KIERAN SHANNON: The Midweek Game would give lesser lights chance to shine

‘Sunday Game’ presenters Des Cahill and Joanne Cantwell at RTÉ’s GAA championship launch. It’s 40 years since RTÉ began a GAA highlights programme but the volume of games covered now means the organisation’s resources are stretched to the limit. Picture: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

When RTÉ began a GAA highlights programme 40 years ago, the title for it was as obvious as its choice of theme tune was inspired. Sunday was the only day a championship game could possibly be on and often there’d be only the one game on any given Sunday.

That inaugural The Sunday Game featured action from just a solitary game, the Munster hurling final from Thurles between Limerick and a Cork side pursuing a fourth consecutive All-Ireland title, with the late great Bill O’Herlihy co-presenting alongside Jim Carney.

There was also a Leinster football semi-final that day featuring Meath against an emerging Offaly team managed by a progressive young manager called Eugene McGee, but such were the time, budget and logistical constraints RTÉ were working under, they were unable to send cameras from Donnybrook to Drumcondra just across the river.

It had been challenging enough as it was getting Jim and the hurling match tape up from Thurles by helicopter. Next Sunday as the hurlers of Limerick and Cork go at each other again, the TV cameras will be there, but virtually everything else has changed.

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