Cap­tain Cil­lian iso­lated in a sea of blue as Drim­nagh Cas­tle pre­pares for bat­tle

Irish Independent - - NEWS - Al­li­son Bray

MAYO cap­tain Cil­lian O’Con­nor will be well used to the din of Croke Park judg­ing by the rau­cous cheers in his work­place yes­ter­day.

“Come on you boys in blue” chanted the pupils at Drim­nagh Cas­tle Pri­mary School in south Dublin.

The au­di­to­rium of Hol­ly­wood star Gabriel Byrne’s alma mater was awash in a sea of blue.

The ex­cited school­boys waved flags, sang songs and gen­er­ally pumped up the vol­ume in or­der to spur on

the Dubs ahead of their All-Ire­land foot­ball fi­nal show­down with Mayo to­mor­row.

At­mos­phere

Prin­ci­pal Eu­gene Duffy, who is him­self a proud Mayo sup­porter from Louis­burgh, was en­joy­ing the at­mos­phere.

He ex­plained that the boys were given a time-out from class to rally the troops ahead of the crunch match at Croke Park.

“We’ve got a very good spirit go­ing on here at the mo­ment,” he said of the good-na­tured ri­valry be­tween the ma­jor­ity of Dubs sup­port­ers at the school and the smat­ter­ing of Mayo sup­port­ers.

Of course there is also the small mat­ter of Mayo cap­tain O’Con­nor, who teaches at the school.

“That gives it that bit of ex­tra spice,” he said.

Among the sup­port­ers was a trio of for­mer pupils and ath­letes, who are now all push­ing 70.

But their smil­ing boy­hood faces still beam from black and white pho­to­graphs taken when they won the Clanna Gael Cup back in 1959.

Des­mond Ben­ton (69) from Drim­nagh sported an an­cient baby blue Dublin flat-cap while cheer­ing on the lads with his old school pal Tom Bishop (69).

En­thu­si­asm

For­mer school team cap­tain James (Jim) Brown said he was de­lighted with the boys’ en­thu­si­asm and the sense of ex­cite­ment at the school ahead of the match.

Asked about Dublin’s chances on Sun­day, he re­sponded in the words of his soul-singer name­sake: “I feel good.”

Drim­nagh Cas­tle pupils Jamie Nolan (11), Alex Byrne (8) and Nathan Mills (12) in Dublin colours ahead of Sun­day’s fi­nal

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