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.

The top 5 shortlist for episode 2, the 1990s, is, in no particular order - 

  1. Italia ’90 penalty shoot-out - 1990
  2. Sonia O'Sullivan's World Championship Gold - 1995
  3. Michael Carruth's Olympic Boxing Gold - 1992
  4. Clare All Ireland Hurling Final win - 1995
  5. Houghton goal v Italy USA 1994

porting Moment this Thursday (16, November, 9.30pm, RTÉ2) looks at the 1990s, another huge decade for Irish sporting moments.

Presented by Des Cahill and Evanne Ni Chuilinn, this week’s panel of Ruby Walsh, Derval O’Rourke and Ronan O’Gara 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 1990s.

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 1990s longlist from which the five moments will be chosen -

The 90s Longlist

  1. Ireland v Romania shoot-out (1990)
    The Nation holds its breath. After Packie Bonner had saved from Daniel Timofte, David O’Leary stepped up and sent Silviu Lung the wrong way and Ireland into the 1990 World Cup Quarter Finals.

  2. Cork’s Double 1990
    The only county in the modern era to have won both the Football and Hurling All Ireland titles. Teddy McCarthy picked up 2 medals.

  3. Dave Barry goal v Bayern Munich (1991)
    Noel O’Mahony’s City went into the Uefa Cup first-round tie against the German aristocrats as massive underdogs. Dave Barry scored an unforgettable first half goal as Cork City held the mighty Bayern Munich.

  4.  Dublin Meath saga (1991)
    The first round of the Leinster Championship between Meath and Dublin in 1991 produced four matches, the first million pound gate in the history of the GAA, and moments of drama that live on vividly to this day.

  5.  Michael Carruth Olympic Boxing Gold (1992) 
    Irish Army Corporal Michael Carruth brought home Ireland’s first Olympic Gold in 36 years by overcoming Cuban, Juan Hernandez Sierra .

  6. Vintage Crop wins the Melbourne Cup (1993)
    Trained by Dermot Weld and with Mick Kinane on board, the Irish stayer became the first overseas-trained winner of one of the World’s richest turf races.

  7. Houghton’s goal v Italy (1994)
    Ray Houghton’s iconic goal and celebration against Italy at Giants Stadium in the 1994 World Cup will never be forgotten.

  8. Offaly comeback (1994)
    Offaly completed one of the most sensational ever comebacks in an All Ireland Final. Limerick were on course to end their All Ireland famine, 5 points up with 5 minutes to go but goals by Jimmy Dooley and Pat O’Connor turned the tie on its head.

  9.  Sonia O’Sullivan World Championship 5000m gold (1995)
    O'Sullivan was left with the dilemma of whether to compete in the 1500m or the 5000m at the World Championships in Gothenburg. She had been unbeaten at 5000m, although the fastest time of the year (a new world record) had been set by Portugal's Fernanda Ribeiro. In the end, O'Sullivan chose the 5000m, and kicked clear of Ribeiro to win the world title in 14:46.47.

  10. Clare’s All Ireland win (1995)
    Clare’s breakthrough win changed the face of hurling forever. New teams emerged to challenge the place of the old order, giving rise to the most dramatic and controversial period in hurling history. This moment typified what became known as the hurling revolution.

  11. Steve Collins v Chris Eubank (1995)
    Unbeaten in 43 bouts, boxing’s most polarising fighter came to Millstreet, Cork on St Patrick’s weekend and lost his WBO title to Steve Collins.

  12. Peter Canavan’s All Ireland Final 0-11 display (1995)
    In spite of an incredible individual performance, Tyrone ended up controversially losing by a point to Dublin.

  13. 14-man Wexford overcome Limerick (1996)
    For the first time in 28 years, the Slaneysiders lifted the Liam McCarthy Cup with a hard-fought victory over Limerick.

  14. Michelle Smith’s Olympic medal haul (1996)
    Smith’s 3 golds and a bronze in the pool stunned the world. 2 years later a shadow was cast over the achievement when she was banned for 4 years for adulterating a urine sample.

  15. Ken Doherty wins 1997 World Snooker Championship
    The Darlin’ of Dublin was in terrible form going into the World Championships and was in danger of dropping out of the top 16. As the Championship progressed, confidence grew and he beat Steve Davis on the way to setting up a final with the man Doherty describes as ‘the greatest ever’, Stephen Hendry. The nation was enthralled as Doherty overcame ‘The King of the Crucible’ by 18 frames to 12. The streets of Dublin were thronged as Doherty received a home-coming normally reserved for the international football team.

  16. The Maurice Fitzgerald Final (1997)
    Fitzgerald scored 0-9 of Kerry’s 0-13 total in their win over Mayo.

  17. Offaly sit-in (1998)
    The infamous ‘drawn game’, with Clare three points up towards the end of the replayed All Ireland Hurling semi-final, referee Cooney, blew the final whistle with only 33 minutes gone in the second half. Offaly fans staged a sit-down protest in Croke Park afterwards.

  18. Sonia O’Sullivan’s World Cross Country Double 1998
    O’Sullivan entered both the short course (4 km) and long course (8 km) events, a double rarely attempted by athletes. O'Sullivan won both events, and her 4 km time of 12:20 was an incredible 14 seconds faster than her nearest rival.

  19. Ireland’s double European Success (1998)
    Ireland became the first ever nation to become European Champions at U16 and U18 level and became the first ever Irish team to win to win a major soccer trophy. Both teams were led by Brian Kerr and the successes heralded a new dawn for Irish football.

  20. Jordan record their first Grand Prix win (1998)
    Ireland’s first Formula One team became well known for their rock ‘n’ roll approach which lit-up F1 throughout the 90s. Their defining moment was a first Grand Prix win when Damon Hill beat Ralf Schumacher to the 1998 Belgian title.

  21. The Carberry Grand National (1999)
    Trained by Tommy, with son Paul in the saddle, Bobbyjo became the first Irish-trained Grand National winner since L’Escargot in 1975 - Tommy was the jockey that day.