THOUSANDS of Dubs went all over the country on the Fr Joe Kennedy buses. They’d leave from Mount Argus. And return with songs and tales of glories.
Father Joe had his own memorable pilgrimage, as he’d called it himself. The 1994 World Cup in America.
There was only one problem – back home Dublin were playing Kildare in the first round of the Leinster Senior Football Championship in Croke Park.
It was being shown live on Channel 34. Father Joe and his friends hired a car and drove 10 miles to The Rusty Nail. When they arrived, they found out that the television had only 33 channels!
Nolan’s Irish Pub in Manhattan was showing the game, but that was over an hour’s drive away. They wouldn’t have made it. So they stayed in the Rusty Nail and decided to ring Nolan’s at regular intervals to check on the match. Spending a small fortune in coins.
The game was in the balance coming to the final whistle. Kildare were ahead. But when they rang again, the phone-line was engaged. They rang and rang and rang, but no joy.
They didn’t find out the result until they reached The Giants Stadium where Ireland were playing Italy – Charlie Redmond had equalised with the last kick of the game. And the Dubs would be back for the replay, which Dublin won. Father Joe always believed in the power of prayer.
SOCIAL hurling is getting more popular all the time. There’s teams popping up all over the country. Naomh Olaf are running a Social Hurling Blitz on Easter Saturday, April 8. It’s a nine-a-side format. With a squad of 12. With roll-on, roll-off subs.
The entry fee is €15 per player. There will be food, live music and spot prizes. It proved a big success last year. Twenty-two teams, from all over Ireland, took part.
To register, or for enquiries, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @olafsocialhurl
All at Olaf’s are delighted to see their former player, Ryan Baird, impressing in Andy Farrell’s Irish rugby squad.
HILL 16 went on tour on Saturday evening. To the land of Phil Coulter. The compact Celtic Park crackled with atmosphere.
On the terrace was the great Kieran Duff. On the gantry was another highly-regarded Dublin footballer, Paul Flynn, on punditry duty for RTÉ. Two such revered figures at Fingallians.
Rory Gallagher, the Derry manager, had good days at St Brigid’s. They included the Dublin Senior Football Championship win of 2003. Brigid’s also made the senior hurling championship final that year, losing to the Craobh, but quite a feat all the same.
When the footballers brought home the Clery Cup, over 1,000 supporters were in Russell Park. And the Blanchardstown Brass Band, like the great Phil Coulter himself, never missed a note.