Wednesday 18 September 2019

Ex-manager 'bears grudges' – RTÉ's O'Donoghue

Tense interviews: RTÉ soccer correspondent Tony O’Donoghue. Picture: Collins
Tense interviews: RTÉ soccer correspondent Tony O’Donoghue. Picture: Collins

Cormac Byrne

Martin O’Neill is a man who is “sensitive to criticism” and “bears grudges”, according to RTÉ soccer correspondent Tony O’Donoghue.

The journalist has had a number of tense interviews with the former Ireland manager. O’Neill infamously walked out of an interview with O’Donoghue following Ireland’s 5-1 World Cup play-off defeat to Denmark in November last year.

Two months later, at the draw for the Uefa Nations League in Lausanne, Switzerland, the manager recalled the incident and accused O’Donoghue of a “real verbal attack” because the journalist had said “hard luck” to him.

Speaking on ‘Today with Sean O’Rourke’ yesterday, Mr O’Donoghue said he tried to ask only questions that he expected viewers wanted answered.

“He’s a man who is sensitive to criticism and that’s just not to me or to RTÉ, but, I mean, recently we haven’t had the live rights and I’ve seen him take offence to other reporters as well.

“Right back through his career, when he was a player with Nottingham Forest, people would write letters to the local newspaper and he would take note of them and at the end of a good season with Nottingham Forest he would write back to them.

“So he bears grudges and didn’t enjoy or take criticism, I suppose none of us takes criticism lightly.

“Again, that’s another reason he was determined, I’d say, to stay on and to, I suppose, improve or leave a better legacy in his wake as Republic of Ireland manager,” he added.

Irish Independent

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