Decent Des | 

Des Cahill says online trolling is nothing to him after years of abuse on the sidelines

"'They’d be all ‘f*** you and the Sunday game’. You’d get all sorts of things (like that) and it makes you more used to it'

RTÉ sports presenter Des Cahill and his wife Caroline Curran with their dogs, Lauren and Harvey. Photo: Tony Gavin

Clodagh Meaney

RTE sports broadcaster Des Cahill has opened up about dealing with online abuse.

The 68-year-old, who is set to appear on Angela Scanlon’s chat show Ask Me Anything tonight, says that years of abuse on the sidelines helped him prepare for online trolling.

“I don’t get love on Twitter. I get lots of, what’s the word, [abuse], yeah. It is abusive,” he said.

When asked about the abuse he gets, Des tells Angela: “You're a w***er!"

“It doesn’t bother me to be honest,” he says, laughing it off.

“And it’s funny, why, because it does bother a lot of people and why wouldn’t it on some levels? But I've been involved in my GAA club all through my career by and large.

“So, for the last 12 years I’ve been with our senior footballers and you’d be on sidelines against opposition clubs and they’d be all ‘f*** you and the Sunday game’. You’d get all sorts of things (like that) and it makes you more used to it,” he admitted.

Des also said that he gets lots of questions online about his hair.

“My hair dye… I don’t dye my hair,” he revealed. You should see Twitter about my hair,” he said.

Back in 2017, Des appeared on RTE show Dancing With The Stars. Now, however, he says he didn’t enjoy being that season’s ‘joke figure.’

"That's harsh when that dawns on you," he said.

Des also chats about family life and how he most recently celebrated his son’s wedding and the birth of his first grandchild.

The GAA pundit was forced to miss his first All-Ireland final since 1972 to attend his son Paul’s big day. The wedding, which was originally supposed to take place in 2020, was postponed due to Covid-19 restrictions.

His daughter Amy gave birth in May, and after missing out on much of his own children’s early days, Des is enjoying his new role.

"I wasn't really around when my kids were born as I was at the Euros in 88 when my first was born and at the World Cup in 1990 when my second was born,” he tells Angela.

“My grandchild is currently living with us and is the apple of my eye,” he says of grandson Bobby Patrick.

A seasoned sports reporter, Des also described his Olympics experiences and his close friendship with Kellie Harrington.

"I'd be quite close to Kellie Harrington long before she became a gold medallist, and I went to a lot of her fights as I wanted her to see me there,” he said.

Des, who covered the Olympics in Tokyo for RTE, added: "The Olympics is funny now as it used to be all amateurs, but now you have multi millionaires competing and people applying for Credit Union loans competing too,” he explained.

Angela Scanlon’s Ask Me Anything airs on Saturday on RTE One at 9.50pm.

Today's Headlines

More Irish Showbiz

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices