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Blue heaven as Dubs rain supreme on glorious day in Croke Park

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Simon Rackley and Lorna Collins, Blanchardstown.

Simon Rackley and Lorna Collins, Blanchardstown.

Jack Naughton, Donal O'Reilly, Stephen Naughton and Cathal O'Reilly.

Jack Naughton, Donal O'Reilly, Stephen Naughton and Cathal O'Reilly.

Karla and Christy Murray, Killester and Aisling Deeney, Donneycarney

Karla and Christy Murray, Killester and Aisling Deeney, Donneycarney

Croke Park, fans. Shay Doyle, Sean Nevins and Grace Hillard, Tallaght.

Croke Park, fans. Shay Doyle, Sean Nevins and Grace Hillard, Tallaght.

Croke Park, fans. Adam (8) and Martin Tynan, Drumcondra.

Croke Park, fans. Adam (8) and Martin Tynan, Drumcondra.

Croke Park, fans. Michael Brady and Evan Brady-Brown (8)

Croke Park, fans. Michael Brady and Evan Brady-Brown (8)

 John Kelly and Alan Daly, Clondalkin.

John Kelly and Alan Daly, Clondalkin.

Croke Park, fans. Jean O'Connor, Conor Morris and Colm Errity.

Croke Park, fans. Jean O'Connor, Conor Morris and Colm Errity.

Shane (11) and Niall Duggan, Raheny.

Shane (11) and Niall Duggan, Raheny.

Sinead and Liam Collins, Eoghan Moore and Tom Hanlon.

Sinead and Liam Collins, Eoghan Moore and Tom Hanlon.

Sinead and Liam Collins, Eoghan Moore and Tom Hanlon.

Sinead and Liam Collins, Eoghan Moore and Tom Hanlon.

Ethan McNally (11) with his grandad Sean McNally.

Ethan McNally (11) with his grandad Sean McNally.

Conor Schwepp and Mark Wright, Swords.

Conor Schwepp and Mark Wright, Swords.

Gary Reynolds and Rachel Dowdall, Cabra.

Gary Reynolds and Rachel Dowdall, Cabra.

Paula  and Luke (11) Swayne, Clondalkin.

Paula and Luke (11) Swayne, Clondalkin.

Dubs Fans

Dubs Fans

Dubs fans at the game

Dubs fans at the game

Lucy Sleator and Dina Norman.

Lucy Sleator and Dina Norman.

Clodagh Fox (9) and her dad Ivan, Portmarnock

Clodagh Fox (9) and her dad Ivan, Portmarnock

Croke Park, fans. Karen Delaney and Maria Robbins from Tallaght and Mary Ryan, Islandbridge.

Croke Park, fans. Karen Delaney and Maria Robbins from Tallaght and Mary Ryan, Islandbridge.

Ryan and Fionn Clinch and Jordan McGrath, Tallaght

Ryan and Fionn Clinch and Jordan McGrath, Tallaght

Paul McIntaggart

Paul McIntaggart

Dubs Fans

Dubs Fans

Tony O'Hanlon

Tony O'Hanlon

Jason Buckley and his children Callum (7) and Zara (13), Ashbourne.

Jason Buckley and his children Callum (7) and Zara (13), Ashbourne.

Jane Stephenson, Tallaght.

Jane Stephenson, Tallaght.

Niamh Keating, Clontarf

Niamh Keating, Clontarf

Serena and Albert Hannon, Ringsend.

Serena and Albert Hannon, Ringsend.

David Burton, Cabinteely and Christy Kelly, Deansgrange.

David Burton, Cabinteely and Christy Kelly, Deansgrange.

Bernard and Alan Brogan's family pictured at Croke Park yesterday.

Bernard and Alan Brogan's family pictured at Croke Park yesterday.

Croke Park, fans. Joan and Ruth Coady from Raheny.

Croke Park, fans. Joan and Ruth Coady from Raheny.

Jamie and Jenny Doyle.

Jamie and Jenny Doyle.

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Simon Rackley and Lorna Collins, Blanchardstown.

Oh, what a feeling.

It began as a dry day, but soon turned to a heavy, constant downpour at Croke Park, necessitating the floodlights to be turned on to help 82,000 see which side would emerge from the frenzied storm whipped up on the pitch.

Just after 5pm yesterday, Stephen Cluxton illuminated the darkening skies as he lifted the glistening Sam Maguire Cup aloft to the acclaim of all clad in a drenched but beautiful blue.

It was the end of a long season for the legions of loyal supporters who were lucky enough to nab an elusive ticket for yesterday's All-Ireland senior football final.

