It was on this date (Sunday, 14th August 1938) eighty years ago that one of the greatest Sports Commentators of all time made his first radio broadcast just over two months after his 18th birthday (he was born on 2nd June 1920). That day in Cusack Park, Mullingar Mícheál Ó Hehir did the commentary on the All Ireland SF semi final between Galway and Monaghan.The following week (Sunday, 21st August) he did his first Croke Park commentary – the day the new Cusack Stand was officially opened and that commentary was on the second SF semi final between Kerry and Laois (or Laoighis as they used to spell it then). Kerry won by 2-6 to 2-4 with the Rock’s John Joe Purty Landers on the Kerry team that day.
As well as GAA Mícheál also commentated on Horse Racing and he was, for example, at the fence after Beecher’s Brook in the 1967 Aintree Grand National when that massive pile-up took place and Foinavon went on to win the Race at 100/1.
His broadcasting career covered 47 years – finishing with his last commentary on 4th August 1985 on the All Ireland SH semi final between Galway and Cork. Sadly, a few days later he was hit with an illness which incapacitated him from doing the job he loved so much. He died eleven years later – on 24th November 1996 – aged 76.