Longford Leader Columnist Mattie Fox: Listening to ‘Today with Sean O’Rourke’ is always a pleasure

Mattie Fox


Mattie Fox



RTÉ's Sean O'Rourke praised by Mattie Fox

RTÉ's Sean O'Rourke praised by Mattie Fox

The internet caused an explosion in employment in some areas, while rendering human beings redundant in others.

We are now under pressure from artificial intelligence, but again, that is just another, further development.  There’s no doubt that the internet has become a way of life and we might ask what would we do without it?

Take for example someone gives a talk on what was once a passing subject, on the radio. Immediately, texts and emails start arriving in their hundreds to the station. To read them, humans are needed, and so the process that was once upon a time operated by a few people has become an industry in itself.

This is just one single programme. Who is checking the emails and texts? Who is deciding what is sent forward to the presenter? And who makes the decision to bin some? Then the presenter has to constantly scan the screen to see what’s happening in the cocoon of the studio.

If the programme belongs to the elite grade - which is becoming more and more prevalent - the screen is watched by a few humans, who transfer the juicy parts to the presenter with a handwritten note which is delivered discreetly by someone else! The latter being a new member of staff or rather a ‘communications student’.

On and on it goes, until eventually you’ll find in excess of twenty people, minimum, staffing a serious programme on RTÉ. Top of the pile comes the presenter. Sean O’Rourke, who has effortlessly become king of the hill in RTÉ, whilst not demanding anything like the remuneration of Ray Darcy, for example.

O’Rourke is a top class, well versed presenter, who can talk eloquently, and relate expertly to anyone irrespective of subject. Politics, government, doctors, medical centres, the HSE, transport, football, hurling, rugby, soccer, boxing, hospitals, farmers, taxis, trains, infrastructure of any shape and size.... a breathtaking range of subjects which he can embrace and discuss without a flutter.

A truly outstanding broadcaster, O’Rourke has the common touch, connected to both sides of the country, urban and rural. A virtual encyclopedia of knowledge.

On the ‘Today with Sean O’Rourke’ show, the value of real education comes to the fore daily and it is always a pleasure to listen to.