RTÉ released figures yesterday showing the All-Ireland SFC and SHC finals attracted more viewers than any other sporting events on Irish television while the Donegal v Dublin football semi-final was third on the list.
Over 1,000,000 viewers tuned into The Sunday Game as Dublin staged a late comeback to claim their first title in 16 years, while 847,000 watched Kilkenny defeat Tipperary.
Interestingly, the Dublin v Donegal game, widely criticised as one of the most negative games of football every played, came third in ratings with 700,000 viewers.
The RBS 6 Nations matches against England and France and the Republic of Ireland’s Euro 2012 play-offs against Estonia also made the top 10. Kerry’s victory over Mayo came in eighth and Ireland’s wins against Italy and Australia during the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand completed the list. Meanwhile, Dublin’s All-Ireland hero Kevin McManamon has been named in the O’Byrne Cup squad to face UCD.
The St Jude’s clubman, who netted the winning goal after coming off the bench against Kerry, will feature against the students at some stage at Parnell Park tonight (7.45pm). Louth manager Peter Fitzpatrick has handed competitive debuts to five players for their O’Byrne Cup encounter with Meath.
Dwayne Crosby, David Collier, Cathal Bellew, Eoin O’Connor and Ronan Holcroft will all feature in a new-look team.
DUBLIN (panel v UCD): M Savage, S Supple, C O’Sullivan, M Fitzsimons, D Daly, K Connolly, G Brennan, J Small, D Lally, D Byrne, C McKiernan, D Treanor, MD MacAuley, E Fennell, R McConnell, P Brogan, R Corcoran, B Cullen, T Quinn, M McCarthy, P Andrews, D Connolly, G McIntyre and K McManamon.
LOUTH (team v Meath): D Crosby, D Finnegan, D Collier, J Carr, R Finnegan, D Byrne, L Shevlin, P Keenan, B Donnelly, C Bellew, D Crilly, E O’Connor, D Maguire, A Mc Donnell, R Holdcroft.
Antrim (McKenna Cup V Tyrone): C Kerr; J Crozier, R Johnston, M Johnston; S Finch, D O’Hagan, J Loughrey; C Kelly, S McDonagh; C Murray, K Brady, M Armstrong; B Neeson, M Dougan, P Cunningham.