On a week like this, it has been hard to turn our thoughts to the game ahead, and for the remainder of the week and beyond they will undoubtedly remain with the family and friends of the late Darragh Doherty.
But this is a massive occasion for our county and on Sunday, more than ever, this Mayo team will be looking to do him and themselves proud as we face into an All-Ireland semi-final for the fifth year running. Truly these are glory days for and this Sunday versus the mighty Dubs, while it will undoubtedly be laced with poignancy has the potential to be the biggest and loudest day we have ever witnessed in Croke Park to date.
If there was ever a day to stand up and be counted as supporters, this is it.
If there was ever a day to empty your lungs in support of our boys, THIS IS IT.
It’s time for us to play our part once again. The Dubs are loud; and in all likelihood, we will be outnumbered. We need to work harder. Let no silence fall during this game. If we lead, we cheer. If we fall behind, we cheer louder. Be the best Mayo supporters we can be. Bring the colour, and bring the noise. It’s time to be the 16th man.
Being The 16th (And 17th) Man
As is now customary, here is our usual round-up of info on how to get there. We noticed that the sound people in the Western People have taken a leaf from our book this week and done their own essential matchday guide and we are very flattered altogether but we’ve a bit more info below that might be useful. If you have any other info you think people should know, get in touch.
As we always say, leave on time … leave yourself plenty of time for the breakfast in Rathowen!
The Longford Marathon takes place in Longford (unsurprisingly), on Sunday, and Main Street in Longford will remain closed from 10-4pm. The N4/N5 bypass will remain open, but with potentially heavier volumes of traffic.
Don’t forget your change for the toll bridge. When nerves are fraught it may just be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Many a marriage has run into difficulty under the e-toll sign in Enfield. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Don’t forget either to stop into Feerick’s in Rathowen for a hearty breakfast. In what is now a match day tradition Mid West Radio will be broadcasting on the morning of the game.
Mater Car Park: Sunday’s special offer is available at the Mater Car Park; the closest official car park to the stadium, with all day parking available for only €10 and it can be booked online here. Fans are advised to book early for this weekend to avoid disappointment.
Q-Park: Park for up to 24 hours on match-day in Q-Park Clerys for only €8. Or park in Q-Park Usher’s Quay for €4 upon presentation of a match day ticket. The Match-Day offer is for GAA matches only and does not cover concerts or other events in Croke Park.
Park Rite: All day parking on event days is available at Park Rite locations across the city centre for €5 for match day patrons upon production of your match ticket. Locations and pre-booking here.
Clonliffe College: The Clonliffe College car park is situated 5 minutes from Croke Park Stadium. Parking is available for just €10 on match days. The car park has 2000 spaces, including 100 disabled spaces and is accessible via Drumcondra Road Lower.
If this is your car, leave early. Like, now.
Here are some bus companies that will be travelling to the match on Sunday. If you know of any more, please let us know and we will add them in here. Call to book your seat in advance if you haven’t already, we don’t want to see any of you lot thumbing up the N5.
Michael Moran Bus Hire 087 2330097 Westport > Castlebar.
Fred Queenan Bus Hire 086 8656449
Treacy Coaches Bus Hire Ballina 096 22563
Lavin Coaches Kiltimagh 086 8676737
Michael Griffin Bus Hire 094 9252156 Swnford Leaving the Gateway Hotel @8am
Irish Rail have announced extra services to Dublin to cover the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Semi-Final on Sunday 30th August. There will be three extra trains with one departing from Ballina and the other two from Westport. Booking on www.irishrail.ie is essential to secure your train ticket.
The following additional services have been added to accommodate supporters travelling to/from the match:
08:25hrs Wesport – Dublin
08:45hrs Wesport – Dublin
09:05hrs Ballina – Dublin
18:20hrs Dublin – Westport
19:10hrs Dublin – Ballina
19:20hrs Dublin – Westport
To book these services please click on this link, but do so soon as they are expected to sell out.
For extra matchday fun, when you reserve your seat you can opt to have your name displayed overhead. We wonder how many Willie Joe Paddens will be travelling this weekend …
Best use of the reserved seating function we’ve seen yet
Just pray this name doesn’t appear beside yours
Ticket demand for the semi final match between Mayo and Dublin are at All-Ireland final levels! Anyone with a season tickets that was lucky enough to avail of the offer to buy 4 extra “bring a friend” tickets on their account were very lucky as this offer sold out in less than 24 hours! Tickets on ticketmaster and from Supervalu also sold out within days. All the clubs in Mayo will be struggling to cater for all the tickets requested and will only be able to issue about 80% of tickets ordered. Hopefully there will be more allocated to clubs later in the week in the second allocation.
