Happy Christmas


It’s gone midnight and so it’s already Christmas Eve, possibly my favourite day of the whole festive period. With less than 24 hours to go now to the big day itself, it’s definitely time to call a halt to proceedings here and put the feet up for a while.

Twelve months ago I noted that the year that was then drawing to a close had been a rather mental one. A year on and the one now nearing its end has been equally eventful, even, on this occasion, into the depths of December. Such is the Mayo GAA way of life.

As ever it’s been a year of ups and downs, though once again, the year has, happily, given us more of the former than the latter. I often think that we don’t perhaps appreciate this rather obvious point: these times are good ones in the history of Mayo GAA. One day, I reckon, when looking back on this era, we’ll come to realise this point fully.

Thanks everyone for dropping by and sharing the year that’s been. A special thanks to Darragh Berry who established his own distinctive voice on the site this year and whose many guest contributions helped to keep the place ticking over at a time when I was otherwise engaged. I’m sure you’ll join with me in raising a glass to Darragh in recognition of his valuable input over 2016.

Wherever you are this holiday period and whatever you’re up to I hope it’s of the happy and relaxing variety. All the best for Christmas and New Year.

64 thoughts on “Happy Christmas

  1. To you Willie Joe and to all the wider Mayo GAA Blog community, a very very Happy Christmas to you all. Thank you so much for all your efforts to keep this blog going and keeping everyone in check! 2017 beckons and this community will be there all the way. From Jan 8th to a Sunday in September….keep her lit and Hon Mayo….!!

  2. A happy Christmas to you, Willie Joe, and to all contributors and followers of this site as well as all Mayo GAA followers.
    Lucky are we to be followers of this current group of Mayo footballers who are giving their all to bring success to the county. For six year now they have been to the forefront of the fight for Sam. Has any team from any county ever fought so long and hard for success? Whether they are ultimately successful or not in winning Sam is pretty much irrelevent. Nobody can give more than their all and not many Mayo teams of the past can say that they did that, for whatever reason.
    We will be with them again every step of the way in 2017.

  3. Merry Christmas to all. And thank you WJ for the fantastic website and keeping it nice and friendly.
    If any Mayo players read this, I would like to say a huge thank you to you for trying as hard as you do and I believe strongly that this current group will get their All Ireland in the near future, maybe even 2017.

  4. A very Happy Christmas to everyone, especially Willie Joe, and all ‘Who kept her lit ‘ through out 2017, We can’t say we don’t get the full year out of Mayo GAA, and indeed MAYO GAA BLOG. Onwards,folk’s, the world lost many amazing people in 2016, David Bowie, Muhammad Ali, Prince & Learnord Cohen, to name just a few of the better known ones.. We lost many people during the year, many were not well known, but like the ‘Star’s’ I’ve named, they made life so much better for so many. As the world changes, and not for the better, remember this ‘there will always be Mayo, and it’s resialiant heart.’ & of course our opponents, sure without them there would be no game. Happy Christmas to them all.

  5. Happy xmas to all the genuine posters on here, I see alot of trolls surfaced after Connholmes gate. Of which, I’m disgusted at the 2 lads for their bitter, vein and immature interview. Its all been said on this blog so ill park it there for 2016.
    My tip for next year is for Brian Reape to break into the match day 15 and pick up the O’Connors ypoty award along with another AI medal. Think rochford will have learned a hell of alot about the whole squad, and after a good league showing we’ll do the bizz in September…fingers crossed.

  6. A very happy Christmas to you & your family WJ and to all Mayo people all over the world. Wishing everyone out there a healthy and joyful 2017.

  7. During all our angst critique. Let’s enjoy this golden era while it lasts. I have had the privilege of witnessing 3 all irelands in past decade in addition to the unprecedented consistency of our senior side. explained to my 11 year old nephew of the 12 year famine in connacht titles and trips to Dublin from late 60s to early 80s. Imagine I said if you were 23 years old before you went to croke park again! We will miss it when it’s gone. Look at once mighty meath. Merry Christmas and here’s to a happy 2017 following the green and red. Ps let’s stop buying the “independent “

  8. Merry Christmas Willie Joe and to all posters on the blog. Many thanks WJ for continuing to host us all on here and for making it the site it is.

    Aside from the negatives of the final, it heartens me the manner in which we approached the drawn match in particular. Hopefully we can build on that and take that attitude and playing style into 2017. It will be Rochy’s second year so things can only improve, I feel.

