Ó Muircheartaigh: “I never said I was interested in being a candidate”

GAA commentator Micháel Ó Muircheartaigh echoes Gay Byrne in ruling himself out of the race for the Áras.  From the Irish Times report

Mr Ó Muircheartaigh last night announced that he would not be putting himself forward as a candidate but that he was honoured to be asked to run.

Speaking this morning, Mr Ó Muircheartaigh (81) said he had been approached by members of a number of political parties – which he declined to name – but that he had never considered himself a “contender”.

“I never said I was interested in being a candidate in the election….but out of respect for all those who offered support I had to consider it,” he said on RTÉ Morning Ireland . “I dissuaded all.”

As the BBC report notes

So far the only certain candidates for election in October are Fine Gael’s Gay Mitchell, the Labour Party’s Michael D Higgins, and the Independents Sean Gallagher and Mary Davis.

Both Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein have yet to confirm whether or not they will run a candidate.

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  • Rory Carr

    Who next I wonder. I shouldn’t be surprised to see the late Eamonn Andrews being canvassed. He has all the right credentials – popular, tall, well-spoken (well, at least he was) and unlikely to cause much trouble once elected.

  • Charminator

    I think Micháel Ó Muircheartaigh would have made an excellent president. Of course, “excellent” is very value-laden, depending on what one expects of their president, but in terms of embodying a certain sense of Ireland – the personification, if you like, of aspects of what we hold dear as a Nation – I have little doubt, he would have been an ideal candidate.

  • PaulT

    Well it is a bit of a dog bites man story, but it is an opportunity to post choice quotes from his wiki page. The man is a legend, I just wish he had tried his hand at cricket commentary he would have been outstanding at filling in the long breaks in play

    here you go

    “1-5 to 0-8…well from Lapland to the Antarctic, that’s level scores in any man’s language”.
    “Pat Fox has it on his hurl and is motoring well now … but here comes Joe Rabbitte hot on his tail …… I’ve seen it all now, a Rabbitte chasing a Fox around Croke Park!”

    “Some players are consistent and some players are brilliant. Colm McAlarney is consistently brilliant. ”

    “He grabs the sliotar, he’s on the 50……he’s on the 40……he’s on the 30……. he’s on the ground.”

    “Seán Óg Ó hAilpín…. his father’s from Fermanagh, his mother’s from Fiji, neither one of them a hurling stronghold.”

    “Teddy McCarthy to John McCarthy, no relation, John McCarthy back to Teddy McCarthy, still no relation.”

    “Colin Corkery on the 45 lets go with the right boot. It’s over the bar. This man shouldn’t be playing football. He’s made an almost Lazarus-like recovery from a heart condition. Lazarus was a great man but he couldn’t kick points like Colin Corkery.”

    “In the first half they played with the wind. In the second half they played with the ball.”

    “Setanta Ó hAilpín….the original Setanta from the old Gaelic stories was ten foot tall, had ten fingers on each hand and ten toes on each foot but even he couldn’t be playing better hurling than his namesake here today.”

    “… and Brian Dooher is down injured. And while he is, I’ll tell ye a little story. I was in Times Square in New York last week, and I was missing the Championship back home. So I approached a newsstand and I said ‘I suppose you wouldn’t have the Kerryman would you?’ To which the Egyptian man behind the counter replied ‘do you want the North Kerry edition or the South Kerry edition?’. He had both, so I bought both. And Dooher is back on his feet…”

    “Anthony Lynch, the Cork corner-back, would be the last person to let you down – his people are undertakers”

    “Teddy looks at the ball, the ball looks at Teddy.”

    ” Dublin have scored two points, one from the hand and one from the land.”

    “Pat Fox out to the forty and grabs the sliothar. I bought a dog from his father last week. Fox turns and sprints for goal. The dog ran a great race last Tuesday in Limerick. Fox to the 21 fires a shot, it goes to the left and wide… And the dog lost as well.”

    “I saw a few Sligo people at Mass in Gardiner Street this morning and the omens seem to be good for them, the priest was wearing the same colours as the Sligo jersey! 40 yards out on the Hogan Stand side of the field Ciarán Whelan goes on a rampage, it’s a goal. So much for religion.”

    “There’s a streaker now on the pitch, I’d say he’s a Kilkenny fan because he looks happy with the situation”

  • Drumlins Rock

    Paul, I now see why he was approached, they are hilarious quotes.

    Don’t think Marty would be as funny… I’m sure you’ve heard our own Deputy duo is the latest name to audition for the Aras circus, although Peter might have to be included too.

  • PaulT

    Drumlin, even funnier when the pace of commentary on Gaelic games is considered, hence I’d love to heard his thoughts in a much slower environment like cricket,

    You’ve lost me on the last comment, are you saying the dFM is now in the frame, if so, I’m guessing its a slow news day. How about Graham Norton, he’d be fantastic, or even The Doc, he’s mellowed beyond belief in recent times yet could be unleashed on the EU when they give the sheep Enda a tough time.

  • PaulT

    Or even Tony Blair, first generation Irish lad who’s done well for himself with lots of contacts at a high level

    Same for all round nice guy Niall Quinn if we go the sporting route.

    Or John Hume, though I suspect we’d wake up one morning to find ourselves in the Commonwealth

  • JR

    I wonder would a push for northerners to get a vote in the Southern Presidential election work? It is not like the President has much real power so the Unionists shouldn’t have much of a problem. I for one, and I assume other nationalists in the north are the same see the Irish President as the figure head of the Irish people and therfore my president too.

  • sonofstrongbow

    Dominique Strauss-Kahn should throw his hat, or whatever, into the ring. He’d make a fitting el Presidente for the Republic.

    Didn’t he buy it when he was head of the IMF? Seems only right that he should have a crash pad in the country and be the next squatter in the Viceregal Lodge.

  • sherdy

    Sonofstrongbow: If Dominique had stuck to buying what he wanted instead of trying for a freebie we might have considered him.

  • Greenflag

    @ PaulT,

    Thanks for those hilarious quotes

    ‘ his father’s from Fermanagh, his mother’s from Fiji, neither one of them a hurling stronghold.”’

    LOL :))) sheer genius smacking two cultures like that together and understating the product.

    Reminds me of that Dara O’Brian comedy gag in Cork when he asked if there were any Jews in the audience and a hand went up at the back and Dara asked the person what year it was in the Jewish calendar -Silence and then after a huddled discussion with a fellow theatre goer the handholder replied ‘It’s the JEWISH year of the RAT ‘


    O ‘Muircheartaigh translation ‘the navigator ‘ would not have been the first comedian President . That honour went to Sean T O’Kelly the diminutive ‘creeping jesus ‘ of that period in Irish politics who when not ‘creeping’ had to be carried out through the rear entrance of the Gresham Hotel intoxicated and the worse for wear, and who also notoriously as President could be found sneaking a quiet drink at the infamous Hole in the Wall pub near the Phoenix Park under the shadow of Wellington’s monument .

  • HeinzGuderian

    After Her Majesty’s successful visit to Southern Ireland,isn’t it time our Southern neighbours accepted her as head of State ?? After all jr,she does adorn the coins in your pocket !! 😉

  • keano10

    Brilliant quotes Paul T. He’s a legend.

  • Cynic2

    Are these yellow cards breeding?

    Was there some fantastic row that I missed?

  • Cynic2


    You are too hard on poor Sean Kelly. Sure didn’t the Irish Times describe him in his obituary as ‘a model President’.

  • Alias

    It’s depressing to see the office of president demeaned in this way. It is now presented as a retirement home for non-political celebrities or de-politicised politicians – and for anybody who isn’t an Irish nationalist.