Ó Muircheartaigh to retire

RTÉ's legendary Gaelic Games commentator, Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh, has announced that he is retiring.

He will provide commentary on his last All-Ireland Final on Sunday when Cork face Down in the football final at Croke Park, the national broadcaster reports.

Speaking on Morning Ireland on RTÉ Radio 1, Ó Muircheartaigh said he decided to bow out while he was still feeling the enjoyment of commentary.

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“I decided maybe the time to go is when you're still enjoying it. I've been at it a long time; it's been most enjoyable and a privilege to be in that position.

'There's only a while in everything. Sin mar a tá an scéal.'

He added: 'I have always regarded my long association with RTÉ, broadcasting Gaelic Games, as a massive privilege; it brought the national broadcaster and the GAA together from the time that 2RN went on the air in 1926.

'It enabled me to meet and get to know generations of great sportsmen and women and many of those associated with them. It was an honour for me to be at the source of this wonderful entertainment, to be part of a continuous and successful venture.

'Tá mé thar a bheith buíoch as an deis baint a bheith agam leis an bhfeachtas.”

Ó Muircheartaigh will be in the commentary box for the International Rules Series between Ireland and Australia in October.

He received widespread tributes last month on the occasion of his 80th birthday, with a special tribute program broadcast on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta.

Ó Muircheartaigh was born in Dún Síon just outside Dingle, Co Kerry, in 1930.

His first assignment for RTÉ was to provide an all-Irish commentary on the 1949 Railway Cup Final on St Patrick's Day; he continued teaching up until the 1980s when he became a full-time broadcaster with RTÉ.

While he has been broadcasting commentaries in English on RTÉ Radio since 1956, Ó Muircheartaigh also covered All-Ireland Minor Semi-Finals and Finals in both hurling and football in the Irish language on RTÉ Television, for over 25 years from the inception of television coverage in 1962.

When the legendary Mícheál O'Hehir retired from broadcasting in the mid-1980s, Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh took over as RTÉ Radio 1's premier radio commentator.