Failing to repay parents’ sacrifice a huge regret for George Hook

Failure to repay his parents for the sacrifices they made to ensure he had a good education and upbringing is a source of huge regret to George Hook, according to the broadcaster.

In an emotional television interview on RTÉ’s Saturday with Miriam, he told presenter Miriam O’Callaghan that he had let his parents down badly in their old age.

“I treated my parents so badly in their old age.Not a day passes that I don’t think about it. Was there an excuse? Ya, of course there was an excuse. Remember I was bankrupt and about to be evicted and near suicide. My life was in manure — because I can’t hold down a job, I can’t do anything right. Marriage isn’t exactly a bed of roses. So I got to try and keep that going and my parents suffered. I didn’t go to see them. I just should have and I didn’t and only a shit would do that. For those two people who had given me everything, only a shit would leave them in their pain in their final days,” Hook said.

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His father died before his mother. He was in America rugby coaching when his mother fell ill, “to try and get away from my creditors and keep the show on the road”.

“And then I get the phonecall — ‘Your mother’s in hospital and she’s not going to last’. And I come home and she’s in a coma, she’s been in a coma for two days.

“And I came in and bend over and say ‘Hello mam, how are you” and she says ‘not great son’. Now how my voice came through a two day coma I’ll never know.

“Two hours later she was dead, she didn’t say another word. I’ll never get over that. And when you realize what you are, [a shit] that’s quite tough really.”

Hook, who bid an emotional farewell to listeners last Friday in his final The Right Hook broadcast on Newstalk, a show he has presented for 14 years, returns to the station in September to anchor a new lunchtime programme.


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