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  • 40cm x 33cm Co Cork  

    Every country has its own slang terms or local colloquialisms and Ireland is no different. Many of the country's famous sayings are well-known worldwide, but there may be one or two you're not familiar with. No doubt you'll be wanting to experience the 'craic' for yourself as you explore your new surroundings, so we've put together this 'bang-on' guide to the local lingo!

    Craic is probably the most popular and familiar slang phrase, simply meaning ‘fun’ or ‘banter’, just good times. It has origins with the Ulster Scots, who told of the crack, the Gaelic spelling not fully popularised in Ireland until the 1970s, when it was the catchphrase of the Irish-language TV show SBB ina Shuí.

    Some other slang phrases might not be quite as familiar, and each region of Ireland has its own particular lingo, but here are some of the weird and wonderful words and phrases that might come in handy, and save you from making an eejit or a gowl of yourself!

    Gowl: An annoying person. Ah, ye GOW-EL ye!

    Wisht: Shush! A handy one for in the cinema, or for chatterboxes in lectures.

    Scarlet: Embarrassed. Hopefully not because you’ve been a gowl. I was such an eejit, I was scarlet!

    Wired to the moon: Maybe you’ve been out late, enjoying the craic a little too much, and you’ve grabbed a triple espresso on the way to the lecture theatre? You’re wired to the moon.

    Wee: Small, but everything in Ireland is wee. If Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson were to visit Ireland, he’d be Wee Dwayne.

    Quare: Meaning ‘great’. It’s quare weather out today! Also used for ‘very’. It’s quare warm today!

    Savage: Something excellent. Was it a good craic last night? Oh, it was savage!

    The Jacks: The toilets, fir jacks for the mens, ban jacks for the ladies, not to be confused with…

    Banjaxed: Broken. Ruined.

    Happy out: Simply happy. You’re enjoying the craic, having a quare old time, you’re happy out.

    Sure look at it: A suitable reply to nearly any statement. Isn’t this weather grand? Ah, sure look at it!

    Ossified: Very drunk. Regretfully so. See also: langers, blathered, locked.

    The messages: If you hear people referring to doing the messages, they're going shopping. Does anyone need anything? I’m heading out to do the messages.

    The press: An Irish term for the cupboard. You might want to check you’ve enough biscuits in the press, before you set off to do the messages.

    Are you okay?: If the barman is asking you this, he’s not checking on your state of being, simply wanting to know what you want to order.

    I’ve a throat on me: Thirsty. Just don’t get too ossified and make an eejit of yourself!

    Me ould segotia, me ould sweat, me ould flower: Best friend.

    Aculsha: An old term of affection, from a chuisle mo chroí, ‘pulse of my heart’

    A soft day: A drizzly rainy, misty day.

    Acting the maggot: Being silly, making a nuisance. An annoying person.

    Making a bags of it: Making a mess of something.

    Cat altogether: Something bad. If the weather is terrible, it could be cat altogether out there.

    Even if you’re apprehensive about using some of these phrases in your conversations, it’ll certainly help you understand what your new Irish friends are saying. Ah, it was quare warm yesterday, I’d meant to do the messages, but I’d quite the throat on me. I got utterly langers, made a right gowl of meself acting the maggot, and I’m totally banjaxed today. Savage!  
  • Framed copies of both the An Post sponsored Gaelic Football & Hurling Teams of the Millennium in the form of commemorative postage stamps of each of the nominees. Dimensions: 36cm x 29cm      Glazed

    "The An Post-GAA Team of the Millennium was unveiled at Croke Park yesterday. The selection which serves as the first 15 inductions into the GAA's new Hall of Fame has also been marked by an issue of 15 commemorative stamps by An Post. The stamps will be available in a variety of combinations from today. Next year, a similar exercise will take place to honour 15 hurlers.

    There was some comment on the absence of Dublin's Brian Mullins and Jack O'Shea from Kerry but it seemed generally appreciated that there were only two centrefield slots on the team and someone had to lose out. Tommy Murphy, the Boy Wonder of the 1930s Laois team which won three Leinster titles in a row, who was included ahead of Mullins and O'Shea had the added distinction of being the only player honoured who had not won an All-Ireland medal.

