Life after the Leaving: Marty Morrissey’s ‘circuitous route’ into broadcasting

‘There is no such thing as an overnight success in any profession’

Marty Morrissey

Marty Morrissey


“I was born in Cork but was raised in New York. My family moved back to Ireland when I was 10 and I went straight into the then all-boys school of St Flannan’s in Ennis, Co Clare.

“I was 16 when I sat the Leaving Cert and it was the toughest exam I ever sat.

“I didn’t really know what I wanted to do at the time because I was quite young.

“I studied all the main subjects plus chemistry, physics and Latin. I got five honours in my Leaving Cert so I went on to study medicine at University College Cork. After three years of medicine, I switched to studying microbiology and physics.

“I then went on to do an HDip to become a teacher. I did a master’s in education at NUI Galway and my thesis was on the history of educational broadcasting in RTÉ.

“I really enjoyed teaching but I was only 21 and had an inkling I would like to get into broadcasting. I eventually did but I took a circuitous route.

“I ended up commentating on a local club game in Clare in the early 1980s and then it all took off. I worked for various TV and radio channels in Cork, Clare, Dublin and London.”

“I kept sending videos up to RTÉ and I kept applying and knocking on doors. Eventually, the late Tim O’Connor, who was very kind to me, gave me a start.

“My advice to young people receiving results is to never get down-hearted. If one door doesn’t open, knock on another one.

“Your dreams will be fulfilled. It may not be what you originally planned for yourself but it will all work out in the end.

“There is no such thing as an overnight success in any profession, particularly in broadcasting or the media. My advice is, never give up.

“If you make a mistake, own up to it and always be ready to dust yourself down and go again.

“You can’t be too sensitive and you will get your fair share of knocks but it is a hugely enjoyable and rewarding career.

“I would advise anyone thinking of going into journalism or broadcasting to go out there and get real experience so you can learn your trade. Local media provides a great training ground for young people so try and start there.”