Monday 18 December 2017

Dublin schoolkids get behind the Boys in Blue ahead of All-Ireland final

Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

The 553 pupils of Clonburris National School in Clondalkin lead a rousing cheer for the Jim Gavin and his Dublin charges today, urging them to bring Sam Maguire back to the capital.


This group are possibly the best Dubs supporters in the county around.

Singing an original rousing tune aimed at encouraging the ‘Boys in Blue’ towards victory, the national school pupils along with their teachers gathered together in their school hall decked out in flags and bunting to sing.

A main force behind the operation, second class teacher Debbie Hilliard said that “it’s important to create school spirit when there’s a big match on”.

And it’s a song with a difference.

Ms Hilliard said the staff came up with a special medley that involved ‘Yellow Submarine’ and ‘Help’ by the Beatles.

Ms Hilliard is engaged to Dublin GAA player Derek Murray, but despite her close ties, she’s also scrambling for an elusive ticket to Sunday’s match against Mayo.

“I’m just holding out to get my ticket for Sunday. It’s not in my hand yet but hopefully it will arrive.”

The staunch supporter had prepared an iced pale and royal blue cake reading ‘Up the Dubs’ for the staff room but did not ignore the small Mayo contingent at the school, baking several cupcakes decorated in the red and green.

Principal Aideen Ryan says that although their numbers are few – there are only three Mayo supporters on staff – the school still lends their county team some support. 

“We have the Mayo flag and the Mayo colours up. The good thing about that is, whichever way it goes, we will be celebrating one way or the other in the staff room on Monday.”

Ms Ryan, who has been at the school since 1978, said the support for GAA within the school has been there right from the beginning.

“I actually taught Jim Gavin, the Dublin manager, at one stage and I’m so proud when I see him now. He is so composed and this translates to the team even if they’re down or losing.”

Another teacher at the school who is heavily involved with the Dublin team is Frank Roebuck. His wife Fiona Morley also teaches at the school – and is a firm Mayo supporter. 

“There’s been great difficulty with the bunting – not on the Dublin side, I might add,” said Mr Roebuck. “There’s been no Mayo bunting available in this neighbourhood so we had to wait.” 

“We couldn’t put up the Dublin colours before the Mayo bunting arrived so we’ll have to spend this evening decorating,” added Ms Morley.  

But whilst in agreement over the bunting layout, competitive tensions still run high as wife and husband look seek a win from the opposing teams.

“It’s a long time since the 1951 win and I’m just hoping that things go well for us so we can come in with a smile on our faces on Monday,” said Ms Morley.

Frank, however, remains sceptical. “We can let her hope. We’ll do our best to up scuttle that dream,” he winked.

“This tune from the children shows you how much the Dublin win means to us.” 




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