Brain freeze | 

Marty Morrissey hospitalised with memory loss after jumping into cold lake for TV

The 63-year-old has had three health scares recently

Marty Morrissey commentating

Clodagh Meaney

RTE pundit Marty Morrissey has revealed that he was hospitalised with memory loss while he was filming a TV show.

The 63-year-old was filming Marty and Bernard’s Adventure in Co. Wicklow when the incident happened.

Marty jumped into freezing waters at Lough Dan for a segment on the show he formerly hosted with comedian Bernard O’Shea.

The impact of the cold water however saw him hospitalised with Transient Global Amnesia - a sudden interruption of short-term memory - that can be triggered by cold water immersion. Speaking to the RTE guide, Marty said he didn’t “remember doing that programme or sections of that programme.”

“I had to watch it on TV for the first time like everyone else,” he explained.

Marty Morrissey in his native Quilty, Co Clare. Photo: Eamon Ward

It wasn’t Marty’s first health scare either, the Clare man revealed he was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation after he fell off his bike and hurt his ribs. After being assessed, the broadcaster was diagnosed with the condition which causes an irregular, and often a faster than normal heartbeat.

He was also suspected to have Bell’s Palsy after returning from holiday in Thailand.

The broadcaster’s face began to drop on one side - a common symptom of the condition. Thankfully, the issue resolved itself after he spent a night in hospital.

Marty, who just recently launched his memoir ‘It’s Marty’ said that writing about his bad health was the hardest part of authoring the tell-all book.

“That was something I hadn’t done before,” he said. “Thanks be to God I’ve got good health, but at the same time, like all of us, we come to crossroads and we’re saying 'Oh that was a bit close for comfort' and you begin to think about your own mortality.”

The autobiography tells of Morrissey’s early life in Cork before he moved to the Bronx in New York, and his move back to Ireland to settle in County Clare. His book also chronicles his career; from teaching and coaching at Spanish Point to his time as a GAA pundit at RTE.

A self-confessed workaholic, Marty admits that he struggles to get his work-life balance right and says that his health issues didn’t make him slow down:

“I suppose I’m a little more conscious of what I should be doing, although I’m still not doing it in some ways, because I should be doing a lot more exercise.”

“When you get a scare, and you say hopefully you’ll be fine, and I’ll be all sorts of things, particularly when you’ve never been sick a day,” he said.

“You think this will work out alright and it does, thanks be to God. Then after two to three weeks, you’re back working at full belt again.”

The pundit hopes to turn entertainer by bringing his ‘Marty Party’ on the road.

“I’m hoping to do the Marty Party, in the New Year, in various venues around the country, depending on Covid numbers.”

“I’m not going to do too many of them now, just a few to have a bit of fun, a bit of craic,” he added.

When asked by a concert promoter what exactly the event would entail, Marty quipped: “I said I’m not too sure myself, but it’s a bit of fun, a bit of a laugh, a bit of entertainment and it’s me intermixing with people and seeing what happens.”

Marty’s memoir ‘It’s Marty’ is available now.

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