Gearóid Ó Tighearnaigh (Gerry Tierney), Ireland's highly popular bi-
Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
Gerry's signature tune
A short biography:
His father -
At one time his childhood home served as the local library for the village and his father would write letters for the neighbourhood calling on Gerry and his siblings to do some of the writing out “in their best hand”. For Christmas, they each got a shiny penny and an orange. Gerry recalled not seeing the sea until he was aged 7 and being enthralled by the sound and smell of it. His family has a childhood book of his where he had pencilled a note next to the word dolphin which said “a fabulous sea creature” and so the lovely dolphin is. He was educated at St. Colman’s College, Fermoy Co. Cork as a boarder and excelled in academics and sports. Maths, physics and hurling were particular favourites (and he recalled scoring 110% in a physics paper by perfectly answering As Gaeilge and getting the standard 10% uplift given to those responding “in the medium”).
He moved to Dublin after his Leaving Certificate to join the Civil Service. After 10 years in the capital he met the love of his life -
“My intention and my hope at all times is to entertain. I’m not trying to educate (what presumption!) nor am I interested in playing ‘good’ music, but I hope in every programme to give pleasure to the average listener who, like myself, is a bit of a magpie in musical matters”. He goes on to say “I try to have variety in each programme – a bit of opera, a bit of ballet, a folk-
On RTE Television, he featured as a regular character – Dick – in an Irish language programme 'Labhair Gaeilge Linn’ which was an educational programme in conversational Irish aimed at those who had studied the language at school. On radio, he also played the Quizmaster role on RTE's Twenty Questions quiz show with Dominic O’Riordan, Bill O’Donovan, Tony Ó Dálaigh and Séan Ó Murchú where each question was led by establishing whether it was "animal, vegetable or mineral?". This show toured parish halls up and down the country – usually catered for brilliantly by the local Ladies clubs. It proved another firm RTE family favourite.
Gerry advanced rapidly within the Civil Service reaching the grade of Principal Officer in the Dept. of Justice having served in many departments throughout his career. He collaborated closely with Jack Lynch (another St. Colman’s graduate) when Jack became Taoiseach, on speech writing and sensitive aspects of foreign diplomacy. His work in the Justice Dept. required great skill behind-
Sadly, Gerry died suddenly of a heart attack in January 1979 at the age of 55. He was a lifelong smoker (from aged 8 when he and his pals would buy Woodbine cigarettes one at a time from the local shop!), which must have contributed. Gerry was honoured by a police-