Come hell or high water, fans will get to Croke Park
RAIL strike or not, hell or high water won't prevent Mayo and Kerry fans from travelling to Dublin tomorrow for the much-anticipated All-Ireland senior and minor football semi-final clashes.
With an estimated 21,000 supporters expected to travel from the competing counties, coach operators are experiencing an unprecedented demand, with every available seat taken.
An estimated 15,000 supporters will make the trip from Mayo to the capital, with somewhere between 10,000 and 12,000 travelling from Kerry - an estimated 5,000 of these would have travelled by train.
Die-hard Mayo fans Aisling Gallagher (17) and her friends, Aoife King and Petrina Faulkner, from Castlebar, have come up with a fail-proof way of making it to the match - just ask dad. Aisling, who will be proudly sporting full-forward Andy Moran's jersey, used her powers of persuasion to get a lift from her father, Michael.
"Dad was going to the match anyway, so I begged him to give us a lift when the trains weren't running," she said.
Donie O'Leary, of the Kerry Supporters' Club, dismissed the impact the impending Irish Rail strike would have on the fans, saying true supporters would already have had alternative arrangements made.
"If you really want to go to the match, hell or high water won't stop you," Mr O'Leary told the Irish Independent.
"If we could have got extra buses, we would have used them. We already have three coaches full and would have easily filled a fourth but we could not get one."
And although he's hopeful of a win for The Kingdom on Sunday at both the minor and senior games, he said Kerry could not afford to be complacent meeting Mayo.
"Kerry won't fear anyone in Croke Park, but we won't be over-confident facing Mayo all the same," he added.