Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh is to hang up his microphone after 62 years on air.

He said Sunday's All-Ireland football final between Cork and Down will be his last game.

The 80-year-old Kerry native is regarded as one of the great treasures in Irish life, his distinctive voice has spawned many imitators. He first commentated in Gaelic, his first language, in 1949.

"After much consideration, I've decided that some 62 seasons after my first transmission, this Sunday's All-Ireland Final is to be my last," Ó Muircheartaigh told RTÉ Radio.

"I have always regarded my long association with RTÉ, broadcasting Gaelic Games, as a massive privilege; it brought the national broadcaster and the GAA together from the time that 2RN went on the air in 1926.

"It enabled me to meet and get to know generations of great sportsmen and women and many of those associated with them. It was an honour for me to be at the source of this wonderful entertainment, to be part of a continuous and successful venture."

Taoiseach Brian Cowen paid lavish tribute.

"His enthusiasm, knowledge and passion for Gaelic Games are unrivalled.

"He is an unassuming legend and in many ways he has become a treasured national institution.

"He is also a great gentleman and despite his remarkable success, he has remained the most modest and gracious of men,"he said.

Christy Cooney, the GAA president, said: "Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh has made a huge contribution to the promotion of Gaelic Games through his unique commentary style, and it is no exaggeration to say that he has been the definitive voice of the GAA in homes and clubs across the country for over six decades.

"His gra for an Ghaeilge often shines through in his commentary and his attention to detail, recall and natural passion for our games has helped portray the very essence of what makes football and hurling so appealing to legions of supporters, not only in every corner of Ireland but all the way around the globe."

Cathal Goan, RTÉ director-general, stated: "In the 60-something years that have followed, Micheal has become one of the most deeply resonant voices of the GAA on RTÉ.

"To say he is unique would be to understate the professionalism and the depth of the man."