The Documentary on OneGreen and Gold

As heard on Documentary On One

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Green and Gold

On the 7th of September 1972 an Irishman took the lead in the Olympic cycling road race in Munich. Only he wasn’t supposed to be there. This was the earthquake moment in Irish cycling when a bitter civil war came to the surface on sport’s biggest stage.

In 1972 Irish cycling was a snapshot of the country at the time. The sport was divided and there was open hostility between the rival factions running cycling on the island. On one side…the two internationally-recognised bodies north and south of the border.

And on the other side — the National Cycling Association (NCA) — a group led by prominent republicans, who believed in a 32-county organisation alone. Since 1947 the NCA had been barred from international competition and the group had protested at the 1955 World Championships and the 1956 Olympics.

By 1972 they were prepared to take action again — with a secret plan to protest at the Olympic Games in Munich. What happened next made headlines around the world and changed the course of Irish cycling forever.

Protests, pile-ups, arrests and a political storm — all played out against the bloody backdrop of the Troubles at home and a tragic siege at the Games. This is the story of how Irish sport and politics collided in Munich in 1972 and an Olympic dream that lives on to this day.

In this documentary we hear from Shay O’Hanlon, John Mangan, Pat Healy, Mary Peters, Kieron McQuaid, Hennie Kuiper, Neil Teggart and Matthew Teggart.

Narrated by David Coughlan

Produced by David Coughlan and Donal O’Herlihy

An Irish radio documentary from RTÉ Radio 1, Ireland

Documentary on One – the home of Irish radio documentaries

© The Listener 2020

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