In the latest of quick-fire interviews with Irish football journalists, Billy Barry admits to losing the run of himself live on air, missing an interview due to the push of a wrong button, and why research is crucial.
Q&A by Billy Barry (Cork’s 96FM)
How did you get started in your current job?
I was a listener to RTE Radio Cork and rang in one day to criticise Damien Richardson (who has since become a good friend) about missing World Cup tickets at USA ’94. I was then asked to cover the local Munster Senior League and everything snowballed from there.
Can you remember the first big event that you covered?
It was definitely the trip to Tehran in November 2001 to cover the Republic of Ireland against Iran.
What has been your most memorable match?
In recent memory, it would be Shelbourne versus Cork City – the last league game of the 2011 League of Ireland First Division. Graham Cummins’ winner in the dying seconds to confirm Cork as champions was quite special. I lost it live on air!
Do you have a particular career highlight?
My first full broadcast alone. It was between Lausanne Sport and Cork City in the old two-bob European Cup in 34 degree heat overlooking the glorious Lake Lausanne. Not a bad gig at all.
And what about a lowlight?
Covering a turbulent season of Cork City with difficult dealings with a chairman who shall remain nameless. Well, here’s a hint…same initials as Top Cat.
What has been your worst work-related disaster?
Interviewing one Patrick Dolan, who spoke for nine full minutes, and yours truly having pressed the pause button instead of the record button on those bloody mini-disc things. Note to young journalists: always check that the thing is turned on!
Is there one particular question you regret asking an interviewee?
Oh, it would be asking Alan Mathews for a quick word shortly after that aforementioned Cummins goal delivered delight for Cork City and misery for Shelbourne.
Who has been the best manager to deal with?
Former Cork City and current Galway manager Tommy Dunne. Of course, there is always the negative that he is too good for me at golf.
What stadium has the best media facilities?
Croke Park, Dublin – at a long shot.
Any big scoops?
I had news of FORAS getting a First Division licence for Cork City from an insider.
What is the biggest misconception about your job?
That anyone can do it.
Any advice for someone coming into football reporting?
Love what you are doing and make sure to do your research. I hate seeing wrong names and facts.
What changes do you see happening to your profession in the future?
The impact of tweeting and live updating is going to ruin good coverage and objective analysis of all sports.