    Not surprisingly, Kerry - who top the All-Ireland roll of honour with 31 titles - lead the way on the team with six selections. Despite being clearly second behind Kerry with 22 All-Irelands, Dublin provide only one player, Kevin Heffernan at left corner forward. Galway and Mayo have two players each with one from Cavan, Down, Meath and Laois making up the balance.

    Joe McDonagh, President of the GAA, described the project as a reflection "on the history and evolution of our association, its games and its central characters, the players who have left such giant footprints in the sands that is the chronicle of the GAA".

    The Hall of Fame which is inaugurated by this team will be represented all through Croke Park, according the GAA director general Liam Mulvihill. He said that the Hall will be added to with a small number of inductions on an annual basis.

    "We decided that this team would be the initial members of the Hall of Fame and we were planning to honour those selected around the main areas of the concourse of the re-developed stadium, in the bottom tier and the upper tier. We wanted those ordinary tiers where ordinary supporters gather as the most appropriate place to honour those players.

    "The inductions will be in very small numbers, we're probably talking about two a year. Two footballers, two hurlers or one footballer and one hurler. It has to be made very, very special."

    Paddy Downey, formerly GAA correspondent of The Irish Times, was one of the adjudicators and confirmed the widespread feeling that the task of selecting such a team wasn't an enviable one.

    "It's nearly impossible because there's so many players, particularly in what you might call the big, central positions: midfield, centre-back, full back. Already people are saying to me: `why isn't Brian Mullins on, why isn't Paddy Kennedy of Kerry, Jack O'Shea - above all at the present time' and so on.

    "We also had the problem of not picking a half-century team of people we had seen ourselves. You could also argue how could we pick someone we hadn't seen - Dick Fitzgerald, apparently one of the greatest players of all time, Paul Russell of Kerry, Jack Higgins of Kildare, from the earlier part of the century.

    "I was conscious that we could have gone further back and taken the word of our predecessors in journalism who had praised these players and done so in print. Inevitably it came to be more a team of the second half of the century than the early years."

    Martin O'Connell of Meath was the only player of what might roughly be called contemporary times - one whose career was largely after the selection of the 1984 Centenary Team - to earn a place.

    "I was surprised," he said. "I didn't even know until I came up here. I arrived a bit late and Micheal O Muircheartaigh was just reading out the names. I was absolutely delighted."

  • Charming framed postcard of the famous John Keating R.H.A painting The Aran Fisherman and his wife . 20cm x 15cm