"It was unbelievable. The weather ruined it as a game of football, but it was great to see the Dubs on the right side of the result. It's fantastic to have another title," fan Conor Morris said afterwards.

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Diarmuid Connolly and Ciara  Chaney at the All Ireland Celebration Banquet in The Gibson Hotel

Diarmuid Connolly and Ciara Chaney at the All Ireland Celebration Banquet in The Gibson Hotel

Dublin player Philly McMahon and Sarah Lacey  at the Gibson Hotel All Ireland Post Match Banquet at the Gibson Hotel ,Dublin 
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Dublin player Philly McMahon and Sarah Lacey at the Gibson Hotel All Ireland Post Match Banquet at the Gibson Hotel ,Dublin Picture Brian mcEvoy No Repro fee for one use

Dublin player Jonny Cooper and Saoirse McCann at the Gibson Hotel All Ireland Post Match Banquet at the Gibson Hotel ,Dublin 
Picture Brian mcEvoy
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Dublin player Jonny Cooper and Saoirse McCann at the Gibson Hotel All Ireland Post Match Banquet at the Gibson Hotel ,Dublin Picture Brian mcEvoy No Repro fee for one use

Dublin player Bernard Brogan and Kiera Doyle  at the Gibson Hotel All Ireland Post Match Banquet at the Gibson Hotel ,Dublin 
Picture Brian mcEvoy
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Dublin player Bernard Brogan and Kiera Doyle at the Gibson Hotel All Ireland Post Match Banquet at the Gibson Hotel ,Dublin Picture Brian mcEvoy No Repro fee for one use

Dublin players Cormac Costello and Kevin O Brien  at the Gibson Hotel All Ireland Post Match Banquet at the Gibson Hotel ,Dublin 
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Dublin players Cormac Costello and Kevin O Brien at the Gibson Hotel All Ireland Post Match Banquet at the Gibson Hotel ,Dublin Picture Brian mcEvoy No Repro fee for one use

Dublin players Jack McCaffrey and Phiily McMahon with Sarah Lacey  at the Gibson Hotel All Ireland Post Match Banquet at the Gibson Hotel ,Dublin 
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Dublin players Jack McCaffrey and Phiily McMahon with Sarah Lacey at the Gibson Hotel All Ireland Post Match Banquet at the Gibson Hotel ,Dublin Picture Brian mcEvoy No Repro fee for one use

Dublin Player Jason Sherlock and wife Louise with children Joshua and Caoimhe  at the Gibson Hotel All Ireland Post Match Banquet at the Gibson Hotel ,Dublin 
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Dublin Player Jason Sherlock and wife Louise with children Joshua and Caoimhe at the Gibson Hotel All Ireland Post Match Banquet at the Gibson Hotel ,Dublin Picture Brian mcEvoy No Repro fee for one use

Dublin Player Emeet O Conghaile and Bevan Murphy  at the Gibson Hotel All Ireland Post Match Banquet at the Gibson Hotel ,Dublin 
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Dublin Player Emeet O Conghaile and Bevan Murphy at the Gibson Hotel All Ireland Post Match Banquet at the Gibson Hotel ,Dublin Picture Brian mcEvoy No Repro fee for one use

Dublin player Michael Darragh Macauley and his niece Rebecca  Sheridan at the Gibson Hotel All Ireland Post Match Banquet at the Gibson Hotel ,Dublin 
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Dublin player Michael Darragh Macauley and his niece Rebecca Sheridan at the Gibson Hotel All Ireland Post Match Banquet at the Gibson Hotel ,Dublin Picture Brian mcEvoy No Repro fee for one use

Dublin player Michael Darragh MacAuley and Rosie Cooney   at the Gibson Hotel All Ireland Post Match Banquet at the Gibson Hotel ,Dublin 
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Dublin player Michael Darragh MacAuley and Rosie Cooney at the Gibson Hotel All Ireland Post Match Banquet at the Gibson Hotel ,Dublin Picture Brian mcEvoy No Repro fee for one use

Dublin player Paul Flynn and Fiona Hudson  at the Gibson Hotel All Ireland Post Match Banquet at the Gibson Hotel ,Dublin 
Picture Brian mcEvoy
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Dublin player Paul Flynn and Fiona Hudson at the Gibson Hotel All Ireland Post Match Banquet at the Gibson Hotel ,Dublin Picture Brian mcEvoy No Repro fee for one use

Eric Lowndes and Caroline Glynn  at the Gibson Hotel All Ireland Post Match Banquet at the Gibson Hotel ,Dublin 
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Eric Lowndes and Caroline Glynn at the Gibson Hotel All Ireland Post Match Banquet at the Gibson Hotel ,Dublin Picture Brian mcEvoy No Repro fee for one use

