Seán Óg O Ceallacháin

(12/05/1923 - 17/02/2013)

Seán Óg Ó Ceallacháin (1923–2013), a prominent sports broadcaster and hurler, was born in Newcastle West, County Limerick, and grew up in Fairview in Dublin. He also was a talented actor and playright, and won the best actor award at the 1954 All-Ireland Amateur Drama Championship as a member of the Walkinstown Players for his presentation of Andressh in “Spring” and Larry Fogarty in “The Whip Hand”. Raised in a family deeply involved in the G.A.A., Ó Ceallacháin inherited a passion for sports and the Irish language from his father, John O’Callaghan, who pioneered sports broadcasting on Irish radio.

Ó Ceallacháin’s early life was marked by a diverse range of interests, including sports, singing, and acting. He excelled in hurling and Gaelic football, representing Dublin in both sports during the 1940s and early 1950s. Notably, he played in the 1948 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Final, showcasing his athletic prowess.

Beyond sports, Ó Ceallacháin embarked on a distinguished broadcasting career. He succeeded his father on Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ), hosting the renowned Gaelic Sports Results program for an astonishing fifty-eight years. His clear voice and comprehensive coverage endeared him to listeners worldwide, becoming a cherished Sunday night tradition for the Irish diaspora.

Ó Ceallacháin’s contributions extended beyond broadcasting. He was an accomplished playwright and actor, notably winning the best actor award at the 1954 All-Ireland Amateur Drama Championship as a member of the Walkinstown Players. His involvement in drama underscored his multifaceted talents and cultural contributions.

Throughout his life, Ó Ceallacháin remained deeply connected to the GAA community, advocating for players’ rights and challenging conventions. He faced controversies, including disputes with GAA officials over his candid reporting, yet his dedication to fair and transparent coverage never wavered.

In addition to his media endeavours, Ó Ceallacháin was an active member of his community and a devout Catholic. He participated in campaigns for social justice, including the exhumation and reburial of IRA members executed during the Irish War of Independence.

Ó Ceallacháin’s autobiography, “Seán Óg: His Own Story,” provides insight into his remarkable life and contributions to Irish culture. His legacy as a pioneering broadcaster, talented athlete, and cultural ambassador endures, leaving his mark on Ireland’s sporting and media landscape.

He died on 17 February 2013 and is buried in Fingal cemetery.

Person Photo
Connection with area: Sports broadcaster and hurler who took part in in amateur drama with the Walkinstown Players.