Eugene McGee – An Appreciation

Eugene McGee was a stable of Longford and called the sporting atmosphere across the country on numerous occasions.

Sports wise Eugene’s greatest achievement is without doubt the famous 1982 All-Ireland victory as Offaly manager, denying Kerry five in a row.

Eugene never played inter-county football, he was a known as a top class journalist and his achievements as manager of Offaly encase further amazement in his character.

Eugene himself was a go to man for sporting comment for ourselves in Shannonside Northern Sound Sport.

As a former editor and managing editor of the Longford Leader he was titled Mr.Longford in the national media. His column’s in the Sunday Tribune and Irish Independent highlighted his knowledge of Gaelic football and rightly made him a hugely popular columnist.

Being from Dublin, my experience of Eugene was not only as a Gaelic football knowledge box but also as a commentator on Irish society, his appearances on shows such as questions and answers taken with seriousness and receiving reception of a person with his finger on the pulse.

I joined Shannonside Northern Sound in September 2017, my first contact with Eugene was looking to preview the International rules series.

Eugene was totally agreeable on the piece, arranging a time the only item, Eugene’s only question “What time is the rugby match at?”

That made me laugh as Eugene was a sports fan, not just Gaelic games but all sports interested him.

Eugene gave great insight to us at the sports department, he was supportive to us and even off mic gave us the odd little piece of feedback. “You need to press the questions more here!”

Eugene was a founder director of Shannonside FM and told me. “Any time you need me Dave let me know. I’d love to be in your position, if I was starting my career again, it would be radio I’d aim for.”

As a guest on Joe Finnegan’s show Eugene showed his flexibility and passion on national and local issues and was increasingly relevant talking about the GAA on the field and off it.

Interviewing Eugene was always enjoyable, Eugene gave me the impression he didn’t just want to express his opinion but also for you to challenge it.

We will all miss calling Eugene to arrange an interview or quick comment and miss seeing him sit outside studio one awaiting his call-up.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam

Dave Hooper

Sports Editor