George Hook’s egged on rant about Eamon Dunphy on last Friday’s Late Late.
Ryan Tubridy: “Welcome Mr Hook.”
Hook: “Thank you Mr Tubridy.”
Tubridy: “It was at approximately this time last week, that in that very same seat, Eamon Dunphy claimed Ireland to be a kip and a dump.”
Tubridy: “How did you feel about that?”
Hook: “Eh, well Dunphy and I have a weird and wonderful relationship. He’s weird and I’m wonderful.To be fair it’s a fairly balanced relationship; I don’t like him and he doesn’t like me. But, I mean Dunphy’s largely irrelevant, you know, and I’m telling you, telling you that this great country is a kip and a dump is just… I mean Dunphy isn’t a patriot. I knew he wasn’t a patriot the day Ireland played the Cameroon in the World Cup and he went on television wearing the Cameroon colours. So his patriotism is fairly skin deep.”
Tubridy: “He would argue that that’s mean, that he was just doing that for…to be a messer. I’d say he’d be very proud of this country. You’d disagree with that?
Hook: “Oh yeah, comprehensively. How can you call this place a kip or a dump? Like this place has survived, this country has survived famine, pestilence, war, and like we’ve stuck through it. There aren’t many countries that would have survived the famine, there aren’t many countries that might have survived the awful 1930s here. I grew up in the 40s and 50s when times were tough. The 80s were tough but we came through them all. For people in a public position, and he does have a public position, although I don’t listen to it, but he has a public position, to actually say to young people and to people who are struggling to pay a mortgage and bring up their kids, they’re doing it in a dump is outrageous. And I’ll tell you what we need more than anything, your hero, John F Kennedy*. Kennedy said famously, and it rings as true now as it did then, ‘ask not what your country can do for you, but what your country, eh what you can do for your country’.
We have a problem, we have a problem. The pied piper, Bertie Ahern, made us, because he told us all like this will never end, he made us selfish, he made us think it would go on forever, he made us think that what was important was the cost of something not the value of something. Therefore we have to get back to where we were. We have to get back the old values that made this country great. And we will.
Tubridy: “OK, Eamon Dunphy had plenty to say, and I think it’s an almost a right to reply scenario for things like what he said about Newstalk which wasn’t exactly the most complimentary scenario on that. Would you have thoughts on that George?”
Hook: “Well, I mean I would. It’s about the country aswell really. I mean this country gave him a bloody good living and to turn around then and say it’s a kip is a bit much. But Newstalk gave him a bloody good living and to turn around then and say it’s a kip is a bit much. He was the highest paid broadcaster in Newstalk on an hourly basis bar none. And then to turn around and to say to these young people, because you know that broadcasting is a young people’s business, apart from O’Herlihy and myself, it’s a young people’s business, and to say to these young broadcasters in Newstalk who’ve got degrees in journalism, who’ve got masters in journalism, and in some ways they’re just ciphers for Denis O’Brien, that they have no mind of their own, and let me tell you that by extension he said that I was just a cipher, well Eamon if you’re watching you can put that in your football and kick it.
He talked about these young people, sure he was there so little he wouldn’t even know their names, but what is far more important, what is far more important, anybody sitting here in this audience, anybody listening to this program, if they think that tomorrow’s Independent carries an article that Tony O’Reilly asked me to write, if they think that on television this weekend I am going to say things that the Director General asked me to say, if they think on radio I am going to say something that Denis O’Brien told me to say they don’t know me, and I’ve spent ten years of my life broadcasting on radio, 15 years of my life broadcasting on television, and I never did what somebody told me, and I’m not about to start now. But it’s not me, it’s not about me.”
Tubridy: “Well, Eamon Dunphy, what I think he was implying, were that the conditions in Newstalk weren’t particularly favourable to people, in fact he felt sorry for people [there]. He felt they were hard done by.”
Hook: “Did he try on that with this programme as well? Ah come on, give me a break. Like Ireland’s a kip, Newstalk’s a kip, where else is a kip? Like, has he not got a good word to say about anybody? Like, this is a radio station that employs the guts of 100 people who bust their gut every day, seven days a week to do the best broadcasting they can and he’s the best paid guy, he’s getting more money than anybody, and he’s saying that. The tragedy of this is because he has a public position you put him on the Late Late.”
Tubridy:” And we put you…”
Hook: “And you didn’t put the 100 people.”
Tubridy: “Well, we were never going to do that. Are you speaking for them tonight?”
Hook: “Absolutely, I am speaking for them tonight. And not a single one of them would agree with what he said.”
Tubridy: “What do you think about Eamon? Speak your mind.”
Hook: “Well, like, he knows an awful lot more about soccer than I do.”
Tubridy: “What do you think of him?”
Hook: “I don’t like him. I mean my …[you] might change your introduction of me. Like where you say ‘sometimes controversial’. I’ve never been controversial in my life.”
Tubridy: “Now, why is the audience hooting like that?”
Hook: Because controversial infers that you are saying something for effect.”
Tubridy there. It’s called ‘squeezing the middle.
* JFK reference timing fail.