The Gathering History Project interview with RTÉ chairman Tom Savage has had a tremendous reaction.
The online project interviews with Louth people by Harry Lee, have proved one of the most successful Gathering ideas in the country.
In this interview Tom Savage discusses his amazing life story to date, with tales of growing up in Cooley to his years in the priesthood, his communications career, his marriage to Terry Prone - recently announced as Rory McIlroy’s media guru - along with his immense pride in his son, TV3 presenter Anton, his climb to the top of the RTÉ board and the tough stance the national broadcaster has had to take in the wake of the recession.
In reference to the recent departure of Pat Kenny RTE he said RTE couldn’t compete with what was on offer on the outside.
“Pay packets are going to be reduced for all of the network’s top earners, he said. “These would be drastically cut back compared to what had been agreed in the good times of the organisation.”
On his son Anton, who is currently a presenter on Today FM and TV3, Tom is every bit the proud father.
“Yes I would always be proud of him. The fact that I was chairman of RTÉ meant that if he was ever to begin a career in there, the accusation would be made that it only happened because his old man was there. Directly the opposite happened, he forged his own career.”
The Gathering interview with Harry Lee also heard Tom recall some fantastic memories from over the years including his love of Cooley and his continued staunch devotion to Cooley Kickhams.
Proud of his Louth roots he described himself as “Absolutely a Cooley man - let there be no doubt about that. That’s how I identify myself”.
“The older I’ve gotten, the more I like to return both to the area because I think it is physically a very beautiful place. Now it caters for people in terms of restaurants and facilities. It’s a very high class place to be and I’d be very proud of it.”
In respect of the Cooley Kickhams club, he remains optimistic. “They lost out on the county final again and needless to say I was disappointed, but because football is such an essential part of the life of the young people of the area, I have no doubt that Cooley will come again and I very much hope that I’m around to see it.”
County Museum curator, Brian Walsh, said he was delighted that the Gathering History Louth Project can now boast Tom Savage as one of its participants.
“We were thrilled that he so readily agreed to take part in Gathering History Louth. He came to the Museum within a week of us approaching him, which demonstrates how supportive he is of Louth initiatives. He has an amazing life story so far and I’m sure if we meet him in years to come he will have even more fantastic memories to recall.”
You can listen to Tom Savage’s interview for the Gathering History Louth Project at www.gatheringhistory.com