    he Paintings of Sean Keating

    • 1 January 1978
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    He sustained a belief in the dream world that could be created out of ordinary life as it surrounded him, writes Bruce Arnold in an evaluation of the work of the late Sean Keating. SEAN KEATING'S place in Irish art was, to a large extent, defined for him. As a traditional realist he responded to events; he painted historyo individual people, 'types', and the small worlds with" which they care associated. It was fortunate for him that his early life coincided with moomentous events, and it was natural, given his direct and forceful personnality, that he should attempt to grapple with such events and turn them into art.. His equipment for doing so was simple, traditional, and more or less unchanging throughout his long life. And it was acquired virtually from one source., William Orpen. Keating met Orpen in 1907 when he came from Limerick to Dublin as a student at the Metropolitan School of Art. He was Orpens favourite pupil, his friend, and then his studio assistant. The association lasted until the introduction of conscription in the second year of the first world war. At that point, having failed to persuade Orpen to leave England' and return to Ireland for the sake of Irish painting, Keating came home on his own and em barked on a career as a painter thatwas governned by intense nationalism, love of the language, a belief in the purity of the simple peasant life - which, for Keatting, was epitomised by the Aran Islands - and a repudiation of modernism in all its forms. He may be said to have learnt only the last of these from Orpen. What he had learnt, however, was a simplicity of line, a perfected co-ordination of hand and eye, and an understanding of paint, all of which provided a firm foundation for the increasingly hard task of sustaining realism through a very long life. Who shall judge his work finally? At times mawkish, at times sentimental, there is at the same time alway, ..I thread of truth and innocence III Keating's vision, a devastating cornbin ation when one is thinking of possterity. In his turn, Sean Keating inspu ,.: fresh generations of Irish artists. VIrrtually alone in the genera non of pam ters taught by Orpen , he sustained a belief not only in the principle, of sound draughtmanship , good technique, well primed canvasses. and an ancient and traditional use of paint. but also in the dream world that could he created out of the stuff of or dinar y life as it surrounded him. Like John Synge, Keating recognised .m the Irish character that propensity towards self-dramatisation that rescues humanity from the fearful boredom that surrrounds so much of life. And it Cd me to form a central part of his art Wheether he is painting a flying column resting during the War of Independence, a fisherman facing the western seas, or simply a farmer facing the eternal and unending struggle with the land, Keating was able to see forms of herooism and to paint them into the eyes and gestures. It is this that distinguishes his art, at its best, from what is loosely called the academic tradition in Irish art. In a rough and ready way, directly, instinctively, sometimes with inexcussable gaucheness, but rarely if ever with any loss of the essentials of line and colour, Sean Keating painted a record of his own time. He repudiated modernism because, for him, it departted from truth, and truth was something for which he had unqualified admiration. ' He admired beauty in women, characcter in men. He knew that, for both men and women, the best was often made out of threadbare essentials: yet he also knew that the beauty . and the character were often that much more exciting and dramatic because of the simplicity in achieving them. This is very often the message of his work. It is love that strikes fire in the heart of Christy Mahon, in 'The Playboy of the Western World', and makes him into a hero. And there is something of the same instinct, an instinct towards self-preservation, in the faces of Sean Keating's men and women. There was something of it in Keating himself. It made him a more forceful and dynamic artist that contemporaries like Leo Whelan and Patrick Tuohy, and pushed hini into an undisputed leadership of traditional realism in the period between the wars. For Irish art itself this was probably unfortunate. Keating's uncompromising lack of. sympathy with alternative traditions in art, when throughout Europe diversity and fragmentation was greater than at any other period in history, meant that divisions and antagonisms weakened still further the tread bare texture of Irish art. Organisations like the RHA and Living Art were set against each other; so were people; and 'all this at a time of public indifference, when few works by anyone were being bought.  
  • 30cm x 35cm These atmospheric prints dating from the early 20th century are from the Aran collection,a series of superbly photographed images depicting life on the Aran Islands at the turn of the last century. "The early part of the 20th century saw little change come to the Aran Islands so far removed from outside influences off the west coast of Ireland.As if time had stood still ,these unique photographs depict the islanders going about their daily lives as they had done for centuries in almost complete self sufficiency from the outside world and as a result form an integral part of our national heritage.
    Aran Islands: on the road to Synge’s Chair, on Inishmaan. Photograph: Andy Haslam/New York Times

    Aran Islands: on the road to Synge’s Chair, on Inishmaan. Photograph: Andy Haslam/New York Times

     
     
    Aran Islands: the pub on Inishmaan. Photograph: Andy Haslam/New York Times
    Aran Islands: the Man of Aran Fudge shop, at Kilmurvey Craft Village, on Inishmore. Photograph: Andy Haslam/New York Times
  • 30cm x 35cm These atmospheric prints dating from the early 20th century are from the Aran collection,a series of superbly photographed images depicting life on the Aran Islands at the turn of the last century. "The early part of the 20th century saw little change come to the Aran Islands so far removed from outside influences off the west coast of Ireland.As if time had stood still ,these unique photographs depict the islanders going about their daily lives as they had done for centuries in almost complete self sufficiency from the outside world and as a result form an integral part of our national heritage.
    Aran Islands: on the road to Synge’s Chair, on Inishmaan. Photograph: Andy Haslam/New York Times

    Aran Islands: on the road to Synge’s Chair, on Inishmaan. Photograph: Andy Haslam/New York Times

     
     
    Aran Islands: the pub on Inishmaan. Photograph: Andy Haslam/New York Times
    Aran Islands: the Man of Aran Fudge shop, at Kilmurvey Craft Village, on Inishmore. Photograph: Andy Haslam/New York Times
  • 30cm x 35cm These atmospheric prints dating from the early 20th century are from the Aran collection,a series of superbly photographed images depicting life on the Aran Islands at the turn of the last century. "The early part of the 20th century saw little change come to the Aran Islands so far removed from outside influences off the west coast of Ireland.As if time had stood still ,these unique photographs depict the islanders going about their daily lives as they had done for centuries in almost complete self sufficiency from the outside world and as a result form an integral part of our national heritage.
    Aran Islands: on the road to Synge’s Chair, on Inishmaan. Photograph: Andy Haslam/New York Times