    A couple of other things really pleased me this year: The performances of Stephen Coen and Sharoize Akram give me great confidence for the future. The way Stephen handled himself in the replay when he came on was wonderful to see. It will be some battle with Boyler for the no.6 jersey now but the young man might just take it, and that’s saying something.
    I also firmly believe Sharoize could break into this team very soon. He continues to improve and was the catalyst for the come-back in the U21 final. There’s no reason he cannot go from there and take his game to the next level. He has the skills and attitude.
    Finally, a mention to Westport. I think it’s huge for Mayo football that they are doing so well. Mayo football needs Westport to be strong. They have athleticism in abundence in that team. They have some terrific players too, albeit some of their play needs a little fine-tuning in the final third. But all the right things are there.

    See you all in the New Year folks.

  9. Yep happy xmas to ye all. Thanks again to all the players and management for all the dedication for giving us such great days out , long may it continue. Looking at the swagger of them bucks collecting their medals the other night , future is bright . The older lads care and they will make sure younger lads coming through will know whats required and expected . Transition might be a lot more swift and sweet than people think.

    Thanks also to the best supporters in the country . Fills ya with pride when ya land down to somewhere like Cork and see such a healthy mayo support. Lets keep this going too. My only complaint with support this year would be for under21 connacht final , didnt like the way rossies outnumbered us in Sligo.

    Big thanks to WJ too, fantastic blog and online community you run here. I got a dig out from a couple here for tickets during the campaign. Its a very helpful blog in many ways.

  10. Happy Christmas to everyone on the blog, and many thanks to you WJ for such a brilliant service, it keeps me sane throughout the year!

    I’ve said it before, but I feel we are living through a golden age for Mayo football given where we are in terms of the standard we are at. I , for one, was as excited as ever when the 2017 season ticket came in the middle if the Christmas cards last week, even amid the turmoil that was going on in the media driven by the Indo’s Bitter Breheny agenda. I have my own opinion on what’s gone on but there’s been enough said in the matter. I think it’s a testament to our status in national football the amount of focus that’s been on us in the last couple of weeks. Never forget the pride you can feel in your blood when you see the green and red in Croke Oark on final day regardless of the what has gone on in the background. That’s what we’re all in it for as far as I am concerned, and I’m convinced we’ll get to the top of the mountain. Keep the faith, Mayo Abu fir 2017.

  11. In 2016 we won U21, Masters and Hurling National titles, so all in all that’s not bad going.

    We have plenty to look forward to in 2017.

    Happy Christmas to one and all, especially you WJ, who make this such a wonderful site.

    They can say what they want about us but we are Mayo and we are in this together!

  12. Merry Christmas WJ and happy new year especially around September time when great joy could well be experienced.

    Having watched the finals again can i just say that lady luck can be a right bitch and i wish she would clear off and leave us alone if that’s the best she can offer us.

  13. Decided to stay out of the recent debate, but read most of the hundreds of comments on it.
    Time to draw a line under this now and look forward to next year. And I think we have lots to look forward to.

    Happy Christmas and New Year to all, especially yourself WJ. You’re some man to keep this all going. It can be a pretty thankless job at times. It’s appreciated.

    Up Mayo

  14. Happy Christmas WJ and thanks for your efforts in keeping this place open all year. And to all supporters of the Green and Red, our day is not far off. Happy Xmas all.

  15. Happy Christmas folks. From Ennis to Croker it’s been a great year. Some of the greatest analysts in the game inhabit this blog and I enjoy all the posts (especially you cait who I’ve built up a mental image of that can never be lived up to but I’m hoping you get a full stop for Christmas Cillian is brilliant)
    See you all in McHale tomorrow two weeks for the start of the 2017 roller coaster.
    Maigheo Abu

  16. Happy Christmas to all bloggers near and far and to WJ and family.. Another drama filled and often emotionally draining year in Mayo football both on and off the pitch..High point was to be in Ennis for U 21 win..Low point was the walk back to the car after the replay among a sea of silent Mayo supporters…Adios 2016..you were a pain in the backside..See ye in 2017!

  17. Happy Christmas to everyone and a special thank you to WJ for running this site and for affording me a guest post opportunity back in September. Even though we didn’t win the ultimate prize I will never forget my 2016 journey following our Mayo team with my mayogaablog.com family.
    We go again! Mayo for SAM 2017.

  18. A very happy Christmas to you and yours WJ and all who visit here and support Mayo. This site is a great source of pleasure and information. Couldn’t live without it. Looking forward to 17. Forever Mayo.

  19. Happy Christmas to all on this brilliant site and especially to Willie Joe who did and does most of the heavy lifting. I can only reiterate what other posters have said – this is a golden era fro Mayo football. Hopefully it will be marked with a deserved All Ireland win but even if it is not to be, this bunch of players will be remembered as all-time greats of the county. Remember Holland 1974 never won a major title and George Best never played in the World Cup finals. This has not diluted their greatness and the warmth with which they are remembered.

