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Loyal: Meet Dublin's most dedicated fans

HOMEMADE hats and Molly Malone costumes are just some of the props being dusted down ahead of Dublin's battle with Donegal.

Two of the capital's proudest supporters are determined to stand out in the 82,300 Croke Park crowd

Cabra-man Tony Brockin never misses a game and has been a regular feature on the Hill for over 30 years -- dressed as Molly Malone.

"It's great fun and everyone knows me at this stage, they expect me to be there," said Tony.

Hoping the semi-final will be no exception, 80-year-old Tony has his costume ready to cheer on the boys in blue in their showdown with Donegal. "I'm really looking forward to it. No-one is in our way now that we've overcome Tyrone, we can definitely win the Sam Maguire this year," said Tony.

The Dubliner has been donning his costume as part of a long-standing family tradition, started by his late brother.



mascot

"The costume was specially made by a dressmaker almost 70 years ago, so I'm proud to be still carrying it on," he said.

Son Terry has seen the famous Molly in the stands for as long as he can remember and insists no-one loves the GAA more than his dad: "He would never miss the Blues -- if he were six feet under he'd still be there," he told the Herald.

Tony has also been something of a mascot for the team.

"In 1977 I was brought out to the pitch during half time against Kerry. I got to kick the ball around with the players, it was brilliant."

But Tony won't be the only fan making a fashion statement.

Howth-man Hughie Maguire -- who famously painted his house in the county colours a few years ago -- will head to the event with 20 of his pals, crowned in his custom-made Dubs hat.

"I used to make hats -- the one I have now is a big tartan one about a foot wide, it has a flag sticking out of it and badges which I stuck on," he said.

Assistant secretary of the Dublin GAA Supporters Club, Hughie demonstrated his loyalty to the county cause by painting his house blue and navy.

"My mother went away one day and asked me to paint the place -- when she came back I had it like a Dublin flag.

"It looks great, it even got a few ads on the telly," Hughie added.

More than 82,000 fans will flood the stands at HQ on Sunday for the big match. Onlookers will be treated to half time entertainment from Tallaght band Bipolar Empire, while children can have their photo taken with the Sam Maguire Cup.

Match analysis will also take place involving renowned GAA figures and the event will be hosted by the lively MC Hector O hEochagain.

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