For many it is a period relived only in sepia photos and glimpses of black and white footage. For others it has been kept alive by the memories of family members, but its relative distance makes the 1960s and 70s no less glorious.
In a time before globalisation and cheaper air travel, international achievements were magical and rare, while the domestic was magnified.
Here we look at a selection of the great moments from the first two decades of televised sport in Ireland.
1. 1962 All-Ireland Hurling Final (1962)
The 75th All-Ireland final was the first televised on RTÉ saw Tipperary gain revenge for their defeat to Wexford two years earlier, when the Yellowbellies caused one of the biggest shocks in hurling history. Goals from Tom Moloughney, Sean McLoughlin and Tom Ryan helped the Premier County to a 3-10 to 2-11 win.
2. Jim McCourt, Olympic boxing bronze (1964)
The southpaw won the only Irish medal of the ’64 Games. Renowned for his defence and counter-punching, the Belfast man rated as the best amateur boxer in the world for four years running controversially lost 3-2 to Russian Velikton Barannikov in the semi finals in Tokyo.
3. Cork win the All Ireland Hurling Final (1966)
It remains one of Cork’s most romantic titles. A 12-year famine ended courtesy of a two-goal salvo from Colm Sheehan against bitter rivals Kilkenny. The Rebels had not even appeared in a final since 1956 and they were the first Cork All-Ireland winning team not to feature a certain Christy Ring since 1931.
4. Galway’s three-in-a-row (1966)
The first football three-in-a-row since Kerry in 1941 somehow came against the bookies' expectations. Despite beating Kerry in back-to-back finals, Sean Meade, Mattie McDonagh and Co were expected to lose to an impressive Meath team. Instead their defensive masterclass ended the match as a contest by half-time, as they led 1-6 to 0-1 at the break. The good times would not continue to roll out West and it would be 32 years before the Tribesmen won another Sam Maguire.
5. Arkle wins first Gold Cup (1964)
A horse so good he caused the rules to be changed, a national treasure, known simply as ‘himself’. Beating Mill House by five lengths, 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. Not only that but the 11-5 victory in Sydney's Cricket Ground was the first time a Northern hemisphere side had prevailed south of the equator.
7. Shamrock Rovers win six 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 (1970)
Perhaps foremost among the incredible achievements of the Corkman, which included back to-back wins in the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe’s with Alleged (1977 & 1978). Lester Piggott guided the stallion to victory at Epsom, to add to his triumphs in that year's Irish Derby, Gladness Stakes, 2,000 Guineas. King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and St Leger.
9. Ali at Croker (1972)
‘The Greatest’ beat Al ‘Blue’ Lewis with a 11th-round knockout in front of a crowd of 25,000 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 have 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, inspiring 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 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 as Ireland beat the football powerhouse 3-0.
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. Trailing by five points at one stage, the Dubs eventually won 3-12 to 1-13.
13. Cork’s three-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. Kerry v Dublin (1978)
In the 1978 All-Ireland Final Dublin looked on course to complete an historic three-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. In the immortal words of Con Houlihan: "Paddy dashed back to his goal like a woman who smells a cake burning."
15. Munster v All Blacks (1978)
A New Zealand side unbeaten on their Northern hemisphere Tour were shocked at Thomond Park in a game that has come to define the Munster rugby mentality. Immortalised in a play and seemingly attended by so many people that Thomond Park could have been filled 10 times over, the 11-0 victory remained the high water mark for the province until their heyday in the noughties.
16. John Treacy wins back-to-back Cross-Country World Championships (1979)
A crowd of 30,000 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 fifth country to claim the Aga Khan trophy outright by winning three consecutive titles, a feat that hasn’t been repeated since.
Don't forget you can have your say when the public gets to vote for their number one moment from the Sixties and Seventies on Ireland’s Greatest Sporting Moment this Thursday. The shortlist will be announced on the RTÉ Sport Facebook page at 5pm Thursday.
Watch Ireland’s Greatest Sporting Moment live on RTÉ 2 on Thursday at 9.30pm