On the road back to Cork
Greetings, fellow Mayo GAA fanatics. Time to fill up the tank, check the oil and pack the ham sandwiches – the first road trip of the year is in sight. Devastatingly cheated out of an away game in the salubrious surroundings of Hyde Park last Sunday week, we have been consoling ourselves since with the prospect of a trip back to Cark, boy, for the second year running. And if it’s anything like last year’s there’s a hell of a weekend in store.
You’ll remember the sickening outcome last year as Mayo conceded a goal with the last play of the game to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Tom Parsons blasted back onto the scene that day and laid down a marker for the year ahead, and if his performances in the FBD League to date have been anything to go by, he is aiming higher for 2016.
The Club ’51 crew will again be making the journey south, some of us that are partial to the
drink culture on Saturday to make a weekend of it, others on Sunday morning. And all of us will no doubt be cursing the N20 and Paschal Donohue for making life difficult for everyone crawling along the windy road from Limerick (don’t mention Limerick) and the Real Capital™.
The game throws in at 2 pm in Pairc Ui Rinn,which leaves plenty of time for Mass on the way, and the man in the middle will be the one and only Maurice Deegan. Pairc Ui Rinn is of course Cork’s acting county ground while they spend a few millions worth of your money building a new stadium. There had better be comfy seats, that’s all we’re saying.
Tickets for this match are €10 if you buy them in advance either online or in Centra or Supervalu, or €15 on the day.
Getting There and Parking
(We’ve just copied this info from last year’s post because we work smart.)
- Getting to Páirc Úi Rínn isn’t too difficult. Anyone that has been to Páirc Úi Caoimh before, it is only about half a mile away. Follow our map below from the City centre.
- Parking however is not as plentiful as it is around Páirc Úi Caoimh (as limited as that is!). It is all mostly on- street parking around Páirc Ú Rínn so if you’re planning on driving get there early or you’ll have a bit of a trek on your hands and a traffic jam getting out.
- For anyone that’s driving down either on Saturday or Sunday, if your’re stopping at Supermac’s in Ballindine show your season ticket and you’ll get a free Tea or Coffee!
- We’re awaiting more info on buses from Mayo and Dublin and will update this it comes in – check back during the week!
- Barrett Coach’s : coach leaves Bangor at 7am, Crossmolina at 7:20am, Ballina at 7:30am, Foxford at 7:40am & Claremorris at 8am. Phone 086-2427347 to book your seat.
- Bus from Shrule : leaving on Sunday contact Tom Sheridan 087 9256326 for information.
- Most people travelling down to Cork the day before will have already booked accommodation (some of the more eager among us have it done since last October), but a quick search on hotels.ie and booking.ie reveals plenty of available accommodation for the discerning Mayo GAA supporter. So get on it!
On the Town, boy
- For any of you planning on travelling to Cork on Saturday, the first Club ’51
pissup meetup of the year will be happening in the inimitable Larry Tompkins’ pub on Lavitt’s Quay from 9pm. No GAA fan needs an introduction to Larry’s.
- Don’t forget to call into The Shelbour Bar on MacCurtain St. owned by Philip Gillivan from Westport. Last year, anyone calling in on match day before or after the match wearing a Mayo colours and with a match ticket got a free pint of Heineken – we’ll let you know if the offer still stands!
- Taxis :Add these numbers to your phone just in case you get marooned/stranded/kidnapped/lost in Cork. It happened to some people last year … but we won’t name names – you know who you are. For the rest of you, don’t say we never look out for you.
- Cork Taxi – 6, Washington Street West, Cork. Phone: (021) 4-27-22-22
- Douglas Street Cabs – 105 Douglas Street Cork. Phone: (021) 484 7600
- Yellow Cabs – 3 Courthouse Street Cork. Phone: (021) 487 7777
- Lee Cabs – 1A Popes Quay Cork. Phone: (021) 439 3977
- Satellite Taxis – Pouladuff Rd Cork. Phone: (021) 434 7777
Bring the Mayo GAA colour, like
The Green & Red of Mayo
Stephen Rochford and his Mayo GAA backroom team are embarking on their first real competitive game after a challenging winter, a very short bedding in period and with an injury-ravaged panel. This is the first big step on another very long journey, so let’s show our support. The more colour we can bring, the better, and the more noise we can make, the better. We’ll be giving our banners and flags another good airing this year, so help us out, bring your own and let’s make that stand a sea of green and red.
