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Power ranking Irish commentators

We take a look at the people behind the mic to bring you the top Irish sporting commentators.

George Hamilton and Johnny Giles in the commentary booth.
George Hamilton and Johnny Giles in the commentary booth.
Image: ©INPHO/Patrick Bolger

LET’S FACE IT, sport just wouldn’t be the same without commentary. Have you ever had to watch a game with just the sound of silence for company?

It’s horrible isn’t it?

Punditry and colour commentary is all well and good, but the real skill is in taking an event we can see with our own eyes, hear with our own ears, and describing it in a way that makes the audience believe you have an extra sense. That’s the real power of of the commentator.

5. Mícheál O’Muircheartaigh

He may be retired, hence his low placing on this list, but it would be impossible not to include O’Muircheartaigh who remains a giant among the Irish commentary elite. To be honest, he could commentate on paint drying or grass growing and most people would still tune in.


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4. Trevor Welch

The man behind TV3’s Champions League coverage must be doing something right to continually find himself the victim of Après Match skits. However, he will probably be forever known as custard
creams following this interview with Jose Mourinho in 2010.


[YouTube Credit]

3. Timmy McCarthy
Petula Clark once sang that “When you’re alone and life is making you lonely, you can always go downtown” and that’s exactly where RTÉ’s brilliant basketball commentator will take you. His
coverage of the 2012 Olympics is the stuff of legends. When Grantland start asking for you to call NBA games, you know you’re kind of a big deal.

Listen to Timmy here.

2. Michael Corcoran

If you’ve one of those fancy tellybox contraptions, you might miss out on the genius that is Michael Corcoran. Have a listen to his coverage of Ronan O’Gara’s drop goal against Northampton in last
year’s Heineken Cup and explain to me how Ryle Nugent (I know why) gets the TV gig for RTE?


[YouTube Credit]

1. George Hamilton

Sure, he might be too quick to announce ‘danger here’ at times but no commentator puts the effort into pronouncing players names correctly the way George Hamilton does. Plus, he was the man to
give us “The nation holds its breath”.

(Possibly NSFW)


[YouTube Credit]

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About the author:

Steve O'Rourke

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