Monday 18 November 2019

Let battle commence

Tomorrow more than 80,000 people will make the trip to Croke Park to watch the All-Ireland Gaelic football final.

All of those in Croke Park will be participating in a uniquely Irish occasion. People will travel from every parish in the country to attend a latter-day gathering of the tribes.

In Croke Park they will have a venue worthy of the occasion.

The second-largest sports stadium in these islands, it is unique in having been built by an amateur, mass-participation organisation, rather than a soulless conglomerate, Russian oligarch or Arab oil sheikh.

This year's final has all the ingredients of a classic. Kerry, who have won more All-Irelands than any other county, are contesting their eighth final in the space of a decade, while Dublin haven't appeared in a final since their victory over Tyrone in 1995.

Despite the intense rivalry between the two counties, Dublin and Kerry haven't togged out against each other since 1985, when Kerry emerged victorious.

So will it be Jack O'Connor's Kerry veterans or Pat Gilroy's young Dublin team that snatches the Sam Maguire trophy for 2011?

Regardless of the eventual result, both teams have our best wishes.

Let battle commence.

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