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Ireland's Michael McKillop celebrates winning Gold in the Mens 1500m - T37 at the Olympic Stadium, London.
Ireland's Michael McKillop celebrates winning Gold in the Mens 1500m - T37 at the Olympic Stadium, London.

Open thread: Has 2012 been the best year ever for Irish sport?

Rory McIlroy, Team Ireland and Leinster all had fantastic years.
Dec 26th 2012, 8:30 PM 7,362 55

ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, it’s been a fantastic year for Irish sport.

At the Olympics, Team Ireland equalled their record medal haul of five, picking up one gold, one silver and three bronze medals, while Annalise Murphy and Rob Heffernan were desperately unlucky not to add to the side’s tally.

Moreover, the Paralympics were a resounding success and Team Ireland achieved their most successful performance ever, owing to a series a fine performances from athletes such as Michael McKillop and Jason Smyth.

In golf, Rory McIlroy had another extremely successful year, winning the US PGA and the Race to Dubai, and finishing the year as the world’s number one golfer.

Furthermore, McIlroy, along with another Irishman Graeme McDowell, made a significant contribution to what was unquestionably one of the year’s sporting highlights – Europe’s stunning Ryder Cup victory.

And in rugby, there was an unprecedented all-Irish Heineken Cup final, with Leinster taking on Ulster, as the former ultimately retained their title for the second year running.

There were, of course, some lows also in the Irish sporting year.

The Irish football team’s dire Euro 2012 campaign, and the rugby side’s demoralising defeats in New Zealand over the summer spring to mind.

And there are several other years that produced many iconic moments, such as Italia  90, or Sonia O’Sullivan’s athletics feats.

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So with that in mind, do you think 2012 has been the most successful year for Irish sport? Or can you name a better one?

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Paul Fennessy


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