Neighbours set to slug it out for county title on Sunday


Photo: @Inphosports

Nature abhors a vacuum and, in these ever-shortening days where there’s very little football action to concentrate on, it’s little wonder that so much of the debate on here of late has been on the off-field stuff. I know that all that’s going on off the field is worthy of discussion too but I’d far sooner see greater focus on what happens the other side of the whitewash.

This Sunday, though, we do have some action to look forward to, in the shape of the county SFC final, with the destination of the Moclair Cup to be contested this year by near neighbours Castlebar Mitchels and Breaffy. It’s the second time they’ve met in a decider, with Breaffy’s first ever final appearance two years ago ending in disappointment as Castlebar ran out easy enough winners on a 1-11 to 0-8 scoreline.

That county title win for Mitchels, their first for twenty years and their 28th in all, was followed by a run all the way to Croke Park the following March. Their quest for back-to-back Moclair Cup victories, however, ended twelve months ago with defeat to Ballintubber in last year’s decider.

Although it was Breaffy who torpedoed Ballintubber in this year’s championship at the semi-final stage, it’s their more decorated rivals whom the bookies think will prevail on Sunday. They’re not raging favourites, though – Castlebar are priced at 8/11 to win, match odds here.

Sunday’s final throws in at MacHale Park at 3pm. If you can’t make it there, TG4 will be showing it live and Midwest will also have radio commentary. I’m neither going to be there for it nor watching it on TV, I have to confess, as I have a different local derby to get to that afternoon. This is the St Vincents/Na Fianna Dublin SFC semi-final that’s on at Parnell Park, part of a double-header which also features the Ballyboden St Enda’s v Clontarf semi-final.

Anyway, back to the Moclair Cup decider: who do you think will do it? Time to vote.

Who'll win the county final?

  • Breaffy (59%, 181 Votes)
  • Castlebar Mitchels (41%, 126 Votes)

Total Voters: 307

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64 thoughts on “Neighbours set to slug it out for county title on Sunday

  1. Jeez, its been non stop on here really since before the drawn Dublin game. It should be the “graveyard shift” around this time of year but its gone mad.

    I dont know how Willie Joe keeps on top of it all and i see that some fella even had a go at him and the way the previous poll was conducted.

    Castlebar to win on Sunday playing into the bacon factory end in the second half in a sloppy enough game. No new marquee forward discovered either.

  2. Castle bar for me their a better team and they have b Moran who is very good player I wonder where he will play.

  3. County footballers are in a privileged position, they represent thousands of supporters home and abroad when they step on to the field of play. In many, many ways we can be proud of how our players’ conduct themselves on the pitch. We have a bunch of athletic, skilful men representing us at a high level and they did exceptionally well this year.
    Having read Mike Connelly’s report, I am deeply disappointed that these players have ousted their management team without giving them one reason for their actions. This lacks basic integrity. If this happened in a workplace it would be a certain case of unfair dismissal.
    I have read lots of posts here some looking for answers others saying we need to move on. How can we move on?? The truth has to come out, in my opinion the players need to be accountable for their actions. For their own sake ( at the moment there is a lot of innuendo, players not happy that they didn’t have this or that) what is there to be ashamed of, speak the truth for goodness sake, if there is something to say spit it out. NC and PH deserve some reason to justify their dismissal. They asked and did not receive, I don’t think this is good enough.
    On another point, does anyone else here agree that a player posting bitter remarks on Twitter, about the association they rerepresent is totally inappropriate?
    Castlebar all the way!

  4. This final is a real conundrum as so much depends on Aiden O’Shea and how Castlebar decide to counter him. If Aiden repeats his two goals and penalty against Ballintubber it will make for a very steep climb for Castlebar. Could we see Barry Moran being asked to reprise his sweeper role v Donegal by playing in front of Aiden? Can Castlebar afford to have him confined to such a role? I will be very interested to see whether Liam Irwin can have a major impact on the game. As a star of the 2013 minors I would expect and hope that he would. I would also expect to see Tom Cunniffe having a major role – perhaps as one of Aden’s “minders”.
    Anybody able to say what the curtain raiser is? Minor Final?

  5. Yep the minor A final AndyD at 1pm, Claremorris vs Ballina Stephenites. Be interesting to see if any Claremorris minors make the county panel this year – they have been going very well.

  6. Thanks, Anne Marie, Looking forward to two good games and seeing some promising young fellows.

  7. Interesting match.Breaffy for me.
    With regard to Co.Manager surprised little comment that some dissatisfaction inevitable because lads dont make team or bench…I have trained a few teams and good teams support each other .Complete lack of camaraderie if players are against team because they werent picked.Would show lack of unity in panel.That was NOT the case and Co Board excuse is not plausible in my humble opinion.

  8. Castlebar to win for me. They are all round better balanced and seem to have better subs. Then again, finals are always different from every other game, but based on the semis, Castlebar will win.

  9. Castlebar don’t have the best of records in recent senior finals only 1 win in 4 I think? Breaffy were just happy to reach the last final this time they are older,wiser and might sneak a win.

    The winner will play Clann na nGael of Roscommon in the semi final. