1. Timmy McCarthy
We’ve always loved the Leesider’s play-calls during RTÉ’s basketball coverage and considered him something of an unmined national treasure.
But the London Olympics sent McCarthy into Dinny from Glenroe or Jack Charlton levels of public affection. Here’s why:
YouTube: Mark Horgan
2. Rory Gallagher and Jimmy
Following in the steps of Los del Rio, Ace of Bace and Toploader – this guy soundtracked the summer. His Jimmy’s Winning Matches was also probably responsible for Donegal winning Sam. That… our the efforts of Jim McGuinness and the players etc.
3. Zaur Antia
He’s the man in the background of Irish sport’s greatest success story. But ask any of the boxers in the high performance unit on the South Circular Road in Dublin and they’ll say Antia is the guy on the pads day after the day and the one always in your corner.
4. Richie Sadlier
After violent foreign dispatches in the Middle East and elsewhere, media cynics invariably reflect on this reporter or that correspondent who ‘had a good war’.
Spain might have won the Euro 2012 battle, but Sadlier had a good one.
The former Irish international then stood up to co-panelist Brady after the drubbing against Germany and made his name a household one. Also excels on Off The Ball in a regular slot now.
5. Eamon Keegan
When Andy Warhol famously predicted everyone of us would enjoy 15 minutes of fame; he can’t have been imaging a sun-burnt Irish soccer fan suckling on a Croatian lady in a Polish football stadium.
But who knows?
Cameras caught Eamon Keegan in the act during Ireland’s opening Euro 2012 defeat to Slaven Bilic’s side. Social media sent it viral and the young supporter’s mother was scandalised.
6. John Burke
Saw three of his sons (David, Darragh and Eanna) represent Galway this year. Then managed St Thomas to their first ever Galway senior hurling title in October, club from a parish of 200 houses. Six of Burke’s sons (Kenneth 28, Sean 25, David 22, Cathal 20, Darragh 19 and Eanna 17) were on the pitch at the final whistle with all of them other than Eanna having started. They must have had their Weetabix.