There will be no problem outnumbering Cork’s 14 football supporters; in fact, we might need to cheer for them too.
Last but not least – travel safe and enjoy yourselves. These are the days we live for. Up Mayo!!
For a while now, the topic of fundraising for Mayo GAA and in particular for the teams (as opposed to Servicing The Debt) has been a hot topic among supporters. Running a county team is not cheap, and in this era of near-professionalism it costs upwards of a whopping €10k per week to cover the costs of training the Mayo senior team (think gear, food, equipment, expenses, medical equipment etc.). It’s fair to say however that there is ample goodwill out there when it comes to supporting both our footballers and hurlers in their pursuit of success.
Keith Higgins, Aidan O’Shea and Cillian O’Connor launch the Mayo Teams Training and Welfare Lotto. (Photo: SmartLotto.ie)
Using Smart Lotto (a new, Mayo-based company offering online lotto services to GAA clubs), a number of the Mayo players in the last few days have launched The Mayo Teams Training & Welfare Lotto, a weekly online lotto game that can be played directly from the Mayo GAA website. The minimum play is €2, and you can play multiple lines or for a number of weeks at a time. All funds raised go directly towards the training and welfare of the Mayo footballers and hurlers, from minor level upwards, and will not be channelled towards either running Mayo GAA itself or paying the MacHale Park debt. We don’t have a breakdown of how this will be divided out by code or by level, or whether it will affect the funding structure already in place, but but will keep you posted with extra information as soon as it becomes available. Obviously, our debt to Croke Park still needs to be serviced, but it appears that the revised terms of the recent deal allow ringfencing of revenue streams for player welfare where they didn’t seem to previously, and this can only be a welcome development.
So for anyone who is anxious to support the Mayo GAA effort on a financial level, you now have another means of contributing, knowing that your money will be going to help the lads on the pitch access the best possible resources in their quests.
To play the Mayo GAA Lotto, log onto the Mayo GAA website, and scroll down to the Lotto widget on the left hand side. And who knows, you might even win a few quid!
More details on The Mayo News website here.
Casting our minds back to last Sunday, what a weekend we had in Derry and what a nail-biting finish. And what a feeling heading back down the road to know we had two more points in our pocket after hanging on to secure the win. And what about that support? Not for the first time, Mayo away support outnumbered the home sides (significantly so) and the noise in the stand was fantastic.
In keeping with that theme, this Saturday sees one of the highlights in the Mayo GAA calendar as we welcome the Boys in Blue to MacHale Park for the now customary Saturday evening game under lights. It has to be said, the Dubs’ travelling army always brings a bit of fun to town, and we’re looking forward to giving them a warm Mayo welcome. We’re also looking forward to showing them that they’re not the only supporters who can generate an atmosphere!
We need you
The Club ’51 crew are starting to ramp up their efforts for the year and we’ll be putting in a special effort on Saturday night to really make MacHale Park a Mayo fortress. That means we need colour and we need noise, so this is where you come in. We need you!
Bring a flag
Mayo Fans @ Mayo v Derry. Mayo Club 51 new flags.
Mayo flags in Croke Park
On this massive occasion, we’re asking as many as possible among you to wear your colours and bring along a flag. Big flags, small flags, car flags, it doesn’t matter. Give it to the kids to wave, wave it yourself like you just don’t care! We’ll have all our flags and banners on show, the Dubs will have their hats, flags and headbands, make sure you do too.
Bring back the Mayo Roar and make some noise
When the team runs out and after the national anthem – get on your feet and roar! This is going to be one tough battle, so let’s make it a battleground. A win would be massive, so be the 16th man and get behind the lads. Do what it takes to keep the atmosphere electric- beat a drum, start a chant, throw out a few bars of the Green and Red of Mayo. Embrace the bank holiday weekend and let your hair down. Having no hair however is not an excuse to sit in the corner like a wet blanket (and we’ve seen enough of blankets lately).
