A broadcaster and sports commentator, best known for covering Gaelic games and horse racing, Michael O'Hehir gave his first commentary on 14 August 1938, when Galway defeated Monaghan in the All-Ireland Football Semi-Final. His voice was to become synonymous with radio coverage of hurling and football, and his broadcasts were important to the thousands of people who gathered around radio sets in the 1940s and 1950s in Ireland and abroad. He covered major GAA matches from 1938 until 1985, when illness prevented him from covering his 100th All-Ireland final.
O'Hehir began commentating on horse racing in 1947, and went on to work for the BBC and ABC in America. He was appointed Head of Sports Programmes when RTÉ established a television service in 1961.
O'Hehir's skills as a commentator took him in a different direction in November 1963. A trip to New York with his wife coincided with the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy. The responsibility to comment on the funeral on behalf of Telefís Éireann fell to O'Hehir and his coverage won him praise in both Ireland and the US.
Michael O'Hehir died in Dublin in November 1996.
On a 'Late Late Show' special, Michael O'Hehir tells Gay Byrne about his audition to be a commentator while still at school, and about advice he got from the BBC's Tommy Woodroffe on practising in the bath.
The problems encountered by Michael O'Hehir when broadcasting the 1947 All-Ireland Football final from New York.
Michael O'Hehir discusses the special relationship he has with his listeners.
Michael O'Hehir picks out Foinavon who goes on to win the race.