North vs South: We've split Dublin in two - but which team is better?
IT’S been a tough few weeks for Dublin and its people.
This should be a special time for the city’s denizens as they begin the build-up to a fifth All-Ireland final in seven years but instead, it finds itself losing a PR war with the world’s media.
First, we had the offbeat observations of renowned ESPN journalist Wright Thompson, who came to Dublin recently to write the definitive Conor McGregor profile ahead of his big fight with Floyd Mayweather.
Thompson, regarded as one of America’s most gifted and thorough sportswriters, was either sold a pup by the locals he spoke to or simply decided to ham up the poor-boy-done-good angle to McGregor’s rise, describing Ireland’s capital as "a clannish, parochial place," where "crossing the street has traditionally been reason enough for an ass-whipping".
"Men," he noted, “have had to drop dates off at bus stops instead of walking them all the way home.”
Or so they told their dates anyway.
More recently and closer to home, Solo Run encountered an editorial on the monetisation of the GAA in which it outlined how "the south side of the capital is home to management types and business leaders".
A sweeping generalisation balanced out by its description of the area of land on the opposite bank of the Liffey.
"A significant portion of the population on the north side work in manual construction, if they work at all," it noted.
It also made a plea for a concession on All-Ireland final ticket prices on behalf of "all the kids in north Dublin," asking "how many of them will be afforded the chance to walk down to Jones’ Road and watch the men that might convince them that there’s a life beyond crime?"
And now – again – we have the re-emergence of the ‘Split Dublin’ campaign.
Forgetting the fact that no-one in Dublin wants it and that the GAA would be loath to dilute its biggest, most profitable brand, the usual suspects were out in force, essentially declaring Dublin’s gains as being ill-gotten.
So today, Solo Run has decided to do the dirty work for them. We’ve split Dublin!
Two teams; North and South, although we’ve had to redraft Nicky Devereux and Lorcan Molloy to fill out the Southside’s ranks.
Somewhat frighteningly, 2016 All-Ireland final match-winner Cormac Costello and Conor McHugh fail to make the North’s attack.
By the same token, Colm Basquel must be content with a place on the Southside’s (presumably upholstered mahogany) bench.
And the verdict?
If they ever do split the county, there won’t be any manual work done on the building sites of Dublin for a fortnight in September.
Here are the two teams:
1. Stephen Cluxton (Parnells)
2. Jonny Cooper (Na Fianna)
3. Philly McMahon (Ballymun Kickhams)
4. Darren Daly (Fingal Ravens)
5. Eric Lowndes (St Peregrines)
6. John Small (Ballymun Kickhams)
7. Jack McCaffrey (Clontarf)
8. Brian Fenton (Raheny)
9. James McCarthy (Ballymun Kickhams)
10. Paul Flynn (Fingallians)
11. Diarmuid Connolly (St Vincent's)
12. Ciaran Kilkenny (Castleknock)
13. Bernard Brogan (St Oliver Plunkett's/ER)
14. Paddy Andrews (St Brigid's)
15. Dean Rock (Ballymun Kickhams)
1. Lorcan Molloy (St Anne's)
2. Mick Fitzsimons (Cuala)
3. David Byrne (St Olaf's)
4. Cillian O'SHea (Kilmacud Crokes)
5. Conor Mullally (Cuala)
6. Cian O'Sullivan (Kilmacud Crokes)
7. Nicky Devereux (Balinteer St John's)
8. Michael Darragh MacAuley (Ballyboden St Enda's)
9. Denis Bastick (Templeogue Synge Street)
10. Niall Scully (Templeogue Synge Street)
11. Kevin McManamon (St Jude's)
12. Mark Schutte (Cuala)
13. Paul Mannion (Kilmacud Crokes)
14. Eoghan O'Gara (Templeogue Synge Street)
15. Con O'Callaghan (Cuala)