Dublin manager Jim Gavin and wife Jennifer Gavin  at the Gibson Hotel All Ireland Post Match Banquet at the Gibson Hotel ,Dublin 
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Dublin manager Jim Gavin and wife Jennifer Gavin at the Gibson Hotel All Ireland Post Match Banquet at the Gibson Hotel ,Dublin Picture Brian mcEvoy No Repro fee for one use

Jason Sherlock and Louise Sherlock at the Gibson Hotel All Ireland Post Match Banquet at the Gibson Hotel ,Dublin 
Picture Brian mcEvoy
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Jason Sherlock and Louise Sherlock at the Gibson Hotel All Ireland Post Match Banquet at the Gibson Hotel ,Dublin Picture Brian mcEvoy No Repro fee for one use

Dublin Player Ciaran Kilkenny and Lorraine O Shea  at the Gibson Hotel All Ireland Post Match Banquet at the Gibson Hotel ,Dublin 
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Dublin Player Ciaran Kilkenny and Lorraine O Shea at the Gibson Hotel All Ireland Post Match Banquet at the Gibson Hotel ,Dublin Picture Brian mcEvoy No Repro fee for one use

Dublin Players Alan Brogan , son Jamie and Phiily Ryan at the Gibson Hotel All Ireland Post Match Banquet at the Gibson Hotel ,Dublin 
Picture Brian mcEvoy
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Dublin Players Alan Brogan , son Jamie and Phiily Ryan at the Gibson Hotel All Ireland Post Match Banquet at the Gibson Hotel ,Dublin Picture Brian mcEvoy No Repro fee for one use

Dublin Player Conor McHugh and Lorna Mulvihill  at the Gibson Hotel All Ireland Post Match Banquet at the Gibson Hotel ,Dublin 
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Dublin Player Conor McHugh and Lorna Mulvihill at the Gibson Hotel All Ireland Post Match Banquet at the Gibson Hotel ,Dublin Picture Brian mcEvoy No Repro fee for one use

Dublin Player Nicky Devereux  and Aoife Duffy at the Gibson Hotel All Ireland Post Match Banquet at the Gibson Hotel ,Dublin 
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Dublin Player Nicky Devereux and Aoife Duffy at the Gibson Hotel All Ireland Post Match Banquet at the Gibson Hotel ,Dublin Picture Brian mcEvoy No Repro fee for one use

Dublin Player David Byrne and Jen Collins  at the Gibson Hotel All Ireland Post Match Banquet at the Gibson Hotel ,Dublin 
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Dublin Player David Byrne and Jen Collins at the Gibson Hotel All Ireland Post Match Banquet at the Gibson Hotel ,Dublin Picture Brian mcEvoy No Repro fee for one use

Denis  and Jody Bastick at the All Ireland Celebration Banquet in The Gibson Hotel

Denis and Jody Bastick at the All Ireland Celebration Banquet in The Gibson Hotel

Bernard Brogan and Kiera Doyle at the All Ireland Celebration Banquet in The Gibson Hotel

Bernard Brogan and Kiera Doyle at the All Ireland Celebration Banquet in The Gibson Hotel

Philly Mc Mahon and Sarah Lacey at the All Ireland Celebration Banquet in The Gibson Hotel

Philly Mc Mahon and Sarah Lacey at the All Ireland Celebration Banquet in The Gibson Hotel

Paddy Andrews and Doireann Gately at the All Ireland Celebration Banquet in The Gibson Hotel

Paddy Andrews and Doireann Gately at the All Ireland Celebration Banquet in The Gibson Hotel

Brian Fenton and Sarah Kelliher at the All Ireland Celebration Banquet in The Gibson Hotel

Brian Fenton and Sarah Kelliher at the All Ireland Celebration Banquet in The Gibson Hotel

Bernard and Pamela Dunne at the All Ireland Celebration Banquet in The Gibson Hotel

Bernard and Pamela Dunne at the All Ireland Celebration Banquet in The Gibson Hotel

Danielle Byrne and Cian O'Sullivan at the All Ireland Celebration Banquet in The Gibson Hotel

Danielle Byrne and Cian O'Sullivan at the All Ireland Celebration Banquet in The Gibson Hotel

Tammy Lynch and Davey Byrne at the All Ireland Celebration Banquet in The Gibson Hotel

Tammy Lynch and Davey Byrne at the All Ireland Celebration Banquet in The Gibson Hotel

