Tributes paid to 'broadcasting legend' Seán Óg

The late Seán Óg Ó Ceallacháin, whose death was announced today at the age of 89, has been warmly remembered for his contribution to Gaelic Games, journalism and Irish life.

Ó Ceallacháin enjoyed an illustrious broadcasting career as the presenter of RTÉ Radio 1's Sunday night 'Gaelic Sports Results' programme for over 60 years.

The former Dublin senior hurler wrote a number of popular GAA books and had a column in the Evening Press. To many, especially amongst the Irish diaspora, he was the voice of the GAA and a quintessential part of the positive promotion of Gaelic football and hurling from the 1950s onwards.

Commenting on Ó Ceallacháin's passing, the President of Ireland Michael D Higgins said: "I have just learned with sadness of the death of Seán Óg Ó Ceallacháin. He will be remembered as one of the finest GAA broadcasters of his generation and also as a highly respected journalist and author.

"As a bi-lingual broadcaster and writer he made an outstanding contribution to the use of our native language in sports commentary.

"Different generations will remember his familiar voice on the Sunday night radio programme on RTE Radio, during which he presented all of the day's GAA results, with such passion and clarity.

"As an athlete himself, he excelled as a Gaelic footballer and hurler both at club and county level and will be remembered as one of the finest all-round contributors to the GAA over many decades.

"I extend my deepest sympathy to his family and friends. Ar dheis Dhé go raibh a anam dílis."

RTÉ's Director-General Noel Curran added: "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 Sean Óg’s Sunday night broadcasts were an essential part of our sporting Sundays."

Seán Óg was also remembered with great fondness by two stalwarts of Gaelic football - Dublin's Jimmy Keaveney and Kerryman Mick O'Dwyer, the current Clare senior football manager.

"He was a dyed-in-the-wool (GAA person), he was a great supporter," Keaveney told RTÉ Radio 1 when recalling Seán Óg.

"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."

Of Ó Ceallacháin, who is survived by his son, two daughters and their families, O'Dwyer said: "He represented the voice of urban Dublin and rural Ireland.

“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.”

GAA President Liam Ó Néill expressed his sadness at the news, commenting: "Seán Óg's passing is an enormous loss to the GAA and the world of broadcasting.

"He holds a very special place in GAA hearts and was a vital link every Sunday evening with the GAA results. I pass on my sympathies to his family and wide circle of friends on behalf of the wider GAA family."

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