Dublin supporters on Hill 16 at Croke Park.
Nothing brings a community together better than a sporting occasion. And nothing unites a community more uniquely than a victory. In much the same way a country can celebrate a major win in competition (Ireland beating England in this year’s Cricket World Cup springs to mind), Dublin’s All-Ireland success over their arch-rivals Kerry last Sunday has brought a smile to the brow-beaten face of Dubliners.
Whether your a fan of GAA or not (I’m ambivalent most of the time), it’s hard not to get caught up in the euphoria a victory can bring. Already we’re looking forward to next year.
Posted in 100 Days, 100 Words, Dublin, Ireland, Sports
Tagged Cricket World Cup, Croke Park, Dublin, Dubliners, England, Gaelic Athletic Association, Ireland, Kerry GAA, Sam Maguire, Sam Maguire Cup
For all but a few of you reading this post, the All-Ireland series means very little. But if you’re Irish, like your GAA, and your county winning the Sam Maguire Cup means more to you than life itself, then the All-Ireland is where it’s at this weekend.
It’s the Battle Royale: The Dubs versus the Kingdom; Dublin against Kerry. The Blues are searching for their first title since 1995, while Kerry are the reigning champions. (Stay awake at the back there, I’ll be asking questions later.) If the Capital City triumph this Sunday, then 16 years of hurt will disappear like cider down a football supporter’s gullet. If they lose, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
You're not a Dub if you don't drink cider.
For me – and for the rest of my workmates – it will be a day that will go down in infamy. Throngs of supporters will convene at Croke Park and its surroundings like Muslims at Mecca. They will be excited, nervous, full of hopes and anticipation, and they will have throats drier than a camel’s arse in a sandstorm. Which is where we bartenders come in. For most of the morning, afternoon and evening (all bloody day actually) we will pump out enough booze to fill the Grand Canyon ten times over: these Dubs are a thirsty lot, let me tell you.
We will be busier than St. Peter on Judgement Day. We’ll be working flat out to ensure that no thirst goes unquenched because this is what we bartenders do. We will listen to the crap that drunks come out with when one too many has been consumed; we will mop up vomit that’s had the indecency to spew out at importune times; we will smile when we’re abused – because that’s what we bartenders do. We will take money and give out correct change, as well as making sure there’s plenty of ice and bandages, because accidents may happen.
We will open early and close late. We don’t expect to be thanked for our endeavours because we know the boss will look after us after he’s lodged the day’s takings with Brinks Allied.
The Girls in Blue
We will listen patiently to the hundred-and-first rendition of “Come On Ye Boys In Blue” and not complain when another glass is smashed against the wall. We will not laugh when security escort an unruly supporter off the premises (usually head first) and into a waiting police car. We will hope the judge goes easy on him the next morning. We will say prayers when we go to bed that night.
If we make it to bed, that is.
We look forward to doing an honest day’s trade when Dublin win the All-Ireland (which we hope they do). But we hope the supporters make life easy for us and not start any fights. Because we bartenders don’t like fights. We like the simple life. Here’s your pint, there’s your change, now fuck off and leave us alone.
Dublin for Sam!
Posted in 100 Days, 100 Words, Dublin, Sports, The Job
Tagged Croke Park, Dublin, Gaelic Athletic Association, Grand Canyon, Ireland, Irish people, Mecca, Travel and Tourism
Yesterday afternoon a defiant and sturdy Dublin hurling team gave as good as they got to the reigning All-Ireland Hurling champions, the Premier County, Tipperary.
Unheralded at the start of the season, Dublin took the Nation League title, beating Tipp along the way. But the Championship is meat and drink to all GAA players. Reaching their first final since 1948, Dublin came out with all guns blazing but lost a hard-fought match by four points.
They have the pleasure of looking each other in the eye in the dressing room, knowing they gave it their all. They can have no regrets.
Posted in 100 Days, 100 Words, Dublin, Sports
Tagged All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship, County Tipperary, Dublin GAA, Gaelic Athletic Association, Ireland, Organizations, Sports, Tipperary, Tipperary GAA