Transport To Croke Park This Sunday

Transport To Croke Park This Sunday

Alternative transport to Croke Park this Sunday 24th of August.

irish rail strike

As you probably know by now, there is threatened industrial action by Iarnród Éireann workers this weekend the 24th & 25th of August. This makes transport to Croke Park this Sunday all the more difficult for travelling supporters, both from Mayo and Kerry. Services affected include Intercity, DART and commuter routes.

Mayo CarIf you are intending on driving to Croke Park next Sunday, please remember that there is very limited parking around the stadium. The area is monitored by Dublin City Council Parking Enforcement and illegally parked cars may be clamped or towed awayThere are numerous car parks nearby however,  including O’Connell School on the North Circular Road, Clonliffe College on Clonliffe Road, the Mater Hospital car park on Eccles street, just off Dorset Street. There are also plenty of city centre car parks, some of which run special offers on match days – just check out the link here:

  Full list of car parks near Croke Park.

Via Mayo GAA – Euro Car Parks Special Match Day Offer of €6 (Book in advance)

Euro Car Parks, Ireland’s leading car parking operator, today announced details of its €6 match day parking offer which will allow GAA fans travelling from Mayo and Kerry book their Croke Park car parking spaces in advance on www.eurocarparks.ie.

The new service is available at the Mater Car Park, the closest official car park to the stadium, with all day parking available for only €6. For many Mayo fans the victory over Cork in the quarter- final was marred by discovering their cars clamped when they left the stadium. The online booking service was launched two weeks ago and so far hundreds of GAA fans from all over the country have availed of the offer and booked on www.eurocarparks.ie.

Fans are advised to book early for this weekend to avoid disappointment as there are only 400 guaranteed spaces available.

View AA Roadwatch match day information.

If you are driving to the match this Sunday please also think about car pooling  (and please feel free to post on our Facebook page or mention us on twitter using the hashtag #mayogaalifts if looking for or offering seats!). If driving it’s wise to allow plenty of time for travelling as there will be various delays on the road to Croke Park on Sunday (as if it wasn’t hard enough!)

  • The Ballaghderren by-pass is nearing completion and has traffic lights on both ends.
  • The annual Longford mini marathon will be taking place on Sunday morning and expect lengthy delays both sides of Longford town. Marathon will start at 8.30am with the wheelchair participants starting at 9.45am. The Marathon is due to finish at approx 4pm Sunday afternoon.
  • There will be road closures on the Chapelizod road in Dublin from 7am to 1pm on Sunday morning. (Thanks to @dochreidte for info)

Bus operators providing transport to Croke Park this Sunday 24th

Please note: There are lots of private operators departing on Sunday and offering good deals direct to Drumcondra. Mayo Club ’51 strongly advises that you contact the bus operators directly first to book and confirm times of departure.

  • TMG Transport : Leaving The Gateway Swinford @8 AM. Contact 094 9252156  or 087-8505045
  • Corduff Travel : travelling from Belmullet & Ballina. Contact 097-88949
  • Treacy CoachesLeaving Ballina @7.30 AM. Contact 096-22563
  • Gillespie Coaches : Leaving Crossmolina & Ballina. Contact 085-7646523
  • Malachy Gaughan Coaches : Leaving Belmullet. Contact 097 81243

If there’s anything we haven’t included here, get in touch with us and we’ll add it in.

Regardless of whether you’re driving, bus-ing, cycling, hitching or just good old-fashioned jet-packing it, be sure to have your colours on display en route and your voices in warm-up mode. And don’t forget the tae and sangwidges.

Safe travels to all of you making the journey and arrive alive!

 

The First of Many

The First of Many

Kenneth Conway is our latest contributor to our “Nostalgia Week”. I’ve just this second made that up, but it works. So it’s Nostalgia Week from now on. Take it away Kenny!

I’m a 19 year old and for someone of such a young age I have seen and been at an amount of Mayo games you would need a few sets of hands to count and even then you might need an extra hand or two. I have been going to Mayo matches for the last 10 years or more. In 2004 I went to my first All Ireland Final and that was an experience in itself and I am going to tell you a little bit about the experience in the lead up to it and after the match itself.

