Miriam Meets... Sam Smyth and Eamonn McCann
Miriam O'Callaghan interviews award winning journalists and friends, Sam Smyth and Eamonn McCann.
Their friendship was forged working on the then new tabloid, The Sunday World in Dublin in the 1970s. But their paths had crossed before that in a court room in Derry in the early days of the Civil Rights Movement. Both men grew up in the North but were from different backgrounds. Eamonn was from a Catholic family in Derry while Sam was reared a Methodist in Belfast. But they didn't fit the Catholic/Nationalist and Unionist/Protestant mould.
They share a passion for music and Sam tells Miriam of his career as a manager of bands. He eventually moved to Dublin and fell into journalism by writing for Spotlight magazine.
Both men tell Miriam of their experiences of education and their early career paths. Eamonn lived and worked in London as a tree planter before returning to Derry at the start of the Civil Rights movement.
They also share the experience of having daughters born in 1988. Eamon's daughter Mattie experienced brain damage after a near cot death when she was only a few weeks old. He recalls Sam's kindness at that difficult time.
Their friendship was forged working on a newspaper and they reflect on the future of journalists and newspapers in a changing media environment.
They talk about their religious beliefs and how they might remember each other at their funerals. Eamonn uses the word decency to sum up Sam; Sam uses the words intelligence and fun to sum up Eamonn.
Their music choices were Luke Kelly singing Thank You For The Days; Paddy Nash and the Happy Enchiladas singing Martin and The Undertones with My Perfect Cousin