Ireland's Greatest Sporting Moment

Updated / Tuesday, 21 Nov 2017 15:19


Irish sport has provided some pretty seismic moments in recent decades and it has seen the emergence of individuals who would define eras and go on to become legends. However, how many of those moments have transcended sport? How many have made the nation stand-still and lived long in the memory to stand the test of time? Ireland’s Greatest Sporting Moment will give you at home the opportunity to pick the moment that you think stands out above all others.

Some of RTÉ Sport’s best-loved analysts will debate the moments that are dearest to the hearts of the Irish public. In front of a live studio audience, this show will reflect on the 50 years of Irish sport between Ireland’s first TV Sport broadcast in 1962 up until 2012. Although there have been some incredible sporting moments since, the cut-off will ensure that there is enough distance to ensure the moment stands the test of time.

Presented by Des Cahill and Evanne Ni Chuilinn, Ireland’s Greatest Sporting Moment will run every Thursday for 5 weeks, starting November 9 at 9.30pm on RTE 2.

From a longlist provided by social media and email contributions from the viewing public, our expert panel will select the top 5 moments from each decade and the final decision on each decade’s top moment (and ultimately, Ireland’s greatest sporting moment) will be determined by a live social media and text vote from viewers at home.

Presented by Des Cahill and Evanne Ni Chuilinn, this week’s panel of Ted Walsh, Brian Kerr and Ger Loughnane will debate a shortlist of 5 (to be announced on Thursday at 5.00pm) with the viewing public at home making the final decision as to what is the Greatest Irish Sporting Moment of the 1960s and 1970s.

The final 5 will be drawn from the following longlist -


Voting lines will open at 9.30pm.

Ways to vote:

FACEBOOK - reply to the post on the rte sport page
TWITTER - use #irelandsgreatest followed by Moment 1-5
INSTAGRAM – post an image and use #irelandsgreatest Moment 1-5
TEXT – text Moment 1-5 to 51155
WEB – Select your favourite from the poll on

Each account is limited to one vote; only one text is permitted per mobile number. The winning moment will be announced at the conclusion of the show. In the event of a tied vote, the studio panel will make the final decision.

Text Terms & Conditions: Standard network text rates apply, please check your network charges. Lines close at 10.20pm on 09/11/17. Please only vote once, any further voting will result in further charges for each vote separately, but your vote will not count. Voting may be closed if watching on catch-up services, please check dates and times. Remember to ask permission from the bill payer before you vote. RTÉ standard voting terms and conditions also apply.

Text SP: Oxygen8: 0818 444 697 

The 60s/70s longlist from which the five moments will be chosen -

The 60s/70s Longlist

  1. 1962 All Ireland Hurling Final Tipperary v Wexford (1962)
    First All Ireland Final broadcast live on TV
  2. Jim McCourt, Olympic boxing bronze (1964)
    The Ulster southpaw won the only Irish medal of the ’64 Games. 
  3. Cork win the All Ireland Hurling Final (1966)
    It remains one of Cork’s most romantic titles, won without expectation (12 year famine) and savoured all the more as a result
  4. Galway’s 3-in-a-row 1966
    The first Football 3-in-a-row since Kerry in 1941.
  5. Arkle wins Gold Cup beating Mill House by five lengths (1964)
    A horse so good he caused the rules to be changed, a national treasure, known simply as ‘himself’, this was the first and the most iconic of Arkle’s three consecutive Gold Cup wins.
  6. Ireland beat Australia in Australia (1967)
    The Irish rugby team recorded their first ever test victory on Australian soil.
  7. Shamrock Rovers win FAI Cups in-a-row (1964–69)
    In this period, Shamrock Rovers remained unbeaten in a staggering 32 FAI Cup ties, as they captured the public imagination like no team before. Remarkably, the club used just 31 players in the course of those six successful finals. A total of 17 Rovers players from the six-in-a-row side were also capped for Ireland at senior level.
  8. Vincent O’Brien trains Nijinsky to Derby victory with Lester Piggott on board (1970)Perhaps foremost among the incredible achievements of the Corkman, achievements which included back to-back wins in the  Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe’s with Alleged (1977 & 1978)
  9. Ali at Croker (1972)
    ‘The Greatest’ beat Al ‘Blue’ Lewis with a 11th-round knockout in front of a crowd of 25,000 Irish fans in Croke Park.
  10. ‘At Least We Turned Up’, Ireland v England, 1973 Five Nations Championships 
    An Ireland team featuring rugby legends Fergus Slattery, Mike Gibson and Willie John McBride beat France and England away in 1972 but were denied the Grand Slam many believed they would’ve completed as Wales and Scotland refused to travel in the face of ‘The Troubles’.  In Ireland’s first game of the 1973 Championship, England travelled and were well beaten, drawing the quote ‘We may not be any good but at least we turned up…’ from England Captain, John Pullin.
  11. Don Givens hat trick v USSR (1974)
    With the Iron Curtain fully drawn, the home of Irish football played host to football powerhouse the USSR in a European Championship qualifier. With John Giles in charge and Liam Brady making his debut, QPR’s Don Givens stole the headlines with an incredible hat trick. 
  12. Dublin v Kerry 1977
    Bernard Brogan’s late goal sealed an incredible turnaround in the All Ireland Football Semi-Final, a game that is often described as the greatest of all time. 
  13. Cork’s 3-in-a-row (1978)
    In 1978, there was much speculation as to whether or not Kilkenny could halt Cork's progress to a three-in-a-row. However, Cork came out on top by four points.
  14. Dublin v Kerry 1978
    In the 1978 All Ireland Final Dublin looked on course to complete an historic 3-in-a-row, when a Paddy Cullen foul led to him being chipped by Mikey Sheehy to spark one of the most remarkable turnarounds in GAA history.
  15. Munster v All Blacks (1978)
    Munster beat the undefeated All Blacks at Thomond Park in a game that has come to define the Munster rugby mentality. 
  16. John Treacy wins back-to-back Cross-Country World Championships (1979)
    30,000 fans cheered Treacy to his second successive World Cross Country Championship in Greenpark Racecourse, Limerick.  A year earlier Treacy became the youngest ever winner, this time he started as favourite and obliterated the field.
  17. Ireland win the Aga Khan (1979)
    Ireland became only the 5th country to win the Aga khan trophy outright by winning 3 consecutive titles, a feat that hasn’t been repeated since.