Monthly Archives: July 2011

Remembering Philip Greene

Legendary Irish sports commentator Philip Greene (90) passed away in May 2011.

RTÉ reported Sunday, 15 May 2011

The death has taken place of Philip Greene, who was best known as a soccer commentator on RTÉ Radio, as well as being as Head of Sport with the station. Greene began his RTE Radio career in the 1940’s. He was editor, producer and presenter of the popular Sports Stadium programme. His first commentary on a soccer international was the game against Argentina at Dalymount Park in 1951. A life-long Shamrock Rovers and Manchester United supporter, he also wrote a column in the Evening Press newspaper. Although best known as a soccer commentator, Philip Greene also commentated on athletics and cricket. He covered his last soccer international for radio in 1985, the year of his official retirement.

hear Philip Greene in action in this 1957 recording. Ireland v England World Cup qualifier in Dalymount Park. An injury time (90th minute) England equaliser puts Ireland out of qualification for the 1958 world cup finals.

from the Irish Times May 19th 2011

Eoin Greene … recalled the time his father had done a broadcast for the BBC on the Belgium-Ireland European Championships qualifier in 1986 when he and his brother, who were with their father for the commentary, were told to keep quiet until after the match. When the match ended 2-2, his father put down the microphone and told his children to “turn up the volume on the television”. He had covered the match from home.

Irish Radio and all that Jazz

The Minster gets involved
The sponsorship of programmes on Radio ??ireann, or 2RN as it was originally known, had long been a source of contention for some.  Irish companies paid ??5 per five minutes of sponsorship while foreign companies were charged twice this amount.  In the first three months of 1927 advertising revenue amounted to ??200 but the entire revenue for 1928 was just ??28. By 1929 revenue had risen to ??50 per annum.[22] The secretary of the Department of Posts and Telegraphs, P.S. O???Hegarty, thought that advertising on radio should be allowed to die a natural death while Seam??s Clandillon, the station director, declared that, ???from a programme point of view they are a nuisance and are regarded by the listeners as an impertinence.???[23]

The first sponsored programme, by Euthymol toothpaste, was broadcast on the 31st December 1927.  Frequently these programme would use popular or dancehall music to entice the audience and would intersperse advertisements for their clients throughout the show.  Radio ??ireann could be received throughout Western Europe and the sponsored programmes picked up a significant following outside Ireland.

When faced with an attack on fellow minister MacEntee on Irish radio, Gerald Boland cancelled the broadcast.

Sean ??g ?? Ceallaigh was due to deliver a radio lecture on ???Irish Culture: It???s Decline??? on the 11th of January 1934.  The Minster for Posts and Telegraphs, Gerald Boland, stepped in and had the broadcast cancelled.  Justifying the cancellation, Boland stated that, ???Mr. ?? Ceallaigh had made a grossly unfair and unjustified personal attack on the Minister for Finance at Mohill on the 1st of January and must have known that Mr. MacEntee was not responsible for the conduct of the broadcasting service.  I was determined to ensure that he would not avail of the opportunity presented by his broadcast to renew his attack.???[24]

?? Ceallaigh stated that he had submitted the text of his lecture to the station director a week in advance and no objection had been made but Boland questioned the capacity of ?? Ceallaigh to stick to his prepared script.  In an interview on the subject, Boland said, ???that if he (?? Ceallaigh) wants to make a personal attack on a Minister he can do it, but he will not do it over the radio if I can help it.???[25]

Boland also sought to reassure the public that he was taking steps to curtail the amount of jazz music broadcast on Radio ??ireann and to replace it with classical music and military marches.  The Minister had already used his influence to have the words of ???a foreign type of Good Night song,??? that one of the programmes concluded with, excised and he announced that he was prepared to forego the revenue derived from sponsored programmes rather than have them ???serve to advance jazz.??? [26]

via The Anti-Jazz Campaign ~ The Irish Story by Cathal Brennan