Connacht Final weekend is upon us, and the build-up has started in earnest, now that both teams have been named. Our fate is our hands now as we face into the not-unappealing challenge of making it a historic four-in-a-row in Connacht. The weekend anticipation is starting to build nicely at this point and no doubt the roads will be busy tonight with Mayo folks making the pilgrimage to the west – if you’re on the road or in the air, take it handy and be safe!
In the meantime, Club ’51 held their inaugural charity quiz last night, July 10th in Coady’s Bar, Castlebar. We had a fantastic turnout, and on behalf of the Club ’51 team, we want to say a massive THANK YOU to everyone who came out and supported our two fantastic charities. We had a huge 16 tables, totaling 64 people, who took part on the night. We are delighted to announce that we raised a grand total of €1072.30, meaning that Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association and Raynaud’s & Scleroderma Ireland will both benefit to the tune of €537 each.
Congrats to our lovely winners, the No Namers, who won the battle for top spot and left with a voucher and an exclusive Club ’51 trophy each.
Our worthy winners!
Irish people have consistently proven themselves to be incredibly generous when it comes to supporting good causes, and Mayo is certainly no exception – we couldn’t have made a success of the night without the support we received from local businesses and individuals (who in turn we’d urge you to support). In particular, we would like to acknowledge the following:
- Cafe Rua, Castlebar, for their lovely hamper (we’re still drooling)
- The McWilliam Park Hotel, Claremorris for donating dinner for two
- Helena Chocolates, Castlebar, for afternoon tea (comes highly recommended)
- Vaughan’s Shoes, Castlebar for their voucher
- Tesco, Castlebar for their generous array of prizes
- Rosewater, Castlebar for their candle
- Flag Man Ireland for his donation of four flags and numerous car flags!
- Just Baked, Castlebar for their voucher (you’re in for a treat).
- The Royal Theatre, Castlebar for the show tickets
- Coady’s Bar, for their crystal wine glasses, and indeed for hosting the quiz and looking after us so well on the night
- M & C Castlebar for the crystal whiskey tumblers
- Presents.ie, Swinford for their lovely candle-holder
- The McTigue family from Cross
- Robert Bashford, Bangor
- Anne Cleary, Lusk, Co. Dublin
- The Flynn family, Ardagh
Thanks also to John Gleeson, our esteemed quiz-master who did a superb job on the night and had everyone scratching their heads more than once. (Dingbats, anyone?!)
We also won tickets during the week to the Connacht Final on Sunday, which we offered as a raffle prize – these were very kindly donated back to us by the prizewinner, Declan O’Connor, for auction. The tickets went for a grand total of €80, bought by Joe Togher. (Incidentally, we’d also like to thank eircom GAA for throwing in an extra set of tickets for the Sligo game when they heard that the prize was going to charity. We even managed to give them away as a prize to a Sligo man!)
We’re hoping to bring the Club ’51 quiz night on the road over the coming months, so keep an eye out for us! In the meantime, thank you once again for your warm support and generosity and we hope you enjoyed the night as much as we did.
Now, to the important business of the weekend … bringing the JJ Nestor Cup home where it belongs for a fourth consecutive year. Don’t forget to bring your flags!
Maigh Eo Abú!
We have been getting a lot of queries since our quiz plans were announced about Raynaud’s and Scleroderma Ireland. Meadhbh Cleary, who sits on the board of directors of the charity and also set up the North Dublin Support Group, gives us a brief insight into the condition.
Have you ever noticed your own or a friend’s fingers turning blue or white in the cold? The condition is called Raynaud’s Phenomenon and it’s more than just poor circulation. It happens when the immune system restricts blood flow to the extremities, including the fingers, toes, lips, ears and nose. For most people, Raynaud’s Phenomenon is an isolated condition. However, in rare cases, Raynaud’s is a symptom of a more dangerous disease, known as Scleroderma.
Scleroderma is an autoimmune condition that causes the body to over produce collagen, making the skin and organs harden and stop working. There is no cure and doctors can only try to slow the condition as it appears in various parts of the body.
People who are diagnosed with Scleroderma not only have to cope with extreme changes to their physical abilities and appearance, they also have to live with an unpredictable medical condition that even most GPs don’t understand. Most sufferers are diagnosed in their 50s and 60s and feel alone, scared and confused. Raynaud’s & Scleroderma Ireland are working to help people with these conditions to to get access to medical experts, to connect with other people in the same position and to understand how to live in a way that gives them a good quality of life. I know because I’m one of the people who has benefited from the work they do. If you want to help me help others, please join me at Club 51’s table quiz on the 10th July in Castlebar.
