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The story of the bitter civil war that divided Irish cycling and impacted the 1972 Olympics

‘Green and Gold,’ which is produced by David Coughlan and Donal O’Herlihy, will be broadcast on RTÉ Radio 1 this Saturday at 1pm.

A file pic of the 1972 OIympics.
A file pic of the 1972 OIympics.
Image: AP/PA Images

A NEW DOCUMENTARY tells the story of the bitter civil war that divided Irish cycling.

‘Green and Gold,’ which is produced by David Coughlan and Donal O’Herlihy, will be broadcast on RTÉ Radio 1 this Saturday at 1pm and again on Sunday at 7pm.

It recounts how a group of riders gatecrashed the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, and how an Irishman who wasn’t supposed to be there took the lead in the cycling road race.

The event took place amid a backdrop of significant tension, with politics and sport colliding during the era of The Troubles.

On one side: the two internationally-recognised bodies north and south of the border. And on the other side: the National Cycling Association (NCA), a group led by prominent republicans, who believed in a 32-county organisation alone.

The NCA had been barred from international competition since 1947, though they protested their exclusion at the 1955 World Championships and the 1956 Olympics.

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Yet their most infamous protest took place at the 1972 Olympics, with pile-ups, arrests and a political storm ensuing, in addition to a story unfolding that made headlines around the world.

Contributors to ‘Green and Gold’ include: Shay O’Hanlon, John Mangan, Pat Healy, Mary Peters, Kieron McQuaid, Hennie Kuiper, Neil Teggart and Matthew Teggart.

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