It's ten years since he hung up the microphone, but Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh is still a regular presence at Croke Park and other GAA venues around the country, watching the games he clearly enjoys.

The Kerry native, now in his 90th year, also likes to get out on the golf course. Quite simply, he keeps active. Age is only a number on a birth cert and all that. 

Like so many others, Ó Muircheartaigh's activities have been curtailed in this year of the coronavirus.  

"You'd be lost without them" is the opening line from the famed commentator in the latest edition of the AIB's 'The Toughest Summer' series. 

Ó Muircheartaigh is referring to the way the GAA season has been restricted by the virus.

"Unnatural" was the way he put it when speaking on 2fm's Game On.

"I went down to Kerry in the month of February. It's a time when people begin to look forward. 'How will our team be for the season? How will our neighbours get on?' And whether you are in Connacht, Ulster, Leinster or Munster, that goes on in the month of February.

"I, too was looking forward to season ahead. Little did I know that very few matches would be played and that hardly any spectators would be allowed in. Everything, more or less, came to a standstill.

"It felt unnatural."

In a somewhat off-kilter analogy in summing up the last few months and the way our lives in general have been upended,  Ó Muircheartaigh pointed to the somewhat unorganised way in which Gaelic football came about.

"I know that Gaelic football was invented in 1884. Before that they had a different type of field game. It was called 'Cross Country'. It wasn't enclosed. Two parishes would meet with a border line between both. Which ever team managed to bring the ball across the end line would be the winner. It wasn't controllable.

"They decided that when the GAA was founded in 1884 that they would need a game within an enclosed space. And that is when the new game of Gaelic football was invented. A bit of order had come about."


In looking forward, Ó Muircheartaigh is now anticipating an "interesting year", with the inter-county championship set to be concluded in December.