  20. Happy Christmas Willie joe You operate a great blog which for an exile like me in cork keeps the fire burning The most prominently displayed county jersey in Finns sport shop on grand parade is the green and red one. As I was passing by yesterday I felt that wave of emotion that you get when you see the jersey in foreign lands Hope to see you all in castle bar next september

  21. Merry xmas to all contributors on this blog. As this year plays out its final few days, I would hope that there will be less bashing of players, former managers in 2017.
    Lets not forget that these guys are amateurs and put in a huge commitment to play at this level.
    I will never forget the Dubs being shell shocked in the 1st half of the drawn final, no other team has done this to them in the past two years.
    Maybe this was due to the sight of my home made flag right behind the goal posts at the back wall between the Nally stand and hill 16.

    As I siad to mostly Dub fans around me, I was not going to be moved, then the chant Hill 16 is Dubs only, I still never gave in.

    Here’s to next year.

  22. Merry Christmas Willie Joe. Thanks for your immense contribution to both journalism and fandom in Mayo.

    You have crested a perfect niche here and it is indeed a treasure. Please take a moment to inhale the sincere appreciation of all of us who look to this blog first for all things Mayo GAA.

    As someone living abroad it is a constant source of solace to me.

    Thank You

  23. So near this year, one point defeat after 140 minutes, the same as in 1996. Lessons were not learned in 1997.The Team did not improve and we paid the price. If improvements are made to the Team we have every chance next year. Wishing Stephen and the Team every good wish.

  24. Happy Christmas folks. Looking forward to being back on the road again on the 8th for the start of yet another journey, where it will end we don’t yet know. It sure is a rollercoaster of a ride following Mayo GAA!

  25. A very happy and peaceful Christmas to you all.

    WJ, wishing you and yours all the best God the festive season and thank you sincerely for all that you do.

    See y’all on the 8th in Castlebar.

  26. Happy Christmas to all involved with the website and all the contributors. Thanks to Willie Joe for his adjudication….It’s what keeps the blog from descending into the nastiness we see elsewhere.
    And to the team(s)? Well, all I can offer is my admiration and thanks.
    Happy Christmas from Glasgow.
    Shteady on the half wans.

  27. A Very Happy and Peaceful Christmas Willie Joe, to you and your family and to all Mayo people in what ever part of the world they may be, let’s hope it’s a good one in every way.

  28. Merry christmas willie joe and family and to all and a peace full new year keep safe on the roads light up well god bless

  29. Happy Christmas to you Willie, your family and all followers of the Red and Green. On wards and upwards for 2017.

  30. Happy Christmas to WJ and all the bloggers on this great site. Was a good year overall even if we still didnt land big one I see brehony has us third in country behind the dubs{deserved first} and that fantastic kerry team who beat Clare twice and the worst Cork team for years before playing well against Dublin for 10 mins. Good man brehony. Hope santa brings him loads of horse manure

  31. Happy Christmas to WJ, and family, all the bloggers at home and abroad. Looking forward to the 8th of January and another run with this great Mayo team.

  32. Happy Christmas to you all. Hoping for some great football in 2017 and looking forward to backing our lads again in a couple of days.

  33. Obviously not a fan of brehenys but its hardly outlandish to suggest Kerry to be slightly ahead of Mayo in rankings. They won i repeat won the all Ireland two years ago. They have unbelievable talent coming through form 3/4 exceptional minor teams over the last few years. Thats not just happened either , its a serious project that will succeed because its Kerry. I wouldnt be getting to high and mighty about us being ahead of kerry at present at all, could be one hell of a battle next august if both sides progressed to semi final stage as provincial champions.

  34. Happy Christmas, health and happiness to all. Notwithstanding the media blowout at the tail end of year, I have every confidence that the panel/players are mature and decent enough to work together for the greater good of Mayo football. Hopefully, next year, with an injection of young talent, and a little bit of tweaking, will see Mayo get the county’s deserved reward for their resilience and great endeavour. Remember – what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. So chin up and here’s to 2017. Thanks, WIllie Joe

  35. Merry Christmas one and all. Thank you WJ for all your work on this site. I hope 2017 is one to remember. Mayo Forever!

  36. First time poster, but long time reader! Wishing everyone a very happy Christmas and looking forward to seeing new faces in the FBD.

  37. Also first time poster. Wishing everyone a happy Christmas and looking forward to taking my seat in McHale park on the 8th.