At that time it was a week or so off my 10th birthday and I remember I kept asking my dad to bring me to Croke Park for the final but he kept saying no that it was too expensive. So me like most children when they didn’t get their way went to their bedroom and sulked. Little did I know he had actually got tickets for us both.

It was the night before the final and I went to my room and there it was right in front of the telly was a ticket and I felt as if I was after getting the golden ticket like Charlie from the movie Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. My parents were in the sitting room which was directly below my bedroom and I’d safely say they thought I would come through the ceiling with the way I was jumping for joy.

I remember running down the stairs and going straight over to my dad giving him the biggest hug. I was absolutely ecstatic at the fact that I had got a ticket after asking him over and over again to get me one and him repeatedly telling me no.

My dad soon told me to go and get my jersey and flag ready for the morning and head straight to bed as it was going to be an early start in the morning. I ran straight back up to my room got my jersey and flag ready and jumped into bed. Tried as I might I just couldn’t get to sleep that night with the excitement of going to my 1st All Ireland Final. I know I was already in Croke Park previous to the final but this time was different as it was going to be my 1st final.

The big day came and we headed up to Dublin. So eventually we got there found a parking spot and made our way to Croke Park. Walking up Jones’ Road is another experience in itself being among tens of thousands of people who are all there for the same thing you are.

We finally got inside and made our way to our seat. The teams came out done their warm ups , had their photo’s taken , had the team talk and stand and face the flags for Amhrán na bhFiann. With all of these out of the way it was game time.

Croke Park

As we all know it didn’t end up being our day like it has every year we have been in a final since then and we suffer heart ache each year. For me as a 9 year old yes I was obviously disappointed that Mayo didn’t win but at the same time I was so happy that I was able to see an All Ireland Final for the 1st time.

Since then I have been to every final Mayo have been in and many a match since and hopefully I will be at another final this year and many more finals and matches in years to come.

Maigh Eo Abú !

Let’s be real … we all want the same thing

Let’s be real … we all want the same thing

In the next of our series of guest posts, we’d like to welcome Shamrocks (yes, of course that’s his real name) to the hot seat to take us on a journey from past to present. For those of you who remember ’89, this will bring back some magic memories.

An unorthodox Mayo man of sorts, born in England and brought up in a rural north Wicklow village ’til I was 11 years of age, before moving to the homeland of Mayo. My father was a native of Achill Island, it was there we spent most of our holidays as kids. It was always Mayo from day one, it was part of who we were and the county team was where I identified my connection to the place that will always be home.

My first memory was the old Salthill in 1984, travelling down with my comrade and chauffeur, my father. This is where it all began , the adventure of the journey down west, the anticipation of seeing the flags out of the car windows and then to the climax of seeing the footballers of Mayo run onto the pitch. Unfortunately we lost out to Galway on that day. My memories of the game itself are not too clear, I was only 6/7 years of age I suppose, but it’s amazing how silly things remain in the head, like only knowing the name of Willie Joe 😀

The years went on and the same journey was taken. ’85 I got to see them lift the Nestor Cup in Hyde Park; that was special but again too young to really take it in . ’87 seems a lot clearer, a really low-scoring game against Galway in Castlebar, but another defeat.

1989 is where it really comes alive for me.

We as a family had moved down home at last, to a rural village in east Mayo, Kilmovee, where my grandmother came from on my mother’s side. The first game against Galway in Tuam. We never won there (at the time) so a draw was a mighty return and we easily did the business in Castlebar in the replay, McHale and Larry with the goals. Next it was the Rossies and another draw, the replay was epic and no Mayo supporter of my age or older will ever forget Jimmy Burke’s goal in extra time. Hyde park erupted into an explosion of green and red; it was just priceless. The semi v Tyrone was of course the first time a lot of Mayo supporters ever seen Mayo win in Croke park in senior championship including father/mother and daughter/son generation. I suppose it was a bit like what winning the All-Ireland would be like now. The weeks leading up to the final were indescribable in terms of excitement – all the towns were decked out, the songs were released. As a child, the memories are of sheer happiness, the crowds at Knock airport to see our heroes off, running after the team coach with my new school mates from Tavrane NS through the thousands of fans singing ‘Willie Joe, Willie Joe’’ – it is just something that will stay with me forever.