Anyone without tickets on the day of the match could try the Croke Park ticket offices. One is located on Dorset Street upper and another is located on the North Circular Road opposite Gills Pub. Otherwise, if you do find yourself with a spare ticket and no takers (a highly unlikely scenario!) you could give us a shout as we have been inundated with messages looking for tickets.
Pre Match Meet-Up
Traditonally, Willie Joe over on Mayo GAA Blog organises the now-customary pre-semi Saturday night meet-up in Bowes pub on Fleet Street. As a mark of respect, however, given the week that’s in it, it will not be going ahead this year. Here’s hoping we have a pre-final meetup to look forward to instead, however.
On the day, because of the crowd volumes, it’s unlikely that there will be access to our usual haunt in the Croke Park Hotel for ticket-holders other than those who are in the Hogan Stand, so there will be no Club ’51 pre-match meet-up on the day.
Everleigh Garden on Harcourt Street (who once famously refused entry to Aidan O’Shea – sorry lads, too funny not bring up) are offering free entry with a Mayo jersey this weekend and also have competitions galore over on their Facebook and Instagram pages.
DTwo nightclub, also on Harcourt St are offering free entry with county colours before midnight and are having a pre-match party on Saturday night featuring Wesht of Ireland “gyp-hop”band The Latchikos (they’re class). Mention to Steven on the night that you’re part of Club ’51 and he says he’ll look after you (whatever that means – we reckon it definitely means a few free pints. Right Steven?)
If you don’t want a sore head for Sunday Willie Joe over on Mayo GAA blog has details of two great sporting events, one on each side of the river in this post.
Season Ticket Holders Lounge
The season ticket holders lounge is a new initiative from Croke Park for season ticket holders. You can pre-purchase dinner vouchers through the “Special Purchases” section in your season ticket account. You have until midday today (Wednesday 26th August) to avail of the offer. The adult menu costs €15 and U-16 menu costs €10.
“We are continuing our new offering for Season Tickets Holders for this All Ireland Football Championship Semi Finals in the form of a Season Ticket Lounge at Section 401. This is an area with tables exclusively reserved for Season Ticket holders who avail of this Special Purchase option. Service time is from when stiles open until the start of the second match.”
For those of you at home on Sunday, the Sky Sports panel preview the All-Ireland SFC semi-final between Dublin and Mayo live on Sky Sports 3 on Sunday 30th August at 3.30pm: Mayo v Dublin preview
The Mayo News have their usual pre-match podcast online, featuring Sports Editor Mike Finnerty, Mayo ladies footballer Fiona McHale, and Castlebar Mitchels manager Declan O’Reilly with host Rob Murphy.
MidWest Radio will have their traditional pre-match preview show on Thursday night from 10pm.
And Off The Ball have an interview with Pearce Hanley on life down under:
Can’t make the game? No problem!
Mayo Movie World in Moneen, Castlebar are showing the match for free in HD – drop into the cinema to book your ticket.
Replay Details (!!)
If (god forbid!) the game ends in stalemate and there is a replay, this will be held in Croke Park (yes, in Croke Park) on the evening of Saturday 5th September.
You will probably have seen this online already, but if not, former Mayo great David Brady has suggested that Mayo supporters in Croke Park on Sunday pay tribute to the late Darragh Doherty, who wore the no.13 jersey, by way of a massive round of applause in the 13th minute of the game. The idea has been widely shared and supported and in a reminder that solidarity transcends sporting rivalry within the GAA family, most of the Dublin supporters’ groups have also come on board to lend their support to the initiative.
Please share and spread the word to all Mayo supporters who may not be online, and let us raise the roof for our fallen brother.
Bring the Noise …
What more can we say? Bring your flags, (even one flag per car makes a MASSIVE difference) your voices, your hearts and souls and let’s bring that infamous Mayo Roar back to Croke Park. This is it!
Maigh Eo Abú!
Mayo v Dublin All Ireland Semi Final 2015 Match Programe
Elvery’s Pre Match Promotional Advertisment
Here’s the advertisment from Elvery’s the week before the match which Mayo Club 51 took part in filming. #SpineTingling
We’re delighted to welcome to the guest slot this week a Mayo fan writing from across the water, Rambling Paddy. Based in London Town. Paddy is an avid follower of Mayo’s fortunes from across the water and here’s his account of what it’s like supporting Mayo football from across the Irish Sea. You can follow him over on his blog, A Rambling Paddy.
