We've ranked the greatest Irish commentators in both TV and radio in the past, but what are the greatest individual moments of commentary? Here, in no particular order, are the greatest moments in our view...
The Nation Holds Its Breath - George Hamilton
Sheer perfection from Hamilton, who never missed a beat of an agonising shootout in Genoa. As with most commentaries, its apogee was its aphorism. "The nation holds its breath" slipped from mouth to mic when Hamilton was told that the viewers of the news on RTE One had linked up live, and with no TV3 or TG4 for competition, literally everyone watching a television in Ireland heard nothing but the thumping of their hearts and the mellifluous tones of Hamilton. (Skip to 13.30 below for the O'Leary penalty).
A Goal! A Goal! A Goal for Offaly! - Micheál O'Hehir
Micheál O'Hehir's debut on this list was superb in its simplicity and reflected perfectly the sheer, dazzling shock and wonder of one of the most seismic
shoves in the back goals in the history of the sport.
Different Class - Jimmy Magee
In Mexico in 1986, RTE witnessed the elision of genius. Diego Maradona twisted a nation's blood, all set to the incantatory musings of Jimmy Magee. It's as if he knew what was going to unfold...Different class.
He's Well and Truly Looked After Now - Micheál O'Hehir
Here is Micheál beautifully summing up the brutality of Gaelic football back in his day. On this occasion, it's Mickey Ned O'Sullivan who is stopped in his tracks. Poor Mickey Ned, captain of Kerry, wasn't around to lift Sam that day, because he was in hospital, but that's another story.
There's a Right Pile-Up - Micheál O'Hehir
O'Hehir built his reputation while working for the BBC during the 1967 Grand National. After a huge pile-up of horses, O'Hehir somehow correctly identified 100-1 shot Foinavon galloping clear.
Maud Gonne, Grainne Mhaol, Mary Robinson....Katie Taylor, Katie Taylor - Seán Bán Breathnach
Sean Bán was on form to welcome a new Irish hero into the pantheon at the 2012 Olympics.
The Drop At Goal....Is Over! - Fred Cogley
On a glorious day for Irish rugby, the late, great Fred Cogley kept it effectively simple.
Drop at Goal, Grand Slam at Stake....He's Got It! - Ryle Nugent
Two drop goals, two heads of RTE Sport....Ryle echoes Cogley in Cardiff.
And for the thirteenth time... - Jimmy Magee
Jimmy's incredible timing is borne out again, listing all of Ireland's previous Olympic medalists, ending seconds before John Treacy crossed for his silver medal in Los Angeles.
(video sadly missing)
Mulligan...Still Mulligan...What A Goal! - Darragh Maloney
One of the great moments of the last two decades, for which Darragh Maloney delivered the perfect mix of shock, awe, and exhilaration.
HOLY MOSES! - Marty Morrissey
In one of the most dramatic finishes to any All-Ireland final, Marty, on radio duty, summed it up perfectly. His "Holy Moses" is perhaps the only viral moment on the list.
12 - 'She's done it!' - Hugh Cahill
Hugh Cahill's commentary of Kellie Harrington's gold medal victory over Beatriz Ferreira in Tokyo was pretty brilliant but as he explained to the website in 2021, the bold moment he called the fight for Harrington could have all gone wrong. "I almost fucked the whole thing up in that I kind of preempted the judges decision, saying it was unanimous before her hand was held!"
'And the winner, by unanimous decision....'
How. Sweet. It. Is.#olympics #tokyo2020 #RTESport #boxing
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— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) August 8, 2021
Note: The absence of Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh is conspicuous on this list, and while his tone and lyricism makes him arguably the greatest commentator of all, we couldn't think of any isolated moments of commentary bar the famous one-liners (Lazarus, Colin Corkery etc). But do share your favourite moments from his, or anyone else's, career.