Saturday 17 March 2018

Magee 'never recovered from loss of wife' - son

Jimmy Magee
Jimmy Magee

Lynne Kelleher

The son of the late Jimmy Magee has told how the iconic broadcaster struggled to cope with the deaths of his wife and son.

However, Mark Magee said his father was always at his happiest behind a microphone providing commentary on the nation's greatest sporting moments.

In a touching tribute to the Memory Man, the RTÉ series 'Cloch Le Carn' tracks his six-decade career as the Irish voice of sport, but also touches on the personal tragedy which tinged the commentator's life.

The New York-born and Louth-bred Magee became a national treasure as he commentated from 12 World Cups and 13 Olympic Games.

"It didn't matter to him whether it was radio or television, he was happy," said Mark. "Ultimately at work was when he was at his happiest. I don't think it's coincidence when people look on events and recall them, there is a correlation on how many times you hear dad's voice and where they would have been."

But there was also tragedy in his life. Jimmy's wife Marie passed away in 1989 while his son Paul, a former Shamrock Rovers footballer, died aged 51 from motor neurone disease in 2008.

Mark spoke of his father's struggle to cope with the passing of the wife he "idolised".

"I don't think dad ever really recovered no matter what way you dress it up or dress it down. I don't think he really ever recovered from the passing of mum."

'Cloch Le Carn', RTÉ One, Thursday, 7pm.

Irish Independent

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