Last weekend, the first transatlantic pilgrimage touched down at Knock airport to great fanfare. With a welcome party led by An Taoiseach and witnessed by national media it certainly was a day of great significance for a regional airport that continues to innovate and punch above its weight. Although I should correct myself when I say the plane “touched down”. As anyone that’s landed into Ireland West Airport can testify, that may give an unrealistic impression of what is sometimes a not-so-gentle landing. Not infrequently, adverse winds and fog can mean a tricky approach and getting wheels on terra firma can be rather abrupt. And that’s not actually a bad (if slightly tortured) metaphor for the experience of following the fortunes of Mayo football. Not always blue skies and we can often end up being brought back down to earth with a bump. Not one for travellers of a nervous disposition.
Following from overseas can both intensify and dilute that experience. Even in such a technologically-connected world, being one step removed from the day-to-day conversations brings a certain sense of exclusion. Who’s going well at training. The rumoured line-ups. The challenge matches. These are just a few thoughts that might merely be easy discussion topics when bumping into a neighbour at home but they don’t usually crop up in the corner shops of Clapham. And although this may seem insignificant, it adds to the latent sense of occasion that only an extended Mayo run in the championship provides.
To compensate for this, I tend to forensically trawl through all coverage of Mayo football online. And if we’re currently spoilt with the quality of the football, then the level of coverage they receive certainly does it justice. Amateur writers such as “An Spailpín Fánach” and Willie Joe of Mayo GAA Blog fame are always compulsive reading. And I use the term amateur in the same sense of the football itself – professional in all but name. We’re also fortunate with the quality of the regional media and the digital supplements of The Western People and The Mayo News are always worth coughing up the few quid for. The Mayo News team in particular deserve extra plaudits for their innovative podcast which has been good company on several tortuous tube journeys. In addition to that local coverage, a few of the national writers seem to have a grá for Mayo football – the ever-excellent Keith Duggan at the Irish Times in particular. All are consumed fanatically.
Additionally, any calls home at this time of year invariably involve a five minute maternal briefing on any local or family matters, followed by a forty-five minute in-depth analysis with the old fella on the next championship game. Now that we’re heading for a semi-final, I’ll probably have to up that allowance to an hour. The ties might be slightly remote, but still maintain a tangible connection to the atmosphere. And anyway I shouldn’t complain. London is a great city, and I’m fortunate that it’s still accessible enough to facilitate regular trips home for family, friends…and football. Or more correctly, I’m fortunate that Knock Airport exists to facilitate it.
The relationship between the airport and those of us that travel over and back regularly can be summarised by a conversation I heard recently while queuing at Stansted. Two middle-aged Mayo gentlemen ahead of me waiting to board, returning after a week’s work on the building sites of London. I gathered it wasn’t their first tour of duty overseas. Having spent twenty minutes complaining about the cost of the departure charge at the airport, they ended up talking round in circles eventually praising its value compared with the cost of travelling to Britain in the eighties. By the time we were ready to board, a general consensus had been reached that for the convenience of having an international airport on their doorstep, donating all their worldly goods at the gate wouldn’t be outrageous. (For any airport staff reading I’d disagree – a tenner is plenty!) In summary: we shouldn’t take Monsignor Horan’s landmark achievement for granted.
And to flog that airport metaphor to death, we similarly shouldn’t take the achievements of this current Mayo team for granted either. For that reason, I had sufficient confidence prior to the Donegal clash to go ahead and book flights back for the semi-final. A gamble on meeting the Dubs in Croker on the last weekend of August. Another flight, another trip to headquarters.
As the countdown to the All-Ireland quarter final (against God only knows who) gets underway, it’s probably time to start making a few plans for getting there. With that in mind, here’s some early info on transport for Mayo supporters to Croke Park.
Bearing in mind that we are playing twice in Croke Park on 8th August (our Junior team takes on Kerry in the All-Ireland Final at 2pm and our seniors play in the quarter-final at 6pm), it’s expected that as usual, a large contingent will be making the journey from the West.
Credit: Mayo GAA Facebook Page
We’ll be compiling a list of transport options and updating it over the coming days so if you know anyone who is running a private coach on the day please contact us with details or leave a comment underneath, and we’ll add it in.
