Show the Dubs no respect and Mayo CAN win!
BERNARD FLYNN’S BIG GAME VERDICT
DUBLIN city is transforming into a sea of blue ahead of tomorrow’s All-ireland final clash against Mayo.
Jim Gavin leads his treble-chasing side into battle at Croke Park as homes, streets and businesses are decorated in the county colours. But behind each building lies a fascinating story of devotion. Yvonne Foster, of Blackditch Road in Ballyfermot, West Dublin, has her home fully kitted out for the battle for Sam. She told the Irish Mirror: “I started off at the first Championship game, and they stay up until Dublin exit the Championship. “As the weeks progress, we keep adding, flags then buntings and whatever that comes with it.” While Yvonne’s decorations have developed into an annual tradition, for Michael Whelan, his connections with the Boys In Blue go back that little bit further. He said: “We’ve had all the flags going back since flags came out. And we’ve had them up every year the last five or six All-ireland finals. I’ve been following the Dubs since 1955. This is my 18th All-ireland final.” Michael, from the Liberties, has slight difficulty walking but that has done nothing to dampen his enthusiasm. He makes it to every League and Championship game, even going for overnight trips to Ballybofey, Co Donegal, and a weekend away in Tralee, Co Kerry. He added: “This year we haven’t missed a game. It doesn’t matter where they’re playing, we go.” His daughter, who lives next door, has got in on the act and both houses are both emblazoned in their beloved colours. Michael even had American students admiring his home last year, and attracts viewers in from all corners – just like Sean White, of Palmers Grove in Palmerstown. His lavish Christmas decorations have led to almost celebrity status in the area and he hasn’t cut any corners ahead of tomorrow’s showpiece. Sean said: “It takes about two or three hours, is all. Everything goes up
every year.” They haven’t had time to paint the house sky blue but with the huge crest and unfurled flag, there’s no doubt where their hearts lie. The door of Ray Callaghan’s house on Captain’s Road in Crumlin is another shrine to Dublin GAA. He said: “It’s been up since the very first Championship game against Carlow.” The family have been to every game, both for the men’s and women’s match since the start of the season but they haven’t had the house decoration all their own way. A Mayo-supporting neighbour has been trying to take down all the blue Ray is putting up. He joked: “She’s trying to hide all my flags.” The Lawlor family on Cashel Road, just a short drive away, will also be in good spirits, after being caught in the middle of a coffee morning for Our Lady’s Hospice. The event raised more than €2,000 last year, but husband Luke admitted his role in the event didn’t extend far beyond testing the treats. He said: “She does all the baking, I do all the eating. “We raised two grand last year, and this year she’s hoping to beat that. “It just so happens it coincides with Dublin winning the All-ireland on Sunday.” Confidence is not lacking in the capital, with everyone chipping in to take over the city scape with sky blue and navy and all the fans predicting a Dublin victory. And not only will they win, some supporters think they could romp home to another Sam Maguire triumph by 10-point thrashing. IMELDA May will sing the national anthem ahead of tomorrow’s match. Last month, she performed Amhran na bhfiann in Las Vegas before the Conor Mcgregor-floyd Mayweather bout. The Air Corps are also set to do a fly pass of Croke Park towards the end of Amhran na bhfiann.
PURR-FECT Even cat is a fan
LEADER Jim Gavin
CAPITAL GAINS Fans gather in Crumlin yesterday