Ah lads, Croker was savage.
It was a busy day for all of us. Daithí ‘Mayo’ Ó Ruaidh was coming from the homeland, and myself and Stiofán were down in Cork galavanting, so we all had to be up at about 05.30am just to make it there in time for our sound check.
There’s something cool about walking into an empty Croke Park on All-Ireland Final day, the calm before the storm I suppose. Between the grounds men checking the pitch, stewards being briefed, the sound and TV crews running around, and then us in the middle of it all, you can really feel the sense of occasion… Something big is coming.
I’ve been to several Hurling finals (Being from Kilkenny and all!!) but this was my first time at the football. I’d heard of how much noise the Dubs make at matches and on several occasions been told that they’re ‘The best fans in the country.’
They lived up to the reputation. There was an absolute cacophony of noise when the Dublin team ran out onto the pitch. All you could hear around the stadium from top to bottom was “COME ON YOU BOYS IN BLUE.”
We couldn’t believe it then when the Mayo supporters managed to top it!
By that alone you knew both teams were up for it.
I was getting so into the game that I half forgot that we were playing at half time. Then about 15 minutes before half time we were hurried from our seats, and down to the tunnel. We hooked up all our mics, our monitors, and checked everything was working, then all of a sudden we were caught up in a stampede as both teams came rushing by and into their dressing rooms.
It wasn’t until I walked out on to the pitch and saw the 100 piece Artane Band waiting in formation that I fully realised the scale of what we were doing.
All Ireland Sunday, and we’re literally in the middle of it all. The second that it hit me you couldn’t stop me smiling. The performance went down without a hitch but it was the Artane band that made it for me. They filled the 80,000 seat stadium with something that we had written. Beaming is the only word that comes close to describing how that makes me feel.
Then to go back to our seats and witness the game we did… Unreal.
I just wish that we were playing at half time for the replay so we could see who comes out on top in the end. If you hear of any tickets going let us know.
Ara leads, bhí Croker dochredite.
Lá fíorghnóthach a bhí ann dúinn uilig. Bhí Daithí ‘Maigh Eo’ Ó Ruaidh ag teacht óna thír dhúchais, agus bhí me féin is Stiofán thíos i gCorcaigh an lá roimhe, mar sin de bhí orainn uilig a bheith ar an mbóthar ag 05:30 ionas go mbeadh muid in am don triail fhuaime.
Tá rud éigin seolta faoi shiúl isteach i bPáirc an Chrócaigh agus é go hiomlán folamh ar lá Chluiche Ceannais Peile na hÉireann, an ciúnas roimh an stoirm is dócha. Idir an fhoireann talún ag déanamh a gcuid seiceanna deireanacha, na foirne ceamara is fuaime ag rith thart, agus muide i lár an ruda ar fad, bheadh fhios agat go raibh rud ollmhór ar tí tarlú.
Tá mé tar éis a bheith ag neart craobhanna iomána (toisc gurbh as Cill Chainnigh dom 😛 ) ach b’é seo mo chéad uair ag an bpeil. Tá sé cloistithe agam cé comh maith is atá lucht leanúna Átha Cliath. Ach fós bhí ionadh orm nuair a chuala mé an torann a rinneadar. Bhí sé ar nós a bheith in aice le toirneach.
Agus ansin nuair a tháinig foireann Mhaigh Eo amach bhí muintir an chontae níos glórmhaire fós.
Bhí sé soiléir go raibh an dá fhoireann réidh le n-aghaidh.
Bhí mé chomh tógtha leis an gcluiche go ndearna mé dearmad beagnach, go raibh muid le casadh ag leatham. Thart ar 5 nóiméad déag roimh dheireadh na chéad leithe, bhí orainn rith síos chuig an tollán. Shocraigh muid ár gcuid mhicreafóin, monatóirí, ag déanamh cinnte go raibh chuile rud ag obair, is go tobann tháinig an dá fhoireann ag rith inár dtreo. Bhí an t-am tagtha.
Bhí muid i lár na páirce i measc “Banna Ard Aidhin” gur thuig mé cé chomh mór is a bhí an stáitse seo.
Lá Cluiche Ceannais Peile na hÉireann, agus muide i lár an ruda ar fad… Bhí meangadh mór ar m’aghaidh ón bpointe sin ar aghaidh. Chuaigh sé ar aghaidh gan fadhb ar bith, ach b’é an Banna Ard Aidhin a rinne speisialta dom é. Líon siad an staidiam 80,000 le rudaí a scríobh muide mar bhanna.
Bhíomar ag lonradh tar éis.
Ansin ag dul ar ais chuig ár suíocháin le breathnú ar an gcluiche… Class.
Ba bhreá liom a bheith san áit chéanna don athimirt le feiscint cé acu a mbeadh an lámh in uachtar. Má chloiseann sibh faoi thicéad ar bith a bheadh ar fáil, abair linn.
*Photo taken from @OfficialGaa’s twitter account*