Irish Rail are running trains from Ballina and Westport at times that work well for the games: – see all relevant information here:
BALLINROBE: Kieran Biggins is providing a ticket plus transport deal, with the bus leaving Ballinrobe at 1.00pm sharp. The cost of the bus and entry ticket to Croke Park to the match is €35.Anyone interested who wishes to reserve a place should contact Kieran on 087 2705050 to book their place, early bookings are advisable. (Thanks to Ballinrobe GAA)
BALLINA: Treacy Coaches are running a bus to Dublin on the 8th, departing Ballina at 12 noon. To book, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 096 22563. Depending on preferences, i.e. whether people want to see the Junior Final (which we hope they will!) they may run a coach at 9.30am to cater for them, so if you are interested please get in touch with them as soon as possible.
Crossmolina: Call Gillespie Coaches on 085 7646523 for details.
If there are any other planned buses please let us know and we will post them here.
Parking around Croke Park on Saturday is harder to get than parking on Sundays – for one, on-street parking is a bit of a risk due to clampers. Details on car parks near Croke Park can be found here.
Mayo GAA has posted the following information on its website about Euro Car Parks’ €7 match day parking offer. Saturday’s special offer is available at the Mater Car Park; the closest official car park to the stadium, with all day parking available for only €7 and it can be booked online here. Fans are advised to book early for this weekend to avoid disappointment. UPDATE: This is now fully booked out (Friday evening)
Luas Cross-city works are ongoing in the city centre; all information is here. Main thing to note is that if you’re travelling on Friday that you can’t use College Green between 7am and 7pm. Just leave yourself plenty of time if you are travelling across the city and you will be fine.
Sunday: If you’re staying overnight in Dublin, be aware that the Ironman 70.3 is happening in Dublin on Sunday 9th and there will be rolling road closures throughout the city to facilitate all those mad fit people running and cycling and swimming around the place. All details can be found on their website here.
Podcast: Check out the Mayo News Quarter-final preview podcast – always well worth a listen before (and after) a big game – link embedded below.
Wavelength Video Launch: Local band Wavelength after their recent video recording sessions around the county are releasing their “Seven Mayo Finals” song & video in the Upper Deck, Crossmolina tonight (Thursday) at 9:30pm. All proceeds to Crumlin Children’s Hospital.
On the day:
Get your message on the big screen in Croke Park.
The GAA are providing the usual entertainment features including the half time interval act. Because Croke Park will be full of culchies Marty Mone will be performing his massive hit single ‘Hit the Diff’ at half time during the Monaghan and Tyrone game. (No, we don’t know what it means either but the Farmer’s Journal has kindly provided a glossary of terms for the less tractor literate among us.)
So here we are for 5 years running – in an All-Ireland Quarter Final. But this time we have an added bonus – our juniors are contesting for All-Ireland glory against Kerry at 2pm. Any day your county plays an All-Ireland Final in Croke Park is special, so make sure you come early and bring your colour and your voiceboxes. You’ll have plenty of time during the Monaghan-Tyrone game to relax them for the senior lads.
Best of luck to our two squads and safe travels to everybody making their way to Croke Park!
Pearse Park in Longford is the venue this Saturday 21st March at 1 PM for the All Ireland Girls Senior Schools final. Once again a Mayo team, Davitt College , contests an All-Ireland final.
They will play the Leinster champions Kilcullen from Kildare. Davitts beat the Ulster champions from Monaghan Colaiste Oiriall in the Semi final and vanquished Leitrim’s finest Ballinamore in the Connacht Final.
Best Of luck to the management and team of Davitt College on Saturday from all at Club ’51. Beir Bua!
The 2015 Mayo Season Ticket can be renewed from the 1st of October for existing season ticket holders for €85, an increase from €75 last year. At the moment the Mayo GAA Croke Park season ticket is sold out and is only open to renewals from existing Mayo season ticket holders. If the Mayo season ticket does become available for new applicants it can be purchased from the 1st of November at a base price of €95 for adults. Juvenile season tickets remain €10.
– All Mayo’s Allianz League matches plus all League semi-finals and finals or relegation play-offs.
– AIB GAA Club Championship All-Ireland Finals in Croke Park on St. Patrick’s Day.
– AIB GAA Club Junior and Intermediate All-Ireland Finals in selected code.
– Mayo’s opening Connacht Championship fixture.
– €5 off future ticket prices (execpt the Connacht final and All Ireland final, full ticket price applies)
– Further special offers for various GAA fixtures.
You will also get a small discount during the Championship – Pay per play starts after the Connacht Semi-Final.
