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“Embarrassing” – Eamon Dunphy criticises RTÉ’s football punditry

Eamon Dunphy RTÉ

“And you can quote me on that.”

Eamon Dunphy has criticised the standard of football punditry on RTÉ.

The veteran pundit worked on the national broadcaster for 40 years before walking away from his position after the 2018 World Cup. He said that the current offering on RTÉ is an “insult to licence fee payers.”

Eamon Dunphy RTÉ

Eamon Dunphy on the standard of football punditry on TV.

Speaking to the assembled media on Sunday afternoon as Paddy Power launched their #SaveOurGame campaign with Dunphy and Damien Delaney, Dunphy was asked by Pundit Arena for his views on the current state of football punditry on television.

“I don’t want to be disrespectful to people who are doing it,” Dunphy said, before criticising the RTÉ’s coverage of the Republic of Ireland’s 4-1 friendly win over Andorra on Thursday night.

“But… It’s not Damien (Delaney), Damien is a bright, ray of sunshine, but if you’re referring to the national broadcaster, I think what I saw on the screen this week was embarrassing.

“Embarrassing for everybody and an insult to the audience and it’s not very smart to insult people who are paying for a licence fee and expect a service. And you can quote me on that.”

When asked to expand on why he feels RTÉ’s football coverage is currently “embarrassing”, Dunphy said:

“Well, everybody would have to make their own mind up, I was asked what my opinion of it was and my opinion of it was that it was embarrassing and has been for some time.”

“I did my thing with John and Liam and the late Bill O’Herlihy and loved it.”

In recent years, Dunphy has launched a successful podcast, The Stand, and that now occupies most of his working hours. The former Ireland midfielder went on to say that he doesn’t miss working on the national broadcaster, but he looks back fondly on his days as part of the famous RTÉ panel with John Giles, Liam Brady and Bill O’Herlihy.

“I don’t miss it all, no, I don’t,” he said.

“I’m delighted I’m not a part of it. I did my thing with John and Liam and the late Bill O’Herlihy and loved it. But I don’t regret not being there, no.”

Dunphy praises Virgin Media’s coverage.

“Virgin (Media) have good pundits,” Dunphy continued.

“They have Graeme Souness, they have Brian Kerr, they have Niall Quinn, they have Damien Delaney, who is excellent, a young guy, he’s coming in (and) calls it as he sees it.

“So, I don’t see a problem there. I was asked specifically, or at least I referred specifically, to what RTÉ are offering to the people of this country who pay significant amounts of money for a service in their licence fee, and that’s what I was referring to.”

Damien Delaney on Dunphy.

Damien Delaney, the former Republic of Ireland and Crystal Palace defender who is now working as a pundit for Virgin Media, was alongside Dunphy on Sunday and he praised the contribution of the former Millwall midfielder to football punditry in Ireland.

“I grew up watching the likes of Eamon and John and Liam, and those guys are the standard of punditry,” Delaney said.

“Especially the likes of Eamon, and they had a nice balance between the three of them, and it was always enjoyable watching them.

Eamon Dunphy RTÉ

“You always made sure you tuned in for the half-time show. I think with Eamon, there’s always merit in what he says and all the other lads as well. The honesty that they put forward, at least they call it how they see it, and some people might not agree with that.

“But if you see something a certain way you have to say it, you can sugarcoat it to a certain extent but sooner or later you’re going to have to say it the way you see it. I think that what Eamon is referring to. But absolutely, all those guys set the standard and unfortunately we’re all trying to get there.”


Damien Delaney and Eamon Dunphy unite to ask fans to cheer for England at the Euros.

For every goal England score, Paddy Power will donate €10k to Irish football. #SAVEOURGAME

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