Drown out the Dubs and Take the Hill
The Dubs are well able to sing when they’re winning, but we can be every bit as good at making a racket ourselves. We’ll have our work cut out for us though and will need help! We’ll be congregating this for this game on the terraces behind the Bacon Factory goal on the Sportlann side of the pitch. And all you Dublin fans are welcome too!
We’re hoping that, with some collective effort, we can turn the entire end from this:
If a group of well organised priests’ house keepers from a small, remote island off the west of Ireland can do it for an All-Priest over 75 indoor soccer grudge match , then why can’t we? Even the great Fr. Romeo Sensini couldn’t handle the pressure that day.
After the game
Because it’s a Saturday night, it’d be rude not to go for a sociable pint or two with our friends from the Pale. Join us in An Sportlann after the game and who knows where the night will take us!
MAIGH EO ABÚ!
And We’re Off …
Finally – finally! – the countdown is almost over. It’s time to check the tyres and top up the oil in anticipation of the long trip to Killarney. It’s been a long winter – long than we’ve become accustomed to in recent years – but the competitive inter-county season is about to throw in at last. Sunday 2pm in Fitzgerald Park is the one we’ve been waiting for as Mayo travel to take on All-Ireland champions (it still sticks in the craw a bit, doesn’t it?) Kerry in their back yard. But a new year is a new year and forward we must look.
As competitive fare goes, this game is unlikely to reveal much in terms of prospects for the year ahead, due to the fact that both teams are missing a number of key players, but what’s really important is the points that are at stake. To take two points from the Kingdom from under their own roof would make for a satisfying start to the year, so Killarney here we come, and here’s hoping our old reliables and our new young guns get a good run at it and make the road home a short one.
Club ’51 will also be making the trip south to this stunning part of the country (don’t tell them we said that) and will be aiming to claim a significant proportion of Fitzgerald Stadium for the green and red. Anecdotally, it appears that the Mayo faithful are hitting the road in huge numbers this weekend, so if you’re looking for a place to lay your head, get on it ASAP otherwise you’ll be kipping in the back of the car. If you’re doing a day trip, amid warnings of unsettled weather over the next few days, be sure to plan ahead and leave in plenty of time -and arrive alive and unfrazzled. And for those of you doing the Ring of Kerry cycle on Saturday, may the wind be at your backs all the way, you mad yokes.
If this is your car, leave early. Like, tonight. (Pic: Balls.ie)
On The Day
In what is now becoming a time-honoured, revered and legendary tradition (a whole year old this weekend, in fact) Club ’51 will be assembling before the game in a local hostelry to mingle, give out about the weather and unanimously agree that Mayo is just as nice a spot as Kerry, we just don’t need to go on about it all the time. On the morning of the game, get yourselves to the Killarney Royal Hotel on College Street from 11.30am. Located only a ten-minute walk from Fitzgerald Stadium, we have it on good account that their hospitality is second to none. There is a traditional Irish lunch menu in the restaurant, or check out the bar/bistro menu where you can get bar food like soup, salads, burgers and sambos.
It’d look grand with a lick of green and red paint
Parking Near The Ground
Parking is relatively easy, as Killarney has plenty of car parts in the town centre,none of which are a lengthy walk (15-20 mins max) to the stadium. The car parks on Lewis Road or beside Killarney Public Library (on the N71) are the closest, so if you want the handier option (or if it’s raining), get in there early before the locals take all the good spots.
The Night Before
For those of you travelling down the night before, you’re in for a treat as Killarney is always a great spot for a few sociable beverages. On the Saturday evening from 9pm, some of the Mayo faithful will be convening in Tatler Jack on Plunkett St. (right in the heart of town) so do drop in if you’re feeling the bit of thirst. Tatler Jack is of course notable for featuring as it does some jerseys of the hallowed green and red, namely those of Gabriel Irwin and the mighty Willie Joe Padden. So therefore it’s practically a Mayo pub and you should feel right at home. Get practicing your “yerras” well in advance and if you meet any Kerry people on your travels be sure to assure them that we’ll barely manage to keep it kicked out to them. Nothing like getting in some mind game practice well in advance of the championship.
