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Féile fever is in the city air

THE clock is ticking fast. Everyone can sense the Féile fever.

Parnell Park hosted the big launch last week. Top handball, camogie and GAA officials were in the building.

Dublin chief, Andy Kettle, declared that the National Féile na nGael couldn't be in safer hands.

A man with two of the safest hands in the business, Gary Maguire, was also at the Féile Blast-Off.

He was asked by one young player what was the best thing about playing for Dublin. "All the free gear you get... " he smiled, "... and having a manager like Anthony Daly."

Daly was sitting beside Gary. Gary patted Dalo on the head. Gary is sure to start in Tullamore!

Alan Milton was MC for the evening. Out of the Croke Park suit, he's an accomplished footballer with the Clondalkin Round Tower's.

The GAA president, Liam O'Neill, gave his thoughts on Féile: "The true spirit of Féile is making sure the children have the best time of their lives.

"And the role of the mentor is so crucial to it all. Encouraging the children from the sideline is what the Féile should be all about," declared Liam.

The National Finals will be staged in the capital on July 5-7. Children will get the opportunity to play in Croke Park and Parnell Park.

More than 5,000 children will take part. All last week the traditional schools visits took place in Dublin. Some of Dublin's top hurlers, handballers and camogie players were on the visits. There were Féile goody bags for everybody in the audience.

The schools went to so much trouble to welcome their guests. Scoil Mobhi in Glasnevin captured the mood across the county.

The children formed a guard of honour, the red carpet was down -- literally -- and when the Féile folks were leaving, The Sunday Game theme music rang out.

Caitriona Casey teaches at Scoil Mobhi. When Waterford were on top of ladies football, she was such a key player on the team. A Suirside Superstar.

And when all the kids get off the Bus éireann Féile bus in July, they'll all be feeling like stars.

The dedicated Dublin Féile committee will ensure that they'll leave the Féile arena standing 10-feet tall.