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Statement by President Michael D. Higgins on the death of Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh

Date: Tue 25th Jun, 2024 | 14:18

“Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh, and in particular his unmistakable voice, will forever be linked with our memories of some of the greatest matches in GAA history.  His beautiful Irish delivered with a love of its sounds and sense to Gaelic games is a wonderful legacy that Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh leaves. 

Indeed, so many matches may in fact be remembered more for his commentary than for the action on the pitch. For Mícheál turned every match into an epic tale, his commentaries capturing like no other the sense of occasion, the atmosphere in the stadium and on the terraces, the ebb and flow of the play and of every movement.

Mícheál’s encyclopaedic knowledge of players, their clubs, antecedents and relatives, his evocation of each parish and townland across the country, provided unparalleled insight to the listener and viewer.

Over the 61 years over which he provided us with such fine commentaries, his unique and distinctive voice transformed sound to picture, effortlessly filling us with the atmosphere of anticipation of victory or defeat, but most of all, with immense suspense, excitement and delight.

Away from the microphone, Mícheál was full of kindness and wry humour, a man who will be remembered fondly by all of his colleagues, former students, and all those throughout the country and among our diaspora who got such joy from his commentaries each weekend.

As chairman of Bord na Gaeilge, he was an activist for the Irish language and travelled the country promoting the Irish language in all its aspects.  I recall wondering at the long journeys he undertook to be back in his native Kerry.

May I express my deepest condolences to his family and many friends.”