    Aran Islands: on the road to Synge’s Chair, on Inishmaan. Photograph: Andy Haslam/New York Times

     
     
    Aran Islands: the pub on Inishmaan. Photograph: Andy Haslam/New York Times
    Aran Islands: the Man of Aran Fudge shop, at Kilmurvey Craft Village, on Inishmore. Photograph: Andy Haslam/New York Times
  • Superb historical,anti conscription poster from 1918 publicising an event at the sports filed in Ballaghaderreen on Sunday June 23rd 1918 with Countess Plunkett amongst others in attendance . Ballaghaderreen Co Roscommon  48cm x 38cm The Conscription Crisis of 1918 stemmed from a move by the British government to impose conscription (military draft) in Ireland in April 1918 during the First World War. Vigorous opposition was led by trade unions, Irish nationalist parties and Roman Catholic bishops and priests. A conscription law was passed but was never put in effect; no one in Ireland was drafted into the British Army. The proposal and backlash galvanised support for political parties which advocated Irish separatism and influenced events in the lead-up to the Irish War of Independence.

    Background

    In early 1918, the British Army was dangerously short of troops for the Western Front. In the German Spring Offensive of 1918, German troops broke through the Alliedlines in several sectors of the front in France, with a local advantage in numbers of four to one, putting severe strain on the Allied armies.The British Army, in one day, suffered a major setback, with the Imperial German Army over-running 98 square miles (250 km2) of territory and penetrating, at the furthest point, to a depth of four and a half miles (7 km). Conscription in Great Britain had already been established by the Military Service Act of January 1916, which came into effect a few weeks later in March 1916. By 1918 David Lloyd George was Prime Minister, leading a coalition government, and in addressing a very grave military situation it was decided to use a new 'Military Service Bill' to extend conscription to Ireland and also to older men and further groups of workers in Britain, thus reaching untapped reserves of manpower. Although large numbers of Irishmen had willingly joined Irish regiments and divisions of the New Army at the outbreak of war in 1914, the likelihood of enforced conscription created a backlash. This reaction was based particularly on the fact that, in a "dual policy", Lloyd George controversially linked implementation of the Government of Ireland Act 1914 or a new Home Rule Bill (as previously recommended in March by the Irish Convention) with enactment of the Military Service Bill. This had the effect of alienating both nationalists and unionists in Ireland. The linking of conscription and Home Rule outraged the Irish nationalist parties at Westminster, including the IPP, All-for-Ireland League and others, who walked out in protest and returned to Ireland to organise opposition.Despite opposition from the entire Irish Parliamentary Party (IPP), conscription for Ireland was voted through at Westminster, becoming part of the 'Military Service (No. 2) Act, 1918'  Although the crisis was unique to Ireland at the time, it followed similar campaigns in Australia (1916–17) and Canada (1917). In Australia, Irish Catholics mostly opposed conscription; in Canada (and the US), Irish Catholics supported conscription. The threat of conscription resulted in a plan, proposed by Cathal Brugha, to assassinate British cabinet members in April 1918, before they could vote on conscription (or as reprisal for having done so). Though the plan was never carried through, the stress of the plan reputedly had a significant impact on the republicans involved.

    Conferences and pledge

     
    The nine Anti-Conscription Committee members
    On 18 April 1918, acting on a resolution of Dublin Corporation, the Lord Mayor of Dublin (Laurence O'Neill) held a conference at the Mansion House, Dublin. The Irish Anti-Conscription Committee was convened to devise plans to resist conscription, and represented different sections of nationalist opinion: John Dillon and Joseph Devlin for the Irish Parliamentary Party, Éamon de Valera and Arthur Griffith for Sinn Féin, William O'Brien and Timothy Michael Healy for the All-for-Ireland Party and Michael Egan, Thomas Johnson and William O'Brien representing Labour and the trade unions. On the evening of the same day, the Roman Catholic bishops were holding their annual meeting and declared the conscription decree an oppressive and unjust law, calling on the Church's adherents to resist "by the most effective means at our disposal" (if "consonant with the law of God.") The Anti-Conscription Committee and bishops proposed an anti-conscription pledge that was to be taken at the church door of every Roman Catholic parish the next Sunday, 21 April, which read:
    Denying the right of the British government to enforce compulsory service in this country, we pledge ourselves solemnly to one another to resist conscription by the most effective means at our disposal.

