Wednesday 17 January 2018

Kenny beaten to the punchline as he helps 'Okey-dokey' Bill launch book

RTE's Bill O'Herlihy with his granddaughter Isla Conlan at his book launch. Photo: Collins
RTE's Bill O'Herlihy with his granddaughter Isla Conlan at his book launch. Photo: Collins

IT was a game of four speeches at the launch of Bill O'Herlihy's book. Titled "We'll Leave It There So" and co-written with sports journalist Ewan McKenna, it is the autobiography of the veteran RTE broadcaster's life and long career that has spanned six decades.

It includes his years as a political and current affairs reporter, as well as his more recent job anchoring the station's soccer panel.

Both John Giles and Eamon Dunphy were on hand in Dublin's Merrion Hotel to support their pal, with the official launch of the book conducted by Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

Mr Kenny gave a funny, off-the-cuff speech, pointing out: "This book is not about a shy, modest Corkman, if that's not an oxymoron."

The Taoiseach said he had asked people about Bill O'Herlihy.

"I asked them what word jumps out in relation to him," he said. "Okey-dokey," shouted a wiseacre in the crowd, as everybody laughed.

"Loyalty," clarified Enda, his own punchline ruined.

Eamon Dunphy also paid tribute, recalling that he and Bill had started working together 34 years ago. "In my own case I had two goes at presenting shows, and I was useless, which underlines the scale, breadth and depth of his talent," he said.

John Giles described himself as "a newcomer" to the panel, having joined it a mere 26 years ago.

"It's all about the viewer, it's honest opinion, we don't always agree. But that's all part of it. But we wouldn't have had the success without Bill."

Finally the author said a few words, describing himself as "very lucky" and "a very ordinary person with very ordinary talent".

He said that Eamon told him that his success had come by "piggybacking on himself and Giles -- I assume it's half in jest, but I'm not sure!"

Irish Independent

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