'We'll get seven in a row' - Dublin fans optimistic as they scoop tickets for All-Ireland final against Kerry
AS DUBLIN near an historic five-in-a-row, supporters lined Dorset street today to claim a ticket to watch what they believe is a foregone conclusion.
Dublin superfans who are part of the Parnell Pass scheme, were unfazed by the challenge facing them from Kerry as they collected their tickets for Sunday's All Ireland final.
While those lucky fans are guaranteed match tickets as part of the scheme, which they pay a yearly fee for, they did criticise the allocation of general purchase tickets.
The demand for All-Ireland final tickets always outweighs the number available to the public, with a large percentage of tickets allocated to clubs and individuals from outside of the counties competing in the final.
Terence McAuley from Cabra, who collected his ticket for the Hill, was the most nervous of all the fans we spoke to. Still, he predicted the Dubs to win by four or five points.
"I have the ticket for the final and I'm excited now. The Hill the only place to be. Great atmosphere, the banter is great. The only place I think where the atmosphere is, is the Hill 16.
"I'm a bit nervous, but I think the Dubs can do it by four or five on the day. We have the more experienced squad. Even the players on the bench, I think, can come off and change the game for us.
"They are very good. I haven't seen a team like this for a good while. I actually think it's the best team I've ever seen in the GAA. They have the experience and the old players who can come out and change the game if they're needed.
"I think we'll get another two years after this one, but it depends. It's going to be a close game. People are saying that Dublin will win by a mile. I think, if Dublin play the way they can play they'll win by four or five points."
Terence added though that the allocation of tickets is unfair on supporters who have followed their team all year and won't get to be in Croke Park for the final.
"I think it's a disgrace. When two teams get to the final, the tickets should be split between the counties and none of this tickets getting sent off. It should be split between the two teams who get to the final, those counties."
Ciarán McEllis from Raheny was the first in line at the GAA ticket office on Dorset street this morning. He said that although he is delighted to have his ticket for the match, something should be put in place to guarantee dedicated supporters a ticket.
"It opens at 10am, but I've been here since 7.30. I just wanted to make sure I get a dry ticket. I'm absolutely delighted. The Parnell Pass is a great idea.
"I do think they should have something there that, if you hold onto your stubs you get to go. There should be a fair allocation.
"We'll win no bother. Kerry have a great forward line, but I think we can get at their defence."
Brothers Mick and Shay from Crumlin said the only place for them on All-Ireland final day was the Hill.
"We've been following the Dubs all our lives. We got here at about eight this morning, hoping to get the tickets and we have the Parnell passes," Mick said.
"We only go to the Hill. We're 44 years going to the matches, only the Hill.
"It's unfair on people who travel all year if they're not affiliated to a club or the Parnell Pass Scheme, it's hard. They should be shared out equally.
"We've been to every game this year. We love it, it's tradition," Shay added.
"I'd be happy with no less than a five-point win.
"I feel bad for genuine supporters, I feel sorry for them who can't get ticekts. Friends of mine can't get tickets. Hopefully Dublin win and make it a happy day for them on Sunday.
"I won't be in work on Monday."
Tickets are so sparse that Liam Kelly from Raheny, who collected tickets for his family, won't be given one, even though it was his 11th birthday yesterday.
Liam, who starts back in school on Monday, will have to wait for a draw at his club to know if he can go.
"I don't get a ticket. I have to wait for the draw in my club to get my own. I was collecting my granddad's, my aunty's and my dad's.
"I have to wait to see if I get a ticket. Granddad is 75 and he hasn't missed a game so he won't be missing this one. I think we'll win by five points. I've only seen them lose once- in the 2014 semi final- but I don't think I'll see them lose again for a long time.
"I think we'll get seven (All Irelands in a row) and then I think we'll lose."
Feilim Ó hÉanaigh from Blanchardstown said that if he didn't have a Parnell Pass he wouldn't be confident of getting a ticket.
"I'm a born and raised Dub, living out in Blanchardstown. We should do it. Why not?
"End of the day though, it's great for an amateur sport. You have some lad for Manchester United who won't play and they still have to pay him £250,000 a week and no one wants him. Come on?
"I had to get up early to get my ticket. I'm a member of the GAA club out in Blanchardstown and it's sad but when they're giving tickets out next Thursday, the club will be packed. As soon as they get tickets, *clap* they're gone.
"I've been going to matches since the 50s. I used to stand on a disused toilet wall and myself and my mother would be eating sandwiches on it. The stink out of it in the summer. We used to cycle our bikes to Croke Park. There was a big long garden there and you used to just throw it down and leave it there all day for thrupence."