  38. Thank you WJ for your amazing service to Mayo GAA. Thanks to all the posters through the year. Special thanks to the team and all who work with them. You just add to my Mayo pride. May we always be the county we are. Just hearing that Fr Leo Morahan has died. A loyal servant and supporter of Mayo GAA. At dheis De go raibh a anam dilis

  39. Happy Christmas To you Willie Joe and all your family. I saw Ger Caff at mass this morning with his parents his father smiling from ear to ear as usual a a having the craic with everyone. That’s what makes the GAA great ordinary people trying to do extraordinary things for the players and their families it would be nice if Mayo finally got that bit of luck and brought Sam home. Here’s to 2017

  40. It is obvious from my point of view that we have to give youth it’s fling and give serious game time to Reape Loftus and Coen early in the year, as I don’t think the current set of forwards are capable of bringing us over the line. We are too dependant on our half back line to get scores. We are always chasing the game at the end we need to be capable of being ahead and stay there. OK we have been terribly unlucky also. There are a few forwards who contribute very little by way of scores so therefore we need 1or 2 of the calibre of Diarmuid O Connor and now is the time to to give them the experience of playing at a higher level.
    Happy Christmas to you Willie Joe and your family and all who subscribe here.

  41. to win just once in fairness Kerry had a better league than Mayo they finished 2nd in the table and reached final.

    The only championship comparisons is both met Tipperary and Kerry were more impressive in their win than Mayo were. Mayo went further than Kerry but would Mayo have reached the All Ireland final if they were paired with Kerry or Dublin in the quarter or semi final this summer?

    Anyways hope all are having a lovely Christmas. One of the best parts of a new year is a new GAA season is about to start and I for one can’t wait.

  42. Loftus, Irwin, Reape and Douglas along with Cillian and Diarmuid. Or something like that anyway. Need to be firing on all cylinders and not going missing when scores are required.

    Remember its Kerry next August in the semi final and then Tyrone in the final. A great record v Tyrone if we can only get past Kerry.

  43. Happy Christmas all and especially Willie Joe.
    One area along with our forwards that needs some new younger talent is midfield.
    Seamus, Tom and Barry are getting on.
    Some emerging midfielders are:
    Padraig Prendergast
    Mathew Ruane
    Barry Duffy
    David Hanley
    I’d be keen to see how Barry Duffy goes with the u21s. He’s well put together and tall.

  44. Hi all!
    Just a quick wish to all the good people of Mayo for a peaceful Christmas and a joyful and safe 2017. Looks like ye will be meeting the dubs in the semifinals once the wheels stay on the cart and if ye can’t stop them we might stagger into the final and try to put a halt to their gallop!!??
    Anyway that’s all for the new year and on January 1st all the teams will assemble again at the top of the obstacle course and we’ll gather in earnest at the railings to watch the highs and lows of our beloved sport, who will get the bounce of the ball, the dodgy call and who will be fined for the worst brawl, I’m sure 2017 will have it all.
    God bless

  45. Sorry folksjust realised that info I got from a knowledgable man about next years line up in the championship was a wind up !! Against my better judgement he convinced me that it was Munster v Ulster and Connacht v Leinster when I double checked with him as I posted,, funny guy ??

  46. so what is the draw? suppose Mayo win Connaught and the quarter final, what province is connaught drawn to meet ?

  47. Connacht v Munster.

    Ulster v Leinster.

    So a semi final line up of

    Mayo v Kerry

    Tyrone v Carlow.

  48. Axle, just to let you know Fr. Leo Morahan remembered on Galway forum – was involved with Bearna, Galway. A true ‘Giver’! Let’s never forget, and indeed pay tribute to the role the clergy played in nurturing talent at a young age in secondary schools. The one quality instilled in students was ‘Respect’. Respect for opposition in victory and defeat.

  49. Jim Flag, True for you,! Carlow are certainitys.. With Dublin having to travel to the Collosouem of Dr Cullin Park for the first round of the Leinster, They probably have the same chance as the Christians had versus the Lion’s in that other Collosouem in Rome long year’s ago,. It’s not just Mayo that put the shivers up Dublin, but contrary to what many of our poster’s think, Carlow really get them spooked. I remember the Day the draw was made for the championship, and the Dublin player who spoke on RTE with great reverence to Carlow, but the look in his eyes betrayed the fear deep in his heart, I hadn’t seen fear like that since Frank Bruno stepped into the ring to face Mike Tyson.

  50. Too true Man of Aran. He loved Bearna and the good people there. Indeed I met many from Barna and Rosmuc who came to pay respects to their friend and priest. A lover of GAA in all things. God bless him…and you all.

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