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Week when Mayo Rose to prominence





THIS column can provide you with any number of 'logical' reasons why Kerry will scupper Mayo's latest All-Ireland pilgrimage this Sunday, four weeks earlier than the usual anointed time for our annual green-and-red 
angst-fest. We could prove our case via the sheer weight of numbers, as follows ...

17: The number of times Kerry have beaten Mayo in championship combat, compared to

4: The number of times Mayo have reversed the trend. Or

36: The cumulative margin of Kerry's dominance over Mayo in their last five SFC collisions (1997, 2004, '05, '06 and '11), ever since the unthinkable happened Páidí & Co in '96. If that still doesn't convince you, how about.

1-15: What James O'Donoghue has tallied in just two matches this summer, 1-13 coming from open play.

But sometimes, logic does not dictate all. And this week, while striving manfully to avoid the Rose of Tralee only to be lured into its evil web via the pernicious influence of the Twitter piss-takers, it suddenly became clear that this year is different; that Sunday will be Mayo's day.

How else do you explain the portentous announcement from Dáithí Ó Sé that the 2014 Rose of Tralee is ... (cue interminable drum rolls) ... Philadelphia!

Well actually, the new queen of the Kingdom, Maria Walsh, is 
more South Mayo than Stateside, having lived for over half of her 27 years in Shrule. Yep, Mortimer country.

Now, if Mayo can invade Kerry and take away their second most cherished prize in the week of an All-Ireland semi-final, surely this is the precursor to another blitzkrieg of the green-and-gold by the green-and-red, five days later? It goes without say. Logically.

And just to prove it, some unidentified Mayo plagiarist has cannibalised Tralee's most famous ditty and sent us the lyrics. We can already hear this being belted out from the steps of the Hogan on September 21 ...


The pale moon was rising above Patrick's mountain,

The sun was declining beneath a Sky Blue sea;

When I strayed with my love to the pure silver fountain

That now stands under lock in Donnycarney.

He tantalised and tormented for 63 long summers,

Yet 'twas not his teasing alone that won me;

Oh no, 'twas the truth in his gaze ever mocking,

That made me love Sammy, the Rose of Tourmakeady.

The cool shades of September their mantle were spreading,

And Sammy all smiling was beckoning to me;

But I'm wary of his nod-winking, especially in August,

We've a number to do on Fitzy's crowd from Tralee.

In the far fields of Croker, 'mid wars dreadful thunders,

Horan's Cork-bashing voice was a comfort to me,

But I fear O'Donoghue's chill hand will rend us asunder,

I'm lonely tonight for the Rose of Tourmakeady.

He tantalised and tormented for 63 long summers,

Yet 'twas not his teasing alone that won me;

Oh no, 'twas the pipe-dream that when everyone was sleeping,

I'd sneak off with Sammy to Ballintubber Abbey!