O'Driscoll criticises media over invasion of privacy


IRISH RUGBY captain Brian O’Driscoll has raised concerns about invasion of privacy by members of the media, a Hot Pressmagazine interview has revealed.

O’Driscoll recounted an example of a confrontation with a photographer in December.

“What irritates me is like last month when I had bagfuls of Christmas shopping and I spotted this guy manoeuvring his way through the people on the pavement to take a picture.

“I tried to give him the slip by disappearing into the Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre, but he followed me in and tells me he’s going to get the shot, so I might as well deal with it. I said, ‘What? Just leave me alone. I give you enough of my time at other things’. And he more or less laughed in my face.”

He said some of the media coverage of Gerry Ryan’s death was “absolutely disgusting”.

Speaking about rugby, he described as a “great shame” the thousands of empty seats during recent internationals at the new Lansdowne Road stadium, which was blamed on ticket prices.

O’Driscoll said the fans were not at fault. “I’m certainly not going to blame supporters for not fronting up money that they didn’t have. Their loyalty’s never been in question before and it certainly isn’t now,” he said.

“For the 11 years I’ve been playing for Ireland, it’s been a given that our home games have been full or close to full.

“This was the first time we didn’t have that and it was a great shame because the bigger the crowd, the bigger the buzz you get off them,” he said. “The cheer you get from a full stadium definitely affects the team.”

His retirement plans are on hold. “I’m afraid that when I stop playing, the inner fat person in me will be revealed.”

The interview can be read in the latest edition of Hot Pressmagazine, which is out today.