Black and Blue All Over - Dubs kick start celebrations in style
DUBLIN'S footballing heroes last night toasted their All-Ireland success.
The squad and management -- along with their family and partners -- were treated to a lavish banquet at the Gibson Hotel after they left Croke Park.
For starters as part of the three course meal was a smoke chicken roulade stuffed with pistachio mouuse and served with Italian mushroom salad.
On the main course was sirloin steak served with sautee potatoes, green beans, and wrapped in bacon and diane sauce.
And for dessert there was a strawberry pavlova.
The Sam Maguire trophy was draped in blue as it was led into the hotel to kickstart the week's celebrations.
Team captain Stephen Cluxton and Dublin star Diarmuid Connolly led the trophy and guest of honour into the hotel shortly before 7:30pm.
The sheer delight was etched on the faces on the players last night as they basked in their All-Ireland glory.
Manager Jim Gavin and double goal scorer Bernard Brogan were stars of the exclusive dinner last night.
Ciaran Kilkenny said it was a "special feeling".
"We had a strong bench and they pushed on towards the end," he said.
"We are all just delighted to be involved with the Dublin team.
"Some of the management could nearly come on and do a job the pitch."
James McCarthy, who yesterday won his second All Ireland medal, said it was just as sweet as beating Kerry two years ago.
"I'm just delighted, relieved, tired -- all sorts of emotions," he said.
The players and management arrived at the Docklands hotel in a 52-seater coach shortly after 7pm.
The battered and bruised heroes were still in their match day wear and many of them were showing the effects of battle.
There were bandages and crutches on show as the players nursed injuries sustained during the gruelling 70 minutes.
The great and the good of Dublin GAA were present, including former heroes such as Bernard Brogan senior and Barney Rock, who was accompanied by his wife Kathleen.
The players changed into formal dress at the four star hotel to prepare for the night ahead.
They were kitted out by famous designer Louis Copeland and looked very smart in navy suits, light blue shirts and navy ties - only befitting of a Dublin team.
The party was held in a banquet room in one of the upper floors of the hotel and was completely packed with seating for 420 people all of whom were seated by 9pm.
It was a family-focused event for the players and their relatives to celebrate a successful year for the Dubs.
There was also a bar where fans were able to enjoy a celebratory pint once they had secured a precious ticket to gain admittance to the hotel.
Lord Mayor, Oisin Quinn, shook hands and congratulated the whole squad.
And of course what would a GAA celebration be without RTE pundit Marty Morrisey who was on duty for the Sunday Game.
Among the other attendees were Paul Caffrey, former Dublin manager, ex-world boxing champion Bernard Dunne and his wife Pamela.
Dunne acted as the team sports psychologist throughout the campaign and played a role in yesterday's amazing victory against Mayo.