That Marty Whelan tattoo? If I were Gay Byrne, up in heaven, I’d be very annoyed

Rosita Boland: Phil O’Kelly lost a bet. I’d say he’s paying a high price for it

“I’m getting a lot of messages that I have been immortalised as a tattoo. What’s all this about...?” a confused Marty Whelan tweeted on Monday.

There are a lot of tattoos out there, on arms and legs and chests and all sorts of body parts, but I’m betting that Phil O’Kelly has the only tattoo in Ireland – the world, in fact – of the RTÉ broadcaster.

It’s a great big tattoo, too. A huge one. Marty’s face is now on O’Kelly’s thigh. A genius-stroke-terrifying tweet is going around that animates Tattoo Marty’s face on a deepfake app, so that it looks both as if it’s singing and as if it’s about to burst out of O’Kelly’s body, a bit like in that infamous scene from Alien.

So we know who Marty Whelan – the popular, laid-back, mustachioed Lyric FM host – is, but who is Phil O’Kelly?


Phil O’Kelly is a man who lost a bet on something I believe is called Fantasy Football. I know zero about football, so obviously I know minus zero about Fantasy Football. Anyway, Phil lost a bet with a mate over some imaginary game involving a ball, and his forfeit was to get a tattoo at least the size of a €2 coin. I don’t know why this size was specified, but I guess all tattoos have to start somewhere.

The winner got to choose what the tattoo was going to be of, and the loser – Phil – got to choose where it went. Don’t ask me why Marty Whelan’s face was chosen. Personally, if I were Gay Byrne, up in heaven, I’d be very annoyed. But Marty in the Morning with the Mighty Moustache was the chosen one.

And so it came to pass that Phil got his bonkers tattoo of Marty’s face, and did what everyone does these days – stuck the whole story on social media, where it promptly went viral.

Now, Marty. You know what you have to do. You now have to get a tattoo of Phil on one of your fine legs, and when the two of you meet up for a drink, you will be a magnificent quartet of talking heads.