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all-ireland hurling final diary

Fans urged to give up

idea of dyeing for county

PUT the spray can down and step away from the sheep!

That's the plea from the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, who feel the mass dyeing of animals in county colours that tends to break out around All-Ireland time has been taken a tad too far.

In Kilkenny, farm animals tend to be safe enough given the regularity of their All-Ireland appearances but a spike in the sale of wine/maroon paint has been observed in Galway and there will hardly be an animal safe in Donegal/Mayo ahead of the football final. But the ISPCA are pleading for people to desist.

" We don't want to be killjoys," said chief executive Noel Griffin. "We're well aware that the occasion of an All-Ireland final is very important but the most important thing is to ensure that the animal is not put under undue stress."

Cats get sent to park

WHILE a row has broken out over plans for Donegal's homecoming, there has been no aggro in Kilkenny, despite a change to their usual running order.

The Kilkenny team usually travels home on the train and in recent years have been brought from the station to the Market Yard car park on an open-topped bus. But there will be a change this year, apparently due to 'health and safety' concerns.

This year the parade will begin at Kilkenny Castle before heading down The Parade, across John's Bridge and through John St before winding up in Nowlan Park, where there will be adequate seating and safety for all.

The county board will make €5,000 out of it for the rental of the park as the gig is organised by the city council.

There is no truth in speculation that the little black and amber 'tourist' choo-choo train that runs from the castle and is heavily bedecked in team flags at the moment, will be the choice of team transport if they lose.

That dreaded c-word

OH dear, the Donegal homecoming controversy has taken another twist.

Poor old Jim McGuinness (below) has been at pains to remove himself and the team from anything to do with the argument over whether the homecoming should be held in Donegal town or Letterkenny.

He believes that the notion that Donegal are already planning a homecoming is not only disrespectful to themselves and Mayo but is also offering opposition boss James Horan the perfect motivational tool.

Now the owner of one of the country's most notorious shebeens has thrown in his tuppence worth.

Patsy Brogan (75) is the owner of the famous Bog Hotel, which has been in the news more than once before.

Like a man from the UN, Patsy has stepped in to offering his remote shack in Frosses as a neutral stopping point. But his wording will have had McGuinness cringing again.

"The Donegal team are more than welcome to bring their celebrations here," Brogan said, using that dreaded c-word again.

Cliona Foley

Irish Independent