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'I hope I live long enough to be post-Covid and go back to Lillies' - Eamon Dunphy on cocooning, working til 93 and why Sean O'Rourke shouldn't be retiring

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Eamon Dunphy. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Eamon Dunphy. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Eamon Dunphy. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Veteran broadcaster Eamon Dunphy has revealed he has no intention of hanging up his microphone any time soon after reaching the milestone of a million streams in a month with his podcast, The Stand.

The 74-year-old believes there can be an ageist attitude to older anchors, with the retirement age of 65 in national broadcasters like RTE.

But the footballer- turned-journalist, who produces up to six in-depth shows a week on everything, from Covid-19 to soccer, says that he has no intention of slowing down.

"David Attenborough is my inspiration. He's 93," he says laughing.

"At the moment, I'm great and I'm enjoying the work. We have no intention of stopping any time soon."

After getting a clean bill of health after an abdominal aneurysm last year, he is keeping up his cocooning to protect his health with the exception of the occasional walk.

"I had an abdominal aneurysm. It was a big operation, but I had very good doctors and I'm fine now. I have all my faculties. I don't smoke anymore. I just hope I live long enough to be post-Covid.

"I am happy enough cocooning and sneaking out for walks. I understand why they have the lockdown and this is very serious stuff.

"But I creep out for a (walk), the guards are very nice, they haven't asked for my driving licence yet."

He said he is delighted to have hit one million streams in a month.

"They are astounding numbers. We've been sort of heading in that direction.

"I left RTE in 2018 to concentrate on the podcast and it's just reached its millionth stream."

The ex-footballer took the leap into the streaming world when the nation's much-loved soccer panel on RTE began to come to an end.

He said: "The panel thing in RTE was breaking up. Bill (O'Herlihy) had died and before he died they had kind of edged him out.

"It wasn't a very pleasant working environment, so I decided to start a podcast with a view to getting out myself.

"I made up my mind to try the podcast because I wanted to continue to work and stay in journalism.

"The nicest thing with the success of The Stand is it is pitched at an intelligent audience.

"I don't say f***, only occasional, and I'm not screaming and shouting at people. There isn't a shock-jock element there.

"It's not what is required at the moment. There are big stories that are having a massive impact on all our lives."

The Dubliner also doesn't believe broadcasters should have to retire at 65.

"Everyone is different. I'm full of life, I'm as up for it as I ever was. I don't think Sean O'Rourke should be retired at 65. He is at the top of his game," he said.

"He is a really astounding broadcaster and they are whooshing him out of the building - I don't really think that is right.

"It's ridiculous. People are living longer. Clearly there is ageism."

Sunday Independent