Friday 30 January 2015

Rail strike angers GAA fans travelling for Mayo v Kerry clash

Published 24/08/2014 | 15:33

24 August 2014; Tomás Ó Sé, Kerry, celebrates after scoring his side's first goal. Electric Ireland GAA Football All-Ireland Minor Championship, Semi-Final, Kerry v Mayo, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
24 August 2014; Tomás Ó Sé, Kerry, celebrates after scoring his side's first goal. Electric Ireland GAA Football All-Ireland Minor Championship, Semi-Final, Kerry v Mayo, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
24 August 2014; Declan Slattery, from Claremorris, Co. Mayo, ahead of the game. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship, Semi-Final, Kerry v Mayo, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
24 August 2014; Micheal Burns, Kerry, in action against Sean Conlon, Mayo. Electric Ireland GAA Football All-Ireland Minor Championship, Semi-Final, Kerry v Mayo, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
24 August 2014; Christoper Mulvihill, age 10, from Ballydonoghue, Co. Kerry, ahead of the game. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship, Semi-Final, Kerry v Mayo, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

A SEA of green and gold, and green and red, swarming around Dublin's northside, did little to dampen the anger of thousands of GAA fans attending the crunch Croke Park encounter.

The national rail strike has thrown their travel plans for the Mayo and Kerry clash into disarray.

From early morning a steady stream of cars, coaches, and specially commissioned taxis, streamed into the capital.

Last minute arrangements meant that most fans could still travel.

However, many journeyed to Dublin yesterday, having forked out up to €150 for a hotel room in the capital, to avoid traffic snarls this morning.

"My parents were planning to get the train up. That would have been so much easier for them, because they were also bringing two small kids - both under 10 - to see the game," said Ross McGrath from Rossport in Co Mayo.

"Instead they travelled last night and paid for a hotel, and that was an unnecessary added expense.

"They were quite annoyed but what can you do; they wanted to be here.

"Definitely more should have been done by all sides to avert the strike. Nobody gains by having it go ahead on the day that's in it.

"More buses should have been provided. I think a lot of people from Mayo didn't make the journey because of the sheer inconvenience involved" added Ruth McGrath from Ballyhaunis.

Scores of fans from both counties reported leaving as early as 5am this morning.

"I left the house at 7am and the roads were already getting busy. There were tailbacks in spots along the way," said Damien Kelly, from Caherciveen, County Kerry "I know of various fans who arranged car pooling.

"Enda Kenny is a football man from Mayo man and he knows the score.

"He should have intervened to see if a last minute deal could have been struck. It might be worth a few votes to him down the way," he added.

But as the countdown to the big game got under way the usual pre-match good cheer took hold.

"We will definitely win - I hope the trains will be sorted for the final," said Jimmy O'Sullivan from Kenmare in deepest Kerry.

"If Mayo come out on top I wouldn't even mind walking all the way home to Castlebar," countered a red and green bedecked Mary Shiel who lives in the town.

ENDS

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