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Dublin: 5 °C Wednesday 19 December, 2018
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"He had a genius for living" - The Late Late tribute sparked a lot of love for Billo tonight

“He really was the best.”

thre Source: RTÉ

THERE WERE PLENTY of warm, funny tributes to Bill O’Herlihy on tonight’s Late Late Show, and loads more from the audience watching at home.

RTÉ dedicated half an hour of the last show of the season to “remembering Bill with a smile,” with the “Three Amigos” – John Giles, Liam Brady and Eamon Dunphy – leading the way.

“He was such a wonderful man,” Eamo started off.

He was someone who was at the very heart of our national life…We’ve lost somebody that’s irreplaceable…

He almost managed to make it through the segment without crying, but the famous Dunphy tears were seen eventually.

eamo Source: RTE

Bill had a genius for living, and for this place, and I miss him.

He added:

I was told by my kids: ‘Don’t cry and don’t sing.’ I think I better sing!

The emotion was shared across the country, though:

Liam Brady paid tribute to the Corkman’s ability to stir things up, or calm things down, on the panel, whenever it was needed.

Often he threw a bomb in between the three of us, very skillfully. We’d prepare ourselves before a particular match, and we’d think we had everything covered.
But Bill found something that might rile one of us, or all three of us.

The former Arsenal man said O’Herlihy’s finest moment was being able to handle the panel during the Saipan crisis in 2002, when the three had a very real falling out.

We were not talking at all, but he was still driving the car. We were the players, and he was the manager.

2 Source: RTÉ

John Giles talked about the “trust” between Bill and the panel, and the help he gave him when the former Ireland manager started as a pundit in 1986.

When you’re together for such a long time, as the four of us were, we had to trust Bill and Bill had to trust us.
Bill was great to me…I hadn’t a clue, I had no training for it, I’d never had any intention of going into it.
But Bill was a great help to me, because I didn’t know what I was doing.

The whole thing sparked a lot of love and admiration for O’Herlihy, and in particular for Italia ’90.

And one viewer nicely summed up the public reaction across Ireland tonight:

You can watch tonight’s Late Late tribute to Bill O’Herlihy in full, over on the RTÉ Player.

Read: ‘A great light, a storyteller and the most brilliant grandad’: Bill O’Herlihy laid to rest>

Read: Broadcaster Bill O’Herlihy has died>

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About the author:

Dan MacGuill

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