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Martin O'Neill Reveals Awkward 'Tête-à-Tête' With Eamon Dunphy In Hotel Bar After Libel Case

Martin O'Neill Reveals Awkward 'Tête-à-Tête' With Eamon Dunphy In Hotel Bar After Libel Case
Simon Kelly
By Simon Kelly
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It's fair to say that Martin O'Neill had his critics. Even today, the controversial former Ireland manager still divides opinion on whether his stint in the Ireland hot seat was a successful one or not.

There was one man that had well and truly had enough of O'Neill towards the end of his tenure though, and that was Eamon Dunphy. The former RTÉ pundit was a longstanding critic of O'Neill and famously slammed him after a miserable night in the Aviva when Ireland lost 5-1 to Denmark, ending their hopes of World Cup qualification.

Debating on whether O'Neill was still a good manager, Dunphy said after the match that "the evidence is that he isn't".


In his new autobiography On Days Like These, O'Neill has discussed a fairly awkward meeting between himself and Dunphy in an empty hotel lounge 'abroad' just after O'Neill had been named Ireland manager.

In January I head off for a holiday abroad. There is a Premier League game on TV that I want to see, but the game is not showing on the television in the bedroom so I head down to the bar area to see if it's on there. Someone else has the same idea and I bump into Eamon Dunphy, the RTÉ pundit and soccer writer for one of Ireland's newspapers.

The scene is set, two massive figures of Irish football sat alone in a foreign bar, it's the stuff you see in movies. O'Neill believes that Dunphy is there to write up a match report, but the two of them are both at least thirty minutes late for the first-half.

I haven't spoke to him since I won a case against RTÉ many years ago when Eamon, in his punditry role, managed to libel me on live television. It's an awkward moment with just the two of us in an empty lounge, but initial forced conversation soon transforms into a more pleasant tête-à-tête.

I jokingly thank him for RTÉ's compensation from the case, to which he replies that it wasn't his money anyway. At least it's an ice-breaker, or so I think. He wishes me good luck in my role as the Republic of Ireland manager.

It's an absolutely golden account of proceedings and we can only imagine how the rest of the conversation went. We'd certainly love to hear Dunphy's take on the afternoon.

Not much has been reported about the libel action between O'Neill and Dunphy.


SEE ALSO: Martin O'Neill Offers Withering Takedown Of Keith Andrews' Footballing Credentials


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