Danielle Byrne and Cian O'Sullivan at the All Ireland Celebration Banquet in The Gibson Hotel

Danielle Byrne and Cian O'Sullivan at the All Ireland Celebration Banquet in The Gibson Hotel

Johnny Cooper and Saoirse Mc Crann at the All Ireland Celebration Banquet in The Gibson Hotel

Johnny Cooper and Saoirse Mc Crann at the All Ireland Celebration Banquet in The Gibson Hotel

Alan and Lydia Brogan  at the All Ireland Celebration Banquet in The Gibson Hotel

Alan and Lydia Brogan at the All Ireland Celebration Banquet in The Gibson Hotel

 James Mc Carthy and Clodagh O'Mahony at the All Ireland Celebration Banquet in The Gibson Hotel

James Mc Carthy and Clodagh O'Mahony at the All Ireland Celebration Banquet in The Gibson Hotel

Sarah and Darren Daly at the All Ireland Celebration Banquet in The Gibson Hotel

Sarah and Darren Daly at the All Ireland Celebration Banquet in The Gibson Hotel

Stephen Cluxton and Joanne O'Connor  at the All Ireland Celebration Banquet in The Gibson Hotel

Stephen Cluxton and Joanne O'Connor at the All Ireland Celebration Banquet in The Gibson Hotel

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Diarmuid Connolly and Ciara Chaney at the All Ireland Celebration Banquet in The Gibson Hotel

TENSE

"What a result, it was a great game. It was a bit tense when Cluxton missed a few kick-outs," he said with a laugh.

"It was an excellent atmosphere in the Upper Hogan and I was surrounded by a load of Kerry people, so it was great. We shook their hands and said we'll meet again.

"We were on edge, we had to stay four points ahead at all times because Kerry could have got a goal at any time, but we did it and that's the main thing," Conor added.

Ethan McNally (11), from Blessington, watched the game in Croke Park with his granddad Sean.

It was an extra-sweet victory for the youngster, who will be skipping school today.

"My teacher is from Kerry, so I'm looking forward to slagging her," he joked.

Meanwhile, Evan Brady Brown, an under-eights player with Raheny GAA, was thrilled to watch his club-mate Brian Fenton score the opening point for the boys in blue.

"It's his first All-Ireland so he's just delighted," his dad Michael said.

"We've been to all of the games except for the Leinster final because we were on holidays, so we've really enjoyed it."

Cabra native Rachel Dowdall (25) brought her other half from Leitrim to the game - perhaps to show him what an All-Ireland final was like!

"It was incredible, it's my first All-Ireland final too, so it was amazing to be here. The Dubs just had it, you could see it from the start," she said.

"The Hill was amazing, the crowd is always phenomenal.

"I was surprised that Dublin didn't get a goal, they were well up for it for the whole game and I think they were threatening one from the very start.

"We won anyways and that's the main thing. It was all worth it in the end," she added.

"Nobody really stood out, they all played a great game. They were very settled on the ball," her boyfriend Gary Reynolds said.

As a neutral, he thought "Dublin wanted it more on the day".

Grainne Smith, from Crumlin, also cheered on the team in Croker with her two pals.

"It was a little bit tense to start off with, but Dublin did what they did against Mayo in the last 15 minutes, they just brought the intensity level way up. When it needed to be done, they did it," she said.

Her friend Michelle Kelly, from Lucan, admitted that it was the atmosphere in the stands that sustained them as the rain continued to belt down on the Dublin 1 venue.

"The weather kind of ruined it, but the atmosphere lifted everybody up," she said.

"It was a long time coming, but Sam is coming home again. It was a fantastic game," dedicated Clondalkin fan Alan Daly said.

Joan Coady and her daughter Ruth, from Raheny, were looking forward to the celebrations as they left Croke Park under an umbrella last night.

"It's a shame about the weather but we won. It was fantastic," Joan said.

Jason Buckley, from Ashbourne, didn't mind the weather at all.

"Look, I'd take that rain any day, I'd take floods once we're champions," he said.

Brollies

"I don't feel any pity for Kerry, with all the All-Irelands they have. They have enough of them. Keep the management team there and we'll get another couple out of that Dublin team."

As hundreds of people exited the stadium towards the city centre for the continuing celebrations, it was brollies and ponchos all round.

For some Kerry fans there was a sense that the rain may have cost them the game.

John Walsh, who was among the first fans to leave the stadium, said that the wet weather suited Dublin more, but admitted they were the better team for the 70 minutes on the field.

"It's going to be a long, wet journey home," he said, before warning the Dubs that the Kingdom would be back next year.


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