Sunday 22 September 2019

Family to the fore as Dubs fans happy to wait two more weeks to witness history

Eric Brennan with his daughter Chloe (20) and son Tyler (6). Photo: Arthur Carron
Eric Brennan with his daughter Chloe (20) and son Tyler (6). Photo: Arthur Carron
Dublin fan Emma Butler from Skerries, in Smithfield. Photo: Arthur Carron
Ellen Power, from Coolock, with her triplets Jaden, Martin and Michael and her sister Angela (7). Photo: Arthur Carron

Laura Lynott in Dublin

Despite their dashed hopes, for Dublin fans patience is now the name of the game.

Hundreds gathered at the Smithfield fanzone to watch Dublin draw with Kerry on the big screen.

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A relaxed party atmosphere got under way as fans lapped up the last of the summer sunshine and the Dubs' early dominance.

But there was a sombre atmosphere when the Dubs' glory was snatched from them and the team drew with Kerry.

It was a hard lesson to learn for some of the younger fans.

Parents were busy reassuring their crestfallen children that the Dubs would be back on top for the replay - and they would be back again to support them.

Ellen Power (24), from Coolock, was there with her five-year-old triplets, Jaden, Martin, and Michael, her 18-month-old daughter Sienna and her seven-year-old sister, Angela.

"We are born and reared in Dublin, so we had to come to watch the team win," Ellen said.

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"This was about sharing a piece of history with my children and family, it was about making memories."

Unfortunately for Ellen and the children, they will have to wait another two weeks to see if history will, in fact, be made.

Meanwhile, brothers Sean and Andrew Cowan, from Cabra, took their children to Smithfield and no end result could affect the positive family time they had enjoyed.

"We had to be here," Sean said.

"We came to Smithfield especially for the kids. And we've had a great day, they've really enjoyed it.

"It's about having fun as a family and the children have only ever known the Dubs as winners so I am sure they won't be disappointed in two weeks' time."

Andrew said he had been "really confident" early on in the game, but nothing has changed the fact that the Dubs were the "best team in Ireland" and the family vowed to keep shouting for the Blues for the replay.

Husband and wife Aine and Eoin Thynne, both 30, from Castleknock, were in good spirits despite the draw.

"We came for the atmosphere and we haven't been disappointed, it's been a lovely day," Eoin said.

That vibrant atmosphere turned more tense after Jonny Cooper was sent off.

A look of dejection swept across the faces of fans. The sea of blue had calmed.

Inconsolable children failed to understand how their team, which seemed to always win, had not been able to defeat Kerry.

But they will get another chance of glory on September 14.

For Niamh Smith (29), from Ballyfermot, and Michelle Kavanagh (28), from Lucan, nothing was going to spoil their mood, even a draw.

They were in full party form and even had tickets to go to the afterparty at the Gibson Hotel.

"We've had a great day. Dublin brought everyone in the city together today and the GAA brings everyone together," they said.

"We're proud of Dublin, our city and our team."

Meanwhile, over at Croke Park, Stephen Doyle and his daughter Mia (14) enjoyed the match despite the draw and they were hopeful of getting tickets for the rematch.

Stephen, from Ongar, Dublin, said: "The match was nerve-wracking, nail-biting, the atmosphere was tense. We enjoyed it but we didn't expect or want a draw.

"In the end Kerry showed they were a strong team and the Dubs being a man down made a real difference to the team.

"I thought we had lost the game, I really did. I was nervous right up to the end.

"But it doesn't matter because we will come back stronger for the rematch. We'll have a different game plan," he said confidently.

Mia, who plays camogie for St Peter's GAA club in Dunboyne, Co Meath, said she enjoyed "the buzz of the atmosphere" at Croke Park despite the draw.

"This was family time," Stephen said.

"Mia and me go to all the matches and it was a special day for us. Fingers crossed we'll be able to get tickets to come back again in two weeks."

Dad Eric Tyler (36) was at the match with his daughter and son, Chloe Redmond Brennan (20) and Tyler (6).

Tyler's face was painted for the occasion and he looked every inch the true blue.

"I really feel the referee was against Dublin," Eric said. "I really thought Kerry were going to win. Dublin were a man down but they did their best.

"And Kerry had their chance but they didn't take it, so I don't think they will get another chance.

"GAA is Dublin's bread and butter and the fans are all behind the team. They will get the five. We have to believe in the team.

"And bringing the kids here today and hopefully in two weeks, is really important - it's about witnessing history.

"I want the kids to look back on this moment in their lives forever and to realise they were here when the Dubs won the five and I do believe that will happen in two weeks. We just have to be patient."

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