Tributes pour in for Seán Óg Ó Ceallacháin

Updated: Sunday, 17 Feb 2013 19:07

The death has taken place of legendary broadcaster Seán Óg Ó Ceallacháin at the age of 89.

Ó Ceallacháin retired in May 2011 after an illustrious career that spanned decades on RTÉ airwaves.

He first broadcast on Radio Éireann in 1935 as part of the Scoil Colmchille school choir and took over the Sunday night GAA results show from his father, Seán Ó Ceallacháin, in 1948.

His voice became a familiar staple to the sporting audience as a tie-in with Gaelic Games for over 60 years.

Ó Ceallacháin achieved the longest career in radio sports broadcasting worldwide.

He represented Dublin hurlers in the 1940s and 1950s and played in the 1948 All-Ireland hurling final, scoring a goal in Dublin's loss to Waterford.

Former Dublin footballer Jimmy Keaveney paid tribute to Seán Óg Ó Ceallacháin.

He said: “He was a dyed-in-the-wool [GAA person], he was a great supporter.

"He would always be there for a bit of advice or anything you want to get something done for your club or charity, Seán Óg would be the first one who would [do it], a real gentleman.”

Current Clare manager and Kerry legend Mick O’Dwyer also hailed the ex-Dublin hurler.

"He represented the voice of urban Dublin and rural Ireland," he said.

“On a Sunday night, every GAA man would tune in to get the results of their club games all over the country.

“If you wanted to know something about Gaelic Games, you just contacted Seán and he’d have the answer fairly quickly, he was a wonderful commentator.”

Noel Curran, Director-General, RTÉ, said the broadcaster became "an essential part of sporting Sundays".

"Seán Óg Ó Ceallacháin was a legend in Sports broadcasting," he said.

"On RTÉ Radio 1, he presented one of the longest-running sports results programmes in the world, having joined his father on air in 1948.

"When he signed off on his last Gaelic Sports Results programme in 2011, it was a momentous moment not only in broadcasting but in the sporting life of the nation.

"His passing will be acknowledged by the many thousands of listeners for whom Seán Óg's Sunday night broadcasts were an essential part of our sporting Sundays."

Clare Duignan, MD RTÉ Radio, said Ó Ceallacháin had a unique place in Irish life:

"Seán Óg first broadcast on Radio Éireann in 1935 as part of the Scoil Colmchille school choir and took over the Sunday night GAA results show from his father, Seán Ó Ceallacháin, in 1948. 

"His voice became not only a familiar staple to the general sporting audience, but synonymous with Gaelic Games for over 60 years. His was a unique voice, with a unique place in Irish life."

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"He represented the voice of urban Dublin and rural Ireland." - Mick O’Dwyer

LISTEN: Seán Óg recalls the fall-out in 1955, when in the course of his commentary he named a player who had just been sent off.

GAA president Liam Ó Néill has expressed his sympathies on behalf of the GAA saying that Ó Ceallacháin holds a "very special place in GAA hearts".

Mr Ó Ceallacháin's colleagues in RTÉ Sport also paid tribute.

Broadcaster Darren Frehill said that Seán Óg Ó Ceallacháin was "one of the great GAA voices."

Adrian Eames said that his was "a voice that echoed through the ages. A lovely man and a real gentleman."

RTÉ 2fm's Damien O'Meara stated that he had been "privileged to know and work with a legend but more so a kind and caring gentleman."

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