Watching Mayo’s latest heartbreak, in beautiful Sligo


It’s All-Ireland Football Final Sunday, and Carol and I are heading off to Enniscrone, (now, thanks to some genius in some office somewhere, known as Inishcrone), to meet up with a couple of friends who are ‘holiday-making’ in the beautiful County Sligo town.

  We take a route that I used to take years ago when I was working in Ballina, and naturally enough, there was a sea of red and green all the way down. Ballyhaunis, Knock, Kiltimagh, Foxford and Ballina were all at their most colourful, and even passing through those towns, you couldn’t help but sense the optimism and the belief that this time, Sam Maguire would finally make it back across the Shannon and into the adoring arms of the long-suffering Mayo people.  On we went, and with about 15 minutes to throw-in, we pulled into the large car park that serves the Diamond Coast Hotel. In we went to the bar to meet our friends, only to find a huge crowd assembled there, a big majority of the watching throng all supporting the men from the west, although one young hardy lad –  who was there with his girlfriend – was brave enough to be wearing the blue of the Dubs.

  The atmosphere was terrific, and we found out later that a number of the Mayo followers, all of whom were fully togged out, had been at a wedding in the hotel the day before and were continuing with the celebrations, and – fair play to her – the bride of the previous day was clad from head to toe in the Mayo colours. The outfit that had most certainly been got for the next day ‘hooley’ never got to see the light of day – no harm done, she can wear it on the honeymoon!

  Everyone knows how the game went – Mayo, once again, had it in their grasp, only to lose it so cruelly that it makes you think maybe there really is a curse. In the Diamond Coast, the Mayo supporters were practically dumbstruck, and when the final whistle went all was deathly quiet – even the lone Dub couldn’t find it in himself to celebrate, so sorry was he for the heartbroken Mayo followers. 

Time to get those dancing shoes out…

Kevin Kelly has asked me to let you know that on Friday night, the 22nd of September, there is a super ceili taking place in Kilbegnet Hall, with music by the excellent Duntally Ceili Band, with dancing from 9.30 pm to 12.30 pm.

  These dances are always great craic, well attended, and indeed worth attending, so on your bike, or even your car, and get to Kilbegnet Hall on Friday night. Tell Kevin I sent you, and you might even get a cup of tea and a bun.

  Sticking with entertainment, and there is less than a fortnight to the dance in Dowd’s for Cancer Care West and The Lourdes Invalid Fund, so we are trying to get tickets to you all. If we miss one or two of you, don’t worry! You can still visit us on the night, Saturday, 30th of September, in Dowd’s, Glinsk.

  (All who turn up in person, as well as being able to buy raffle tickets for various prizes, will automatically be in for a special door prize, which is a €100 voucher for dinner and wine at the Abbey Hotel).

  Looking forward to seeing you all, having a good night’s fun, and raising a few bob for two very worthy causes.

* On my journey with the dance tickets on Tuesday night, I met Mickey Ward, and he asked me to tell you all that the renowned Roscommon Solstice Choir are putting on a concert in the Hodson Bay Hotel on Sunday, 24th of September at 8 pm. The admission is only €10, so for a night of fabulous musical entertainment, get to the Hodson on Sunday night (See feature in this issue).

‘Till next week, Bye for now