Wednesday 25 April 2018

Even having four players as past pupils is no help in getting tickets

Caroline Crawford

Caroline Crawford

HE IS principal of the school where eight of the senior and minor panel studied, yet he is still desperately seeking a ticket to Sunday's final.

With desperate Mayo fans willing to fork out thousands for All Ireland tickets, the plight of Jimmy Finn is proof that even being "in with the team" is no guarantee of a seat at Croke Park for Sunday's clash against Dublin.

Mr Finn is principal of St Colman's College in Claremorris, where Colm Boyle, Michael Conroy, Darren Coen and Enda Varley from the senior panel are all past pupils, along with minor players Ronan Finn and Kevin Jordan.

Current minor captain Stephen Coen and player Stephen Brennan are still pupils at the college – but that wasn't enough to clinch a ticket for their principal.

"We are really delighted for them all and we have a great interest in this. There's a lot of pressure for tickets inside in the school and everybody is looking for tickets," he said.

"Everybody wants to be there because we know we're going to win and when you're going to win the worst thing that could happen is that you weren't there. So staff and students are really working hard on tickets and we expect to be there."

Principal Jimmy Finn with Luke Coen, Dean Guilfoyle and Paul Killeen at St Coleman's College in Claremorris
Principal Jimmy Finn with Luke Coen, Dean Guilfoyle and Paul Killeen at St Coleman's College in Claremorris
Adam McDonagh with JJ Connelly and Daniel Jennings at St Coleman's

But whatever the outcome in the great ticket hunt, Jimmy is certain about one thing.

"We have no doubt that both cups will be here next week. We'll be putting in the first request to see both cups, we don't just want the one. But the biggest thing at the minute is tickets," he added.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has also found himself under siege from those desperate to attend the match.

At the Taoiseach's constituency office in Castlebar, staff have been inundated with requests for tickets. In one week alone staff fielded calls from almost 500 eager supporters begging for tickets.

"We're getting up to 100 calls a day. We've been getting calls from all over the place and with every sort of excuse – but there's nothing we can do. The tickets are like gold dust," explained Cllr Ger Deere.

Meanwhile, Mayo's recipe for success has been revealed – a ban on biscuits and buns.

As the team prepare to break the county's 62-year curse, they are taking no chances with sweet treats. Gerri Conroy, mum of senior player Michael Conroy, said: "There's no chocolate or no biscuits or goodies like that until after next week, but that's just for the players."

She added: "The nerves are fine at home, it's all cool and calm and looking forward to Sunday."

EXPECTING

The entire family will travel up for the match including her daughter Aoife, who is expecting a baby at the end of the month.

"She's mad to go. She shouldn't really be travelling at all, but she'd burst if she didn't go so she's going to go hopefully if things work out for her," she added.

Meanwhile, students Dave Gallagher and Chris Duffy have seen their Mayo tribute song get 80,000 hits on YouTube.

The pair's song 'Mayo for Sam' has proved so popular that they have now been asked to play a gig in Cafe en Seine in Dublin come Sunday night.

The pair are hoping to raise funds for the Mayo Suicide Liaison Project and the song can be downloaded at www.idonate.ie/mayoforsam

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