1 May 2015, 11pm
By Bryan T. Smyth
Cork honoured one of the leading sports television broadcasters and businessman at a gala dinner in the city earlier today. Bill O’ Herlihy, following on his success as a regular presenter on Sunday Sort, Sports Stadium and the Sunday Sports Show, became RTÉ’s chief sports presenter for such events as all subsequent Olympic Games, FIFA World Cups, UEFA European Football Championships and European and World Track and Field Championships. He hosted RTÉ highlights of the Ryder Cup in 2006 when it was at the K Club in Ireland. Outside of RTE he established O’ Herlihy Communications which was is one of Ireland’s leading public relations and communications companies. He stood down earlier this year. Mr. O’ Herlihy was presented with a custom piece of stained glass depicting sporting and leisure Cork, which was created by the renowned stained glass artist Mary J Leen.
Also on the night, a posthumous award was bestowed on the founder of Cork Cancer Research Centre, the late Professor Gerald C O’ Sullivan. Professor O’Sullivan died at his beloved Mercy Hospital, Cork, on Sunday, February 12. He was aged 65 and held the affection and admiration of the entire surgical community, as well as the wider profession and countless patients. When he was elected President of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in 2006, it was the first time since the foundation of the College in 1784 that a Cork surgeon practising in Cork was elected to the highest office.
The Chairman of The Spirit of Cork Award 2015, Robin O’ Sullivan said “This is the second year of The Spirit of Cork Award and we are delighted to honour Bill O’ Herlihy as a Corkman and leading sports broadcaster and businessman and we are particularly pleased that he and his family joined us on May 1st for the presentation of the award. The Spirit of Cork Award was also bestowed posthumously this year. Cork surgeon and founder of Cork Cancer Research Centre Professor Gerald C O’ Sullivan (1942-2012) was honoured. Professor Mary Horgan, Dean, School of Medicine at the College of Medicine and Health at University College Cork read the citation for the award to the late Professor O’ Sullivan.”
The Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr. Mary Shields and the Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr. Alan Coleman lead the guests from the civic, political, business and charity sectors of Cork at the black tie dinner and award ceremony in the Imperial Hotel.