    Strikes and other actions in Ireland

    Following their representation at the Mansion House, the labour movement made its own immediate and distinctive contribution to the anti-conscription campaign. A one-day general strike was called in protest, and on 23 April 1918, work was stopped in railways, docks, factories, mills, theatres, cinemas, trams, public services, shipyards, newspapers, shops, and even Government munitions factories. The strike was described as "complete and entire, an unprecedented event outside the continental countries". In the following weeks, anti-conscription rallies were held nationwide, with 15,000 people attending a meeting in County Roscommon at the start of May, where John Dillon, leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party and Éamon de Valera of Sinn Féin shared the platform. This in itself is notable as, while sharing nationalist views, Dillon and de Valera's parties had previously been divided in opinion as to the means of gaining legislative or complete independence from the United Kingdom. On 11 June Dublin's Lord Mayor, Laurence O'Neill, in a letter to the President of the United States Woodrow Wilson called for support against conscription:In the fourth year of a war ostensibly begun for the defence of small nations, a law conscribing the manhood of Ireland has been passed, in defiance of the wishes of our people .... To warrant the coercive statute, no recourse was had to the electorate of Britain, much less to that in Ireland. Yet the measure was forced through within a week, despite the votes of Irish representatives and under a system of closure never applied to the debates, which established conscription for Great Britain on a milder basis. Over a year earlier Wilson had introduced the Selective Service Act of 1917; by June 1917 it enabled the registration of all American men aged between 21 and 31 for conscription.

    "German plot"

    Dillon on platform during Roscommon anti-conscription rally in 1918
    Nervous of growing unrest and still with dire need to progress conscription in Ireland, Lloyd George's government undertook several initiatives to quell the backlash. As Sinn Féin was publicly perceived to be the key instigator of anti-government and anti-conscription feeling, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland Lord French, claiming evidence of a treasonable plot between Sinn Féin and the Germans, ordered the arrest of 73 Sinn Féin leaders, including Griffith and de Valera, on 17 May. The heavy-handed response by the Dublin Castle authorities did little to defuse the situation. In fact, because of the lack of evidence, the German Plot was little believed in Great Britain, Ireland or the United States, but aggravated opinion and increased support for Sinn Féin.

    Hay Plan

    Simultaneously, a more subtle effort (and assessed by later historians as having more potential for success)was undertaken from the offices of Lord Northcliffe under the Minister of Information. The "Hay Plan" was conceived by Stuart Hay—a British Army Captain, who was under orders to establish a proposal to work around widespread anti-conscription feeling and to persuade Irish nationalists to join the French army (initially as labourers in specialised battalions). Hay's plan relied on the power of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland (and empathy among its supporters for fellow Catholics in Belgium and France suffering from German invasion), to sway opinion:
    If the church were definitely or even in a large measure converted and the support it has given to disloyal elements be not taken away but thrown on to the other side in the controversy [the conscription crisis], much would be done for the future of the peace in Ireland.
    — Stuart Hay
    The plan simply called for a letter (drafted by Hay and approved by Edward Shortt and then Chief Secretary for Ireland) to be sent by the French Primate to the Irish bishops, requesting that they soften their opposition to conscription to aid the war effort in France. Despite some progress in August in persuading Primate of All Ireland Cardinal Logue, the "Hay Plan" was delayed and ultimately stymied by complications in diplomatic channels and by political rivalries. The latter included concerns by some in the British Parliament that reciprocal French support of Irish interests would not be to Britain's advantage after the war. In France, the German Spring Offensive and its following attacks had failed by July, and the Allies counterattacked successfully at the Second Battle of the Marne and the Hundred Days Offensive. Recruitment efforts through September and October continued to have very limited success, and by the time of the November Armistice, marking the end of World War I, conscription had still not been implemented in Ireland.

