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5 Irish sporting records that are very unlikely to be broken

No surprise that most of these records are held by the best of the best.
Dec 23rd 2015, 4:00 PM 11,516 29

LET’S SALUTE SOME Irish sporting legends. Well actually, not everyone on this list is legendary but you can certainly argue that their records will never be touched.

Do you think any of these feats will be matched or surpassed?

Robbie Keane – 67 international goals

Robbie Keane celebrates scoring their third goal from the penalty spot Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Before Robbie Keane smashed this national record, it stood at a measly 21 goals. With all due respect to Niall Quinn, that is a paltry total for a national team.

Robbie Keane has managed to more than triple that total and while he might not get the adulation he deserves as a result, it is very unlikely that his goals tally will ever be reached.

And if it is broken, at least that means that Ireland have probably unearthed the next Messi or Ronaldo.

Brian O’Driscoll – 47 international tries*

Brian O'Driscoll scores a try Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Like Keane, O’Driscoll has a very healthy lead over the second man on this list and given Tommy Bowe’s recent knee injury it is unlikely that the Ulsterman will score the 17 tries required to surpass BOD.

Tries are hard to come by at international level – Keith Earls seems to score regularly yet is over 30 tries behind O’Driscoll – and given Joe Schmidt’s often conservative game plan it doesn’t look like any of the current squad will catch the great centre.

*O’Driscoll scored 46 tries for Ireland and one for the Lions.

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Pat Spillane, Paidi O Se, Denis ‘Ogie’ Moran, Mikey Sheey and Ger Power – Eight All-Ireland football medals on the field of play

Pat Spillane and Kevin McCabe 1986 Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Football has become so competitive that only one county has retained the Sam Maguire in the last 25 years and the medal haul of the above five players is unlikely to ever be surpassed – no current player has more than five.

Inter-county careers are becoming shorter as the demands placed on players increase and while someone like James McCarthy – with three wins at just 25 – might come close to tying the record or breaking it, it will be a very tough task for a modern day footballer to finish their career with nine All-Ireland medals.

Henry Shefflin – 11 Allstar awards

Brian Cody and Michael Dempsey with Henry Shefflin Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

To even play 11 seasons of inter-county GAA is a feat on its own but to be deemed one of the best players in the country so many times is a truly staggering achievement. There has perhaps never been such a consistent GAA player – Pat Spillane comes close but he only won nine Allstars. The closest active player to Shefflin is Colm Cooper with eight but given his recent injury and form it is unlikely that he will break the record as he turns 33 next year.

Michelle Smith – Most Olympic medals won by an Irish person

The reason why Smith’s four swimming medals (three golds and a bronze) from the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta aren’t celebrated are widely known but the results still stand, which gives her a record haul for an a Irish athlete.

Only two other people have won more than one medal representing Ireland – Paddy Barnes with two boxing bronzes in 2008 and 2012 and Pat O’Callaghan with two hammer throw golds in 1928 and 1932.

Since O’Callaghan is unlikely to add two more medals, lets hope that Paddy Barnes can win his third medal in Rio de Janeiro next summer and stay on until Tokyo in 2020 at age 33.

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Will Slattery


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