On 31 December 1961, there was a dramatic shift in the makeup on Irish society when a television complex based in Donnybrook began broadcasting. A day later the flagship show aired and the wheel was set in motion.
The RTE News has maintained its spot as the premier nationwide programme in Ireland ever since. Every day the public gather around their TV sets to understand and view what was capturing the nation, and the world's, attention.
The point was to captivate an audience. To educate them. To keep them coming back again and again. A system that is epitomised by and peaked with the man who slipped on the ice.
Irish literary great James Joyce once said that a “great part of every human existence is passed in a state which cannot be rendered sensible by the use of wideawake language, cut-and-dry grammar and go-ahead plot." Sometimes words are not enough to reflect the reality.
Ireland was gripped by a treacherous freeze that had significant dangers. Yet this is also Ireland. Humour is our oxygen, every single event in our history is enwrapped and reliant on it. The moment needed to reflect very prevalent dangers but in an unmistakably Irish way. The moment needed to be a man slipping on the ice.
Part of the clip's genius is the fact that even if you were unaware of that context it maintains brilliance. This is action with a universal appeal. Regardless of background, language or standing, the effect is the same.
Right now the nation is a state of division as they argue over what exactly is Ireland's Greatest Video. Families are divided, communities fractured. This is why you must vote for the man who slips on ice. The great unifier. A video for all of Ireland that reflects Ireland.
The hero we don't deserve, but we need.
You can vote for Man Slips on Ice in the race to be crowned Ireland's Greatest YouTube Video below and see all the quarter-final pairings here.