born and raised in the Bronx until he was 10 years old when the family bought a pub in Quilty, Co Clare.

Marty is an only child as is his mother and his late father, so he travels down to Clare regularly to spend time with his mother who now lives alone.

Speaking about his birth, he told the Irish Mail on Sunday, "She's from Doneraile and insisted I was born in Ireland, so I was born in Mallow.

"Then after a couple of weeks - I don't obviously remember - she went back on one of those propeller planes for a 17 hour flight back to New York with me in her arms.

"My dad, Martin, was back in New York because he had a job.  It was some journey.  She was brilliant, to be fair to her.  She's got some resilience."

Although he was based in New York, Marty was always connected to Ireland and grew up playing football and hurling in Gaelic Park and listening to broadcaster Michael O'Hehir commentating on the All-Ireland finals on the radio.

Martin would listen to O'Hehir on the fire escape outside their home.

"I'm sure the Americans, Portuguese and Jamaicans around our building were saying, 'what's your man doing out on the fire escape listening to a transistor?' Marty told the Mail on Sunday.

Marty was speaking ahead of RTE documentary All-Ireland Day: The Hurling Final, which follows people involved behind the scenes on the big day.

It's the first time Mary held the mic for an All Ireland final as RTÉ’s television commentator and the documentary follows him as he visits Peggy in Clare.

Also featuring in the documentary are referee Fergal Horan and Elaine Cassidy, Croker's recently appointed events controller.  Viewers will also meet Joshua Ryan (12) from GAlway who will walk out with his heroes.

Joshua Ryan (12). PIC: RTE
Joshua Ryan (12). PIC: RTE

All Ireland Day: The Hurling Final, RTE One, Monday, 9.30pm

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