For more information on Raynaud’s and Scleroderma Ireland, visit their website and Facebook Page. And just like any charity, awareness is key. So please don’t forget to like, share, follow and retweet!
… will take place in Coady’s of Castlebar on the evening of Thursday 10th July. So get swotting!
More info to follow shortly, including details of the charities we’ll be supporting, and some of the prizes we’ll have on offer, but in the meantime add the date to your diaries folks, it’s bound to be a good one.
Hope to see a few of you there on the night!
If you’re a regular attendee at Mayo games, you might have seen our flags flying from various places in the stands and terraces. A few people have already asked us how they can get their hands on flags like ours. Well, the good news is – anyone can get one!
But firstly, some background on how we got our flags. When we set up Club ’51, with the aim of bringing some noise and colour to games, quite a few of you got in touch to contribute a few pence or pounds, and we are delighted to say that your cash has gone towards making a number of different flags and banners. To date, we have 11 large “tifo” stick flags, which you’ll have seen at the games, as well as one very large banner with the team, and two smaller ones with our crest (one of which is currently winging its way around the world on Route ’51). These are your flags, and we hope they’ll be flying at Mayo games for many a year, even decade to come. The Club ’51 crew are simply their guardians 🙂
We keep full records on our website of any contributions we’ve received, as well as all our receipts, so anyone who has signed up to the site and has contributed can see where their money has gone. Club ’51 is, has always been, and intends to always be, an unofficial supporter’s club. It does not operate to make a profit.
We get our gear from Flag Man Ireland, having done our supplier research, and he has provided us with a fantastic service – we only have good things to say about him. The flags are made quickly and made well, and they are not your standard Mayo flag. They are of exceptional quality, made with lightweight printed polyester, a strong, versatile fabric that is used to achieve the vibrant colours you’ll have seen, and which is also much stronger and more resilient than your normal flag material. If you invest in one of these flags, you’ll have it for a long, long time. We have not been able to find custom flags of this quality, with the level of service we’ve received, anywhere else in the country.
For those of you interested in getting your hands on one of these, they are available to buy directly from Flag Man Ireland. We don’t have infinite funds – and neither do we have infinite hands to fly any more flags we get made! – so if you want to invest in a flag to fly yourself, we can highly recommend these. And the the more flags dotted around any given stadium, the better! In terms of prices, the standard stick flags we have, which are 4×4, cost €40 each (including the wooden dowel – €35 without). They are of excellent quality that will last a lifetime if you mind them. They are also available in other sizes at other prices – just ask when you’re ordering. He has the designs, so just give him a description of the Club ’51 flag you want (we’ve shown them all below) and he’ll take it from there. And you can even get car flags.
Club ’51 (contrary to any rumours you may hear or read on social media), is not profiting in any way from the sale of any flags you may wish to purchase. Rather, you’ll be dealing directly with our supplier and will have your own Club ’51 flag to have and to hold, ’til Sam do we win.
We’ve put in a lot of work over the past few months to get Club ’51 off the ground, and the enthusiasm from Mayo supporters for the idea has been brilliant. (Thank you!) It’s been a great experience and we hope it continues that way. Disappointingly, there will always be one or two who, without making the effort to establish the facts, are happy to make false (and legally questionable) claims about what we’re about. That makes us sad, but we hope we’ve clarified our position here. If you do have any queries, don’t hesitate to get in touch and we’ll answer any questions you might have.
Now, how to get a flag. You can contact Flag Man (who goes by the name of Mark!) via phone or email (details below) – be sure and tell him we sent you.
Square Club ’51 crest on white background
Current Mayo Crest
Some of the Mayo Club 51 crew flying the flags!
The 1951 crest (this is our favourite!)
The new flags make their colourful debut at Mayo v Derry.
Whether you were there or not, we think it’s safe to say that the New York game was a big event. While those of us who were lucky enough to make the trip across are still in recovery mode, talk in the county is now turning to “Step Two” in this year’s campaign on 8th June. But in the meantime, here’s how our latest guest poster Fear an Chomórtais fared over in NYC last weekend. Welcome aboard, sir!
There’s very few guarantees in this life, but but one thing you can guarantee, is that when this fair county of ours takes the football show on the road, we will most definitely enjoy ourselves! The planning for this New York trip for me started 5 years ago, having been out to Gaelic Park in ’04 and ’09, so to say I was looking forward to this trip was a massive understatement.
Getting the pleasantries out of the way and meeting a few fellow Club ’51ers at the airport, after the flight we did the minibus ride into Manhattan, after which a few of our English neighbors were much wiser on the state of Mayo football as we dismounted.