    After-effects

    By June 1918 it had become apparent to most observers in Britain and Ireland that following American entry into the war the tide of war had changed in favour of the Allied armies in Europe, and by 20 June the Government had dropped its conscription and home rule plans, given the lack of agreement of the Irish Convention. However the legacy of the crisis remained. Completely ineffectual as a means to bolster battalions in France, the events surrounding the Conscription Crisis were disastrous for the Dublin Castle authorities, and for the more moderate nationalist parties in Ireland. The delay in finding a resolution to the home rule issue, partly caused by the war, and exaggerated by the Conscription Crisis in Ireland, all increased support for Sinn Féin. Sinn Féin's association (in the public perception at least) with the 1916 Easter Rising and the anti-conscription movement, directly and indirectly led on to their landslide victory over (and effective elimination of) the Irish Parliamentary Party, the formation of the first Dáil Éireann and in turn to the outbreak of the Anglo-Irish War in 1919. This opposition also led in part to Sinn Féin being ignored by the subsequent victors at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, despite its electoral success. It appointed representatives who moved to Paris and several times requested a place at the conference, with recognition of the Irish Republic, but never received a reply. The crisis was also a watershed in Ulster Unionism's relations with Nationalist Ireland, as expressed by Unionist leader James Craig: "for Ulster Unionists the conscription crisis was the final confirmation that the aspirations of Nationalists and Unionists were irreconcilable.

    Voluntary enlistment

    Memorial to casualties of Irish volunteer regiments at Island of Ireland Peace Park
    The bulk of opposition to the Great War in Ireland was to compulsory conscription, not to the war nor to voluntary enlistment in the British Army. In fact, many Irish supported the war and Irish involvement. Support and enlistment were more prominent amongst Irish Unionist and Protestant traditions, but nationalist and Roman Catholic enlistment was also common, as the war was seen to be fought in defence of smaller Catholic countries like occupied Belgium. In this cause, those who would later become detractors of conscription (including John Dillon, William O'Brien and the Roman Catholic bishops) were prominent on recruitment platforms at the outbreak of the war. In all, 200,000 to 300,000 Irishmen served with British forces during the Great War, and, of the 680,000 fatalities from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, some 40,000 to 49,000were from Ireland. In all about 12.3 per cent of Irish men of service age actually served, approximately 25 per cent of the rate in the rest of the UK; 57 per cent of them were Roman Catholics.
  • Beautiful depiction of Blarney Co Cork. These beautiful quaint scenes from six individual towns were originally table and have been superbly mounted and framed to create a memorable souvenir collection.Originally painted by talented local artist Roisin O Shea,the prints depict everyday scenes of streetlife in Killarney,Kilkenny,Blarney,Galway,Kinsale and Youghal. Lahinch Co Clare 33cm x 39cm
  • Beautiful depiction of Galway City. These beautiful quaint scenes from six individual towns were originally table and have been superbly mounted and framed to create a memorable souvenir collection.Originally painted by talented local artist Roisin O Shea,the prints depict everyday scenes of streetlife in Killarney,Kilkenny,Blarney,Galway,Kinsale and Youghal. Lahinch Co Clare 33cm x 39cm
  • Beautiful depiction of Kilkenny City. These beautiful quaint scenes from six individual towns were originally table and have been superbly mounted and framed to create a memorable souvenir collection.Originally painted by talented local artist Roisin O Shea,the prints depict everyday scenes of streetlife in Killarney,Kilkenny,Blarney,Galway,Kinsale and Youghal. Lahinch Co Clare 33cm x 39cm
  • Beautiful depiction of Youghal Co Cork. These beautiful quaint scenes from six individual towns were originally table and have been superbly mounted and framed to create a memorable souvenir collection.Originally painted by talented local artist Roisin O Shea,the prints depict everyday scenes of streetlife in Killarney,Kilkenny,Blarney,Galway,Kinsale and Youghal. Lahinch Co Clare 33cm x 39cm
  • 45cm x 30cm Thurles Co Tipperary Classic commentary quote from the great Micheal O'Muircheartaigh. Micheal 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 Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh was born in Dún Síon just outside Dingle, County Kerry in 1930.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.

