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Dublin: 2 °C Tuesday 19 November, 2019

It's official: David O'Leary's penalty at Italia '90 has been voted Ireland's Greatest Sporting Moment

A winner was chosen by the public during tonight’s episode.

Soccer - World Cup Soccer 1990 The players and coaching staff mob O'Leary after his spot kick. Source: EMPICS Sport


After weeks of debate, the final episode of Ireland’s Greatest Sporting Moments aired on RTÉ 2 tonight.

A shortlist of just four remained — Munster’s victory over the All Blacks in 1978, Ray Houghton’s goal against England at Euro ’88, Ireland’s penalty shootout win over Romania at Italia ’90 and Padraig Harrington claiming the British Open in 2008.

Did this moment transcend sport? Has it stood the test of time?” asked presenters Evanne Ni Chuilinn and Des Cahill, as viewers were voted in throughout the hour.

Many of those involved were present in the studio to relive their achievements and speak about the lasting effects they have had on their lives…

The panel of Ted Walsh, Donal Lenihan, Sonia O’Sullivan and Eamon Dunphy deliberated over the merits of each and, in the end, there was very little in it.

With a 35.6% of the votes and just a 1% advantage over runner-up Harrington, the Irish public chose Packie Bonner’s save from Daniel Timofte and David O’Leary’s winning penalty kick in Genoa.

Any excuse to watch it one more time…

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Ben Blake

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