Last But Not Least …
That should be all you need to get you set for the weekend. Only one thing remains and that is a reminder to get behind our lads. None of us have forgotten Limerick, and if ever there was a time a team deserved a strong show of support, this is it. When our lads appear on the pitch, don’t be shy, don’t hold back but cheer for them like you’ve never cheered before. It might only be the first game in the League, but it marks the start of an another long road for this team, so let’s row in behind them and just like in Croke Park last August, be the 16th man again. Bring a flag, claim the stand and make them wonder in Kerry if they took a wrong turn and ended up on McHale Road.
And most of all stand tall and be proud of the green and red – our colours – and all they stand for as we look to the year ahead.
MAIGH EO ABÚ!
PS: A sincere thank you to our Kerry informants Caroline and Jerry for the helpful information – we won’t tell a soul!
PPS: Don’t forget your toothbrush.
It’s been a quiet week on the Mayo GAA front. With all the recent drama, it’s probably no harm, and it feels like everyone is keeping their heads down and behaving themselves … although we get the feeling that’s only temporary … We ourselves have been taking a bit of time out, but are starting to resurface and plan for 2015. Watch this space for updates!
One of the great joys that comes with the end of the All-Ireland Championship is the ramping up of the club championships. Last Sunday saw Castlebar Mitchels beat Garrymore, and Ballintubber beat Knockmore in the Treanlaur Catering Senior Football Championship to set up another South Mayo final on 19th October. The day was notable in particular for the eleven-goal spectacle that was the latter game, which saw the four O’Connor brothers of Ballintubber, Padraig, Ruaidhri, Diarmuid and Cillian score six goals between them for their club (the latter with a hat-trick), thus sealing their inclusion in GAA table quiz questions for decades to come.
(Photo: Michael McLaughlin in The Mayo News)
Now that the Sunday Game is over, if you want a football fix you’ll need to head outdoors! And the good news is, there’s a triple-header of club football activity in Elverys MacHale Park this Sunday:
- 12pm: Swinford take on Westport in the Breaffy House Hotel & Spa Resort Junior B Final
- 2pm: Achill take on Castlebar Mitchels in the Breaffy House Hotel & Spa Resort Junior A Final
- 3.45pm: The Egan Jewellers Intermediate Championship Final sees Ballyhaunis clash with Hollymount/Carramore.
On the Ladies’ Football front, there’s also some club action on Saturday 4th October:
- Carnacon (Mayo) take on St. Patrick’s Dromahair (Leitrim) @ 2.30pm in Kilcoyne Park, Tubbercurry in the Tesco Connacht Senior Club Championship
- And on the minor side, C.L. McHale Rovers (Mayo) meet Mohill (Leitrim) @ 4.30pm in Kilcoyne Park, Tubbercurry.
For those of you who are Croke Park/GAA Mayo Season ticket holders, these are now open for renewals only. There are no new tickets available at this point, as Mayo supporters have bought up their full allocation of GAA season tickets; however, new tickets may (or may not) become available at a later date. You should have received an email reminding you to renew: if not, all the information is here. There has been a €10 increase in the price of the season ticket this year – no information on the reason behind the increase has been forthcoming from the GAA Season ticket office thus far.
In Club ’51 news, we are off to the Blog Awards Ireland tomorrow night where we are hoping we might take away some silverware. Cross your fingers for us (and for everyone else, ‘cos some of us are very poor losers indeed).
We also have a couple of competitions lined up for our readers over the coming weeks so keep an eye on our Facebook and twitter pages for news.
To keep the fires burning, we are looking for new contributors to write about all things Mayo GAA-related over the winter, so if you fancy adding your name to the list of guest posters and sharing a story or an article, please get in touch. Near and far, young and old, all welcome.
Route ’51 continues to clock up the miles as our flag is heading off to some of our exiles Down Under over the coming weeks – give us a shout if you’re based somewhere far-flung and would like to feature on the map (No, Roscommon doesn’t count).
And as always, if anyone would like to get involved with Club’ 51, or has any ideas for what we can do next year, drop us a line, we would love to hear from you.
Til next time,
The Club ’51 crew