    Broadcasting career

    In early March 1949 Ó Muircheartaigh, along with ten other students from the college, and several from other colleges, did a test commentary on a hurling game at Croke Park. Each student had to commentate for five minutes in Irish and the most successful would be selected for further commentary work. Ó Muircheartaigh had never seen a game of hurling before in his life. But he knew that those adjudicators judging his commentary were not able to see the game:
    'Twas a new game to me. But I knew one person. He was in goal for UCD and his name was Tadhg Hurley. He went to school in Dingle and he had hurling because his father was a bank manager and had spent time in Tipperary or Cork. The moment my minute started, he was saving a fantastic shot. And he cleared it away out, I can still see it, out over the sideline, Cusack Stand side of the field, eighty yards out. But it was deflected out by a member of the opposition. The adjudicators couldn't see that that didn't happen. Who was called out to take the line-ball? The only person I knew, Tadhg Hurley. And he took a beautiful line-ball - Christy Ring never took better. He landed it down in front of the Railway goal, there was a dreadful foul on the full-forward, and there was a penalty. And who was called up to take the penalty? Tadhg Hurley. 'Twas the best individual display ever seen in Croke Park. It took him at least a minute to come from the Canal goal up. And while he was coming up I spoke about his brother Bob, who was in Donal's class, and his sister who used to come out to Dún Síon strand during the summer. So eventually he took the penalty. I've seen DJ Carey, I've seen Nicky Rackard, I've seen Christy Ring. None of them could ever equal the display he gave that day... Sin mar a thosaigh sé!
    Ó Muircheartaigh was the one selected and his first assignment was to provide an all-Irish commentary on the 1949 Railway Cup final on St. Patrick's Day. He graduated from St. Patrick's College a little later and also completed a Bachelor of Arts degree from University College Dublin. He taught economics, accountancy and Irish in both primary and secondary schools throughout Dublin, the majority of which were run by the Christian Brothers. He continued teaching up until the 1980s, when he became a full-time broadcaster with Raidió Teilifís Éireann. For the early part of his broadcasting career Ó Muircheartaigh commentated on Minor GAA matches, in the Irish language. He also replaced the legendary Micheál O'Hehir when he was not available to commentate. Eventually when O'Hehir was forced to retire in the mid-1980s Ó Muircheartaigh took over as the station's premier radio commentator. He developed his own inimitable style of commentary and his accent is unmistakably that of a native Irish speaker. He is a true lover of Gaelic Athletic Association and it is reflected in the enthusiasm he brings to matches. His unusual turn of phrase has made him a much loved broadcaster and often imitated character. He has become particularly famous in Ireland for his unusual turns of phrase in the heat of the moment while commentating. Today he commentates on RTÉ Radio 1. In 2004 he published his autobiography, 'From Dún Sion to Croke Park'. Ó Muircheartaigh's commentaries for RTÉ Radio 1's Sunday Sport show won him a Jacob's Award in 1992. He was also the Parade Grand Marshal for the 2007 St. Patrick's Festival, having been given the honour by the chairman of the Festival in recognition and appreciation of his unique contribution to Irish culture. He will be the Parade Grand Marshal for the 2011 St. Patrick's Parade in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, also in recognition and appreciation of his unique contribution to Irish culture. On 16 September 2010 he announced his retirement from broadcasting. The last All-Ireland he commentated on was the 2010 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final on 19 September 2010.On 29 October 2010 it was announced that the 2nd International Rules test at Croke Park would be Ó Muircheartaigh's final broadcast as commentator on RTÉ Radio 1. On 30 October 2010 Micheál commentated his final commentary alongside RTÉ's pundit and former Meath footballer Bernard Flynn. He is contracted to officiate at the 2011–12 Volvo Ocean Race finish in Galway when he will commentate on the finish to the round the world race, to give it a uniquely Irish conclusion. Sailing has been a long time hobby of O Muircheartaigh. Ó Muircheartaigh writes a weekly sports column for Foinse, the Irish-language newspaper free with the Irish Independent each Wednesday. Ó Muircheartaigh was invited to read out a piece in Irish and in English at an event called "Laochra" in Croke Park on 24 April 2016 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising.  

    Other media

    He is the main commentator in the 2005 video game Gaelic Games: Football for the PlayStation 2 and its 2007 sequel He was featured in the video "Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh - Making a ham sandwich" which was posted on a Reddit forum, noting his "relaxing" voice.

    Honours

    Mícheál was awarded an honorary doctorate by NUI Galway in 1999 for his lifetime service to broadcasting.
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