The customary Mayo flags flew out from the Irish hostelries to entice the noticeable gathering inside. You’d get an odd “go Mayo” in a strong New York accent,to which the reply came “good man yourself”. Eugene Rooney’s Irish Pub became the focal point of the weekend for us, meeting a load from home and some not far from there. Friday night we did our own thing, even gatecrashing some local collegiate alumni event in Suite 36 on W36 St between 5th and 6th avenue, indeed getting some alumni souvenirs for our efforts.
New York gets ready for the Mayo influx …
The intention was to get up early on Saturday to watch the All-Ireland U21 final, between Roscommon and Dublin, which we more than managed to do in the Old Castle Bar. A large crowd was there and I’d even hazard a guess saying 40% were shouting for the Yellowbellies. I for one wasn’t, but the conundrum was I didn’t want the Dubs to win either! The atmosphere was very relaxed all day. We did the customary sightseeing after, of course in the colours, but at this stage you could see the green and red on every street. I love the way that when away at a match like this you always get acknowledged with a nod or a “Howaya lads” while every other New Yorker has the earphones in and the blinkers on, oblivious to the craic building up all around them! Mayo brought the party to town!
The function in Connolly’s that night resembled Quinn’s or Coppers on match day, wedged and very humid. Hard to get to thebar and getting to the bathroom none better. I did think the band were a bit American to be playing Irish tunes but god bless them they played their hearts out each of the 4 times they played The Green And Red of Mayo! But the craic was good and after a while we ended up chatting to John Casey – sure all the stars were out – wasn’t Mike Finnerty holding court behind us and Willie Joe up at the bar! I was getting plenty chat over my shirt, I wore it knowing well that everyone would get a laugh out of it, who would have known that we Mayo people could warrant a laugh at a t-shirt saying “bollox of a ref”! We’ve met more than a few! Legged it back to the Irish pub about 1am, and had the pleasure of sharing a few drinks with the O’Toole brothers from Inisturk, stars of the documentary “Pride of the Parish”. We won an all Ireland there and then, pity it had to finish!
Mayo GAA fans take over the New York Subway
On to Sunday, started well and ended well! What happened in between is the stuff of legend. We met a few legends at the Irish bar; Bernie Waldron who was involved with the mayo minors in the 90’s and a crew from Ballyhaunis. The beers were flying and the craic was mighty, (already arranged the return leg at the Hyde!). The story of the weekend was the lads got into a taxi, Johnny Devaney from Ballyhaunis hopped in the front, asked the cab driver “Where are you from” he answered “Egypt” without a missed breath Johnny replied “and do you walk like an Egyptian?” well when we heard that I split my sides laughing!
We got the subway out to the match – not before stopping off at the Playwright to see if Nicky Joyce was tending bar – he wasn’t – so we moved on. We had a singsong all the way out, cameras were taking pictures and videos, the Yanks didn’t have a clue what was going on but surprise surprise they wanted pictures of us all, and we duly obliged. The Punch Bowl just before Gaelic park provided a comforting pit stop but the one toilet proved torture!
Mayo supporters party in Gaelic Park
The carnival atmosphere at the pitch I’ve experienced before, but you don’t get tired of it. Seriously though, you will not understand it until you’ve experienced it. Met friends who came down from Philadelphia and from Boston – was hard to meet everyone. As for the game, it was hard to see, we couldn’t get a seat so soldiered out a place at the fence. If this was a Premier League match, a “very professional performance” phrase would be used. It’s not the Premier League, but it was a very workmanlike outing. Truth be told it’s a routine fixture, the exiles never expected to get close and they didn’t. The party after was worth coming for! Having read the Sunday Independent and Colm O’ Rourke’s article, it’s plain to be seen that the New York trip was enjoyed by more than just the Mayo diaspora! It felt like a celebration.
I had a chat with Kildare legend Johnny Doyle, what an absolute gent. He was supremely jealous that Kildare and the likes couldn’t be involved in something like this. His opinion on the championship is that it’s the Dubs to lose, but Mayo the only team to challenge them! On Sunday night, it was back to the Oldcastle after Gaelic park, the $30 donation at the door a tad steep but knowing that it was for the players fund it was worth paying. The party atmosphere followed into Manhattan from the Bronx, but already the focus had switched to the Rossies in June.
While I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed every second of this trip Stateside, it’s the start of hopefully a long summer, one which rights a few wrongs over the last few years,and come June 8th be it the Yellowbellies or Lovely Leitrim, we will show up in force like we did in New York and push this team forward.