In his own words: The genius of Micheál Ó Muircheartáigh

In 2014, legendary GAA commentator Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh, scaled Ireland’s highest Mountain and lifted the Sam Maguire Cup on the summit of Carrauntoohil with Kerry footballer, centre, Seamus Moynihan and mountain guide, Piaras Kelly. The event ‘Sam to Summit’ was in aid of the Alan Kerins Project.
Picture: Valerie O’Sullivan

His microphone has been silent since he commentated on his last game, the All-Ireland football final between Cork and Down in 2010, but his wonderful way with words, his quick turn of phrase and his trademark wit, will live on for generations to come.

Here is a small reminder of just some of the gems the late great Micheál Ó Muircheartáigh delivered during the course of his work down through the years in his position as Ireland’s best loved GAA commentator in a career than lasted an astonishing 61 years.

The legendary Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh

“Pat Fox is motoring well now but here comes Joe Rabbitte hot on his tail… I’ve seen it all now, a Rabbitte chasing a Fox around Croke Park!”

“Pat Fox out to the forty and grabs the sliothar. I bought a dog from his father last week. Fox turns and sprints for goal. The dog ran a great race last Tuesday in Limerick. Fox, to the 21, fires a shot – it goes to the left and wide. And the dog lost as well”.

 “Seán Óg Ó hAilpín: his father’s from Fermanagh, his mother’s from Fiji. Neither a hurling stronghold”.

“Mike Houlihan for Limerick had his jaw broken by a kick from a bullock two months ago. He’s back now. ‘Twas some bullock that broke Mike Houlihan’s jaw”.

Micheél Ó Muircheartaigh chatting with the late Fr Kevin McNamara

“Anthony Lynch, the Cork corner-back, will be the last person to let you down – his people are undertakers”.

“Colin Corkery shouldn’t be playing football. He’s made an almost Lazarus-like recovery from a heart condition. Lazarus was a great man but he couldn’t kick points like Colin Corkery”.

“The stopwatch has stopped. It’s up to God and the referee now. The referee is Pat Horan. God is God”.

“Dublin have scored two points, one from the hand and one from the land”.

“Teddy McCarthy to Mick McCarthy, no relation, Mick McCarthy back to Teddy McCarthy, still no relation”.

“Teddy looks at the ball, the ball looks at Teddy”.

Micheal’s big selling 2006 autobiography

“I saw a few Sligo people at Mass in Gardiner Street this morning and the omens seem to be good for them. The priest was wearing the same colours as the Sligo jersey. 40 yards out on the Hogan Stand side of the field, Ciarán Whelan goes on a rampage– it’s a goal. So much for religion”.

“He grabs the sliothar, he’s on the 50. He’s on the 40. He’s on the 30… he’s on the ground”.

“Brian Dooher is down injured. And while he is, I’ll tell ye a little story: I was in Times Square in New York last week and I was missing the championship back home. So I approached a newsstand and I said, “I suppose ye wouldn’t have The Kerryman, would ye?” To which, the Egyptian behind the counter turned to me and he said, “Do you want the North Kerry edition, or the South Kerry edition?” He had both – so I bought both. And Dooher is back on his feet”.

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