Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh bigraphy, stories - Gaelic games commentator

Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh : biography

20 August 1930 -

Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh ( born 20 August 1930) is an Irish Gaelic games commentator for the Irish national radio and television, RTÉ. In a career that has spanned six decades he has come to be regarded as the "voice of Gaelic games." His prolific career has earned him a place in Guinness World Records.. Irish Independent.

Early life

Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh was born in Dún Síon just outside Dingle, County Kerry in 1930. He was christened Michael Moriarty and was the fourth child in a family of eight. Like many homes in Ireland at the time Ó Muircheartaigh's house contained no radio. His earliest memory of listening to a match commentary was at a neighbour's house in 1939. From that point on he was fascinated by the radio and the voice of Micheál O'Hehir in particular. Ó Muircheartaigh grew up on the family farm and was educated locally in Dingle. In September 1945 he began studying at Coláiste Íosagáin in Baile Bhúirne in the County Cork Gaeltacht where he was in training to be a teacher. It was at this all-Irish school that his name changed from Michael Moriarty to the Irish version Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh. In September 1948 he began the final year of his teacher training at St Patrick's College of Education in Drumcondra, Dublin.


Ó Muircheartaigh has become legendary in Ireland for his unique turns of phrase in the heat of the moment while commentating.

  • "1-5 to 0-8...well from Lapland to the Antarctic, that's level scores in any man's language".
  • "Pat Fox has it on his hurl and 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!"
  • "Some players are consistent and some players are brilliant. Colm McAlarney is consistently brilliant. "
  • "He grabs the sliotar, he's on the 50......he's on the 40......he's on the 30....... he's on the ground."
  • "Seán Óg Ó hAilpín.... his father's from Fermanagh, his mother's from Fiji, neither one of them a hurling stronghold."
  • "Teddy McCarthy to John McCarthy, no relation, John McCarthy back to Teddy McCarthy, still no relation."
  • "Colin Corkery on the 45 lets go with the right boot. It's over the bar. This man 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."
  • "In the first half they played with the wind. In the second half they played with the ball."
  • "Setanta Ó hAilpín....the original Setanta from the old Gaelic stories was ten foot tall, had ten fingers on each hand and ten toes on each foot but even he couldn't be playing better hurling than his namesake here today."
  • "... and 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 you wouldn't have the Kerryman would you?' To which the Egyptian man behind the counter replied '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..."
  • "Anthony Lynch, the Cork corner-back, would be the last person to let you down - his people are undertakers"
  • "Teddy looks at the ball, the ball looks at Teddy."
  • " Dublin have scored two points, one from the hand and one from the land."
  • "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."
  • "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."
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