We would recommend that, if you are a GAA Season Ticket holder, to organise yourself, your family and/or mates into the Seating Ticket Groups. You can add up to 10 tickets to the group which, in the long run, may help us rally the troops if and when we reach Croker. You can find information on group seating here. If you are on your own and want to join up with one of the groups made up of the good folk from Club ’51, then click here for information on joining a Mayo Club 51 group!
GAA reserves the right to request identification to confirm the identity of the Season Ticket Holder.
Now we are not too sure what this means at the moment. Since the season ticket scheme began in 2009, your season ticket was always transferable. If you could not attend a match you could give your ticket to someone else to use. We will be in contact with the season ticket office to clarify this and will let you know in due course.
We’re delighted to welcome Gerry in Laois to the hot seat this week, where he’s giving the last rallying call to the troops before tomorrow. Read and obey!! Take it away Gerry …
I think by now we have made our feelings pretty clear on the semi-final replay débâcle. Willie Joe summed it up quite succinctly on Tuesday when he observed that in the eyes of the top brass at Croke Park:
“We truly are Children of a Lesser God.”
But that’s the hand we have been dealt. it’s a crappy one, but one we now have to play. I think we must now grab this opportunity to turn adversity into advantage.
The Gaelic Grounds has a capacity of about 50,000 or so, and this game will probably be a sell-out. We easily outnumbered the Kerry fans the last day, about 4-1 by my reckoning. If you don’t believe me, have a look at the crowd photo taken for eircom.ie/gaa and compare the number of Mayo and Kerry jerseys on show. We won’t have this advantage on Saturday, given Limerick’s proximity to Kerry. (You all have your tickets by now, I hope?!) But that doesn’t mean that we can’t own the joint for the evening and turn this into a de facto home game.
We know all our players give everything to the cause. There is no place for passengers on any top-class team, and on Saturday, there will be no place for passengers in the stands either. If you want to come to the match and just sit and observe in silence, may I respectfully suggest that you use your Sky+ or UPC box for that purpose. We are going to Limerick to do a job, and that is to let our lads know that they have the best supporters in the country backing them all the way.
Last Sunday when the chips were down we did ourselves proud, both on the field and in the stands. The colour and raucous noise were a joy to behold and you could see that it gave the lads a lift, and helped them to go that little bit further and get those vital scores. We need to do that again on Saturday evening from before the match even starts, right to the very end.
Bring as much colour as possible. Flags, jerseys, hats, whatever you can find. If you don’t have anything to hand, look in the hot press and see if you can find two pieces of red and green material and stitch them together. We have immense pride in our county colours, so let’s make the Gaelic Grouds a #seaofgreenandred.
(Photo: James Crombie/INPHO)
The smaller ground means we will be closer to the action, so if we can replicate the noise levels from Croke Park last Sunday, we will have this place rocking. Make sure to be in place well before throw-in. When the stadium announcer reads out the Mayo team names, let us roar out our approval in unison, for every single name. As loud as we can, so that they hear it in the dressing rooms. Then before the teams emerge, we start a chant. Bring anything along that will make a bit of noise – horns, bodhrans, whatever. Stamp your feet as you chant. Can you imagine the effect that would have on our lads as they’re coming out of the dressing room? Hearing tens of thousands of feet stamping in unison and the chant “MAYYYY-OH! MAYYYY-OH! MAYYYY-OH!”
And then when they emerge, we raise the roof.
All through the game, we keep going. We cheer not just every score, but every time a Mayo hand touches the ball. Every pass completed, every kick-out secured, every turnover won, every broken ball won, every free won, every Kerry shot blocked, we shake the rafters. (OK, I know there are rafters and a roof on one side of the pitch only, but you know what I mean!) If it’s not going our way, we keep urging our lads on even more. If it looks like the ref is giving a few too many soft frees to Kerry, we get on his case. If you find yourself behind the Kerry bench, roar even louder so that their players can’t hear their instructions.
If you still have any anger or frustration in you from Sunday, this will help you vent it. Don’t worry if you lose your composure and end up looking like Steve Ballmer, because the result will be worth it. We played Kerry up a stick with fourteen men on the field last Sunday and the equivalent of at least two or three more in the stands. Imagine what we could do with our full fifteen and the same again or more from the stands?
And when it’s all over, and everyone is celebrating our third consecutive All-Ireland Final appearance in one of Limerick’s fine hostelries, we sing with one voice:
“You can stick your American Football up your arse, up your arse!”