The end of an era in terms of League of Ireland commentary this weekend

‘It’s the end of an era in terms of League of Ireland commentary this weekend’ – That’s because well known Dundalk broadcaster Gerry Malone is parting company with local radio station LMFM after almost 30 years.

Gerry, best known to those on Twitter as @LiveatOriel, was a founding member of the station when it was established in 1989.

Local radio as a concept was only in its infancy back then and, as such, it’s doubtful there is a local radio commentator covering the domestic league longer than Gerry.

His voice has been synonymous with Dundalk FC for many years as he has travelled the length and breadth of the country following the side, even during the bleak days of the First Division in the mid-Noughties.

When Dundalk FC won the league title in 1995, his voice was famously played over the tannoy in Oriel Park as Dermot Keely’s side waited the outcome of Derry City’s match with Athlone Town in St Mel’s Park and Shelbourne’s game with St Patrick’s Athletic in Tolka Park, where a win for either Shels or Derry would have won them the league. Both could only manage respective 1-1 draws as Dundalk’s 2-0 victory over Galway Utd – courtesy of goals from Tom McNulty and Mick Doohan – earned them the most unlikely of league victories. It was Gerry who informed much of the Dundalk public of that famous triumph.

He was also on commentary duty for many other memorable occasions, including the FAI Cup wins of 2002 and 2015, the promotion back to the Premier Division in 2008 and in 2014 when the Lilywhites beat Cork City on the final day of the season to claim their first Premier Division title in 19 years on home soil at Oriel Park.

Of course, Gerry’s involvement with Dundalk goes back much further than that. The club is very much in his blood as his late father Jim was a member of the club’s board from the 1950s, filling a variety of roles for over four decades including as chairman, vice chairman, director and club president.

The young Gerry was a virtual ever present at Oriel and became, along with his next door neighbour Jim Murphy, one of the club’s best historians.

He loved nothing more than banter with ‘the Dublin media’ and found a new way to tease them about their supposed bias in recent years via social media.

While that could be classed as banter and craic, Gerry was always on hand to offer support or advice to anyone who needed it. If he could share his knowledge to help a fellow colleague he would while he was a constant advocate of better working conditions for media.

On a personal level, Gerry ferried me from game to game for many years before I could drive – a favour I was delighted to be able to return in more recent times.

There was never a dull moment on any of our many road trips.

Unfortunately due to his redundancy there will be a different voice on LMFM when Dundalk take on Shamrock Rovers in the FAI Cup semi-final at Oriel Park this weekend.
It really is the end of an era.

But the end it is not.

Gerry will be there with a smile on his face, a word for everyone and a view on the game. He has vowed to continue on covering his beloved Dundalk FC and the League of Ireland.

And why not? Our league and Oriel Park, in particular, would be a much duller place without him.

James Rogers

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