After 60 years, the voice of GAA Micheal is set to hang up his mic
ICON: Taoiseach pays tribute to 'vivid and passionate' broadcasts
Legendary sports broadcaster Micheal O Muircheartaigh will hang up his microphone for the last time this weekend after 60 years of radio commentary on GAA matches.
Taoiseach Brian Cowen today paid tribute to the broadcaster for his "vivid and passionate" style of commentary, his love of the games and his inspiration to young people.
The veteran voice of Gaelic games, who recently celebrated his 80th birthday, will broadcast his last match-- for the All Ireland final between Cork and Down -- on Sunday.
While he will officially retire this weekend, he will be in the commentary box for the International Rules Series between Ireland and Australia in October.
He began his career in the 1940s when Raidio Eireann approached student teachers at St Patrick's teacher training college in Drumcondra looking for someone to commentate in Irish on GAA matches.
"Fortunately for me they asked me," he said, and his first broadcast was a Railway Cup final the following week.
Of his decision to retire, he said "there is only a while for everything. Maybe the time to go is while you still enjoy it, that way you have a positive view of it."
He described his job as "most enjoyable" right throughout, that it was "a privilege to be in that position" and he "knocked great entertainment out of it".
Part of the enjoyment, he added, was not alone the matches but "getting to know people of different generations in every county of Ireland".
Of his unique style of commentary, he says: "I don't know about style. I never set out to have any style except to be myself. Your job is to relay whats happening. You just describe it".
The octogenarian is quite happy too that many people requote his unusual descriptions in matches. "You know, I like it."
And his love of GAA has not diminished over the years. "Where else would you get entertainment like the GAA?"
The 80-year-old will not be idle in his retirement and has plans to train greyhounds.
"I haven't had a greyhound for a while because of the regular Saturday matches," he explains.
He said "I'm on the look out for a fairly handy greyhound" but he will "still be at a match somewhere" on Sundays.
- ‘I’ve seen it all now, a Rabbitte chasing a Fox around Croke Park...’ O Muircheartaigh on the microphone