Willie-Joe-1989

What a journey we have had since. The losing of finals down the years is what everyone likes to throw at us and of course it has been disappointing but is there any Mayo supporter out there who would swap all those journeys we have had in 89/96/97/04/06/12/13 for some form of mediocrity  like the vast majority of counties experience ?

We are now in a phase where we have reached the last two finals and are about to contest our fourth semi-final on the trot. People are getting uptight about where we are at – have we still a chance or are we burnt out as a unit? There is a sense of supporters being divided on aspects of what should have happened in finals and other issues. The truth is nobody really knows, we can all guess but let’s be real, everyone has one thing in common  – we all want the same thing.

So let’s get behind our bucks the next day in Croke park against Kerry, and roar them on. We are favourites with the bookies to beat Kerry in an all Ireland semi-final. Don’t be frightened by it, embrace it. Horan, Buckley, Prendergast and the panel have earned the fucking right to be a top team, now let us act the same, and fill her up with green and red!

Despite the heartache, I wouldn’t give it up for the world

Despite the heartache, I wouldn’t give it up for the world

Welcoming long-time Mayo GAA fan and one of the most dedicated supporters we’ve ever met, Clíona O’Gara from Charlestown to the Club ’51 hot seat. Cliona sums up below how most of us feel when it comes to following the team, through thick and thin, from winter to summer.

There are days when being a Mayo GAA fan seems like the ultimate punishment for something you thought you didn’t deserve. Those moments after an All-Ireland final defeat when you feel like you’ve done something horrendous in another life to feel such gut-wrenching pain and heartache. That horrible pain you get when looking around Croke Park at the opposition’s fans celebrating, and thinking “this can’t be happening again”. Facing that dreadful journey down the motorway, seeing car flags on the road ahead, meeting other MO reg cars at the toll and everyone giving a sympathetic smile to everyone else. Stopping in Supermac’s in Longford, meeting more grieving fans and dissecting every ounce of the game with a complete stranger. Getting home, torturing yourself by watching the Sunday Game and going to bed thinking of what could have been. 
 
But even though being a Mayo fan has carried heartache on the third Sunday in September, I wouldn’t give it up for the world. We have a lot more good days than bad. I love the feeling when waking up on a cold, January Sunday morning and heading for an FBD game in Ballyhaunis or Ballinlough dressed from head to toe in your winter woollies. You look around and spot the usual 20 people that you know you’re gonna see at the rest of the games in every part of the country. You soon forget about the previous year and what might have been, and focus on what might be, and the blood starts pumping for a new season. The league flies by and before we know it, were wearing short sleeves and anticipating the championship. There’s no feeling like going to a championship game. Hearing the roars of the fans, feeling the shivers run down your spine when the National Anthem is playing, seeing those fans that have come late and cursing them for standing in front of you, but most importantly being there. Being there to watch your team, your county, your lads that you feel like you know personally from following them on twitter to Croker. 
 
Yes, not every day is a good one being a Mayo GAA fan but the good ones are nothing short of great. No, we haven’t landed that ultimate prize,; no, we haven’t seen our boys walk the Hogan stand and lift that cup we desire so much, but we will. In the meantime, we continue to get behind the team that has given us so many hours of enjoyment and entertainment. Mayo are very close to landing that prize and there will be a time when that final whistle will go in Croke Park and we will be All Ireland Senior Champions. We will experience that feeling that I’m pretty sure compares with nothing else for a GAA fan. We will cheer down the motorway, we will forget about our chips in Longford so we can get to Castlebar as quickly as possible and most of all, the journey of heartache over the years will all be forgotten.We won’t hold any grudges.

2014 may just be that year. Maybe.

 

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