This much I know: Michael Corcoran

RTÉ rugby commentator Michael Corcoran began his broadcasting career with RTÉ Radio Cork.

Being a sports commentator is my ultimate dream job. I get to travel the world, get the best seat in the house — and I get paid for it.

Sport can unite and sometimes divide opinion, it has the ability to bring people together and channel their energy towards something which they care passionately about.

I didn’t always know I’d work in broadcasting, but I have always loved watching most sports and, like a lot of people, enjoyed chatting with others about what I saw during a game. So when the chance came to do this professionally I jumped at it.

When I left school I did business studies at Cork Institute of Technology.

My first paid job was working in the accounts department in C&C, Little Island. My big radio break took a while to materialise. It was thanks to Pat O’Donovan of RTÉ Radio Cork who gave me a chance, many years ago. He believed in me and I will always be grateful to him for that.

If I wasn’t in RTÉ I’d be running a beach bar somewhere warm and sunny, not a very big bar though, probably just a one-person operation.

West Cork is probably my favourite place; I’m also a big fan of Connemara. I like the isolation of those places have to offer when I need it.

There have been a few career highlights for me so far and I hope there will be many more — Ireland winning the Grand Slam in 2009; Munster and Leinster winning the Heineken Cup four times; and a recent one was Ireland beating Australia at RWC 2011.

One of the best things about the job is that I get to travel and explore new places. But, believe it or not, the job can get stressful at times. The fact that I travel so much means it can be difficult to switch off and keep up a regular routine. But I’m quite an organised person and over the years I have learned to take time out for myself. Plus, a few essential trips to the gym also help.

I’m pretty fit and health conscious myself — even more so after watching Operation Transformation and how those taking part achieved so much in such a short period of time, very inspirational.

The traits I most admire in others are honesty, integrity and reliability.

I do believe in fate. I strongly believe someone somewhere is watching out for me.

I thought it was appalling that the recent Paris rugby match was cancelled. A decision regarding the match should have been taken at lunchtime the previous Tuesday to switch the game to an earlier afternoon kick off. That would have given lots of time to make an adjustment to travel and TV schedules and so on.

In this country, underground heating systems are generally not needed for the pitches. However in countries where they frequently experience low temperatures they are a necessity. If an organisation wants to play a match late at night in the middle of winter, they must have undersoil heating, otherwise no late night kick off.

My worst habit is being overly critical of myself. I’d describe myself as being hardworking and happy, but always eager to push myself harder.

The best advice I’ve ever received was never to put off until tomorrow what you can do today. And never to let the sun set on an argument.

If I could change one thing in our society, I’d get rid of the doom and gloom that hangs over the country. In doing so though, I would also banish the return of the arrogance and greed that came with the old days of the Celtic Tiger.

So far, life has taught me never to take anything for granted, to enjoy the moment and to live for here and now.

Michael Corcoran is RTÉ Radio 1’s rugby commentator. He will be commentating on the Heineken Cup quarter finals as RTÉ Radio 1 exclusively broadcasts Leinster v Cardiff Blues at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday, April 7, 2012.

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