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‘Speed dating’ — Mayo media style


TALKING HEADS Reporters are pictured interviewing Tom Parsons via telephone at the recent All-Ireland Final press night. Pic: via Twitter @mickeygallWP

Edwin McGreal

SO scattered around the country are Mayo footballers that when it came to organising players for the All-Ireland final press night, Mayo’s media co-ordinator Liam Horan was running out of options.
Tom Parsons admitted he said something along the lines of: “I’d do it but for the fact I’m in Dublin”.
Of course Horan saw an inch and took a mile. “We’ll do it over the phone so”.
The Charlestown midfielder was, for once, fenced in.
So it came to pass on Thursday week last that you had the surreal (and slightly awkward) situation that many national journalists came down from Dublin to Breaffy House Hotel to gather with local scribes around Liam Horan’s mobile phone, and interview Parsons, who was on a speaker from Dublin.
It was not the only interview so, of course, it was worth the trip for face-to-face chats with Stephen Rochford, Brendan Harrison, Stephen Coen and Diarmuid O’Connor.
But the Parsons interview was the pick of them. Some national journalists reckoned he would not have been near as engaging if he was sat in front of us. That must say something for the ‘appearance’ and ‘fragrance’ of some scribes. We won’t name names!
But before the interview got going, there was the type of awkwardness you could imagine from a speed dating night gone wrong.
Picture the scene: Liam Horan calls Tom Parsons and puts the phone down in the middle of the table. Silence. Total silence.
“Somebody ask a question there, lads,” said Horan. Cue lots of nervous looking at the ground and a wave of shyness overcomes all. It was like the first teenage disco all over again.
Parsons asks do we need to do introductions. Still silence from the fourth estate.
“They don’t want to start,” jokes Parsons. Horan pleads once more. Nothing. He takes action.
“Okay, shoot there lads. Edwin McGreal is going to ask the first question.”
Ah Jaysus.
Maybe Tom felt sorry for us and so ended up giving us some gold. Maybe the silent treatment is the way forward. 

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