On All-Ire­land’s eve, hope for fair and thrilling game

Irish Independent - - LETTERS & EDITORIAL COMMENT -

BY this eve of All-Ire­land, ex­iles from every cor­ner of the globe are con­verg­ing on Dublin, many still in quest of Croke Park tick­ets scarcer than the prover­bial hen’s teeth. Ir­ish men and women across the world are mak­ing their ar­range­ments to tune in by var­i­ous means to this in­trigu­ing Dublin-Mayo Gaelic foot­ball en­counter.

It will be a full house at GAA HQ to­mor­row, and across the na­tion we will not be sur­prised to find record num­bers tun­ing in to catch this long-awaited match. Peo­ple in 31 coun­ties will want to see Mayo end their 66-year All-Ire­land famine. But the Dubs are bid­ding for a his­toric three-in-a-row, and ar­dent sup­port­ers of GAA will take so­lace from fur­ther con­fir­ma­tion that our games are strong in the coun­try’s big­gest pop­u­la­tion cen­tre. All of us want a hard-fought, sport­ing and fair game wor­thy of the oc­ca­sion.

There is a wide­spread as­sump­tion that this all-con­quer­ing Dublin team, who have played sparkling and pos­i­tive foot­ball all sea­son, can­not be beaten. Yet, when you stand back from it, there is lit­tle be­tween the sides.

It will suit Mayo to be un­der­dogs. They have also shown im­mense char­ac­ter, over­com­ing a de­feat in the Con­nacht cham­pi­onship to Gal­way and tak­ing a gru­elling and far-from-scenic route to this fi­nal via the qual­i­fiers. They more than im­pressed in roundly de­feat­ing Kerry in their semi-fi­nal re­play.

It is an oc­ca­sion re­plete with talking points, fol­low­ing on from a su­perb hurl­ing cham­pi­onship. We wish Dublin and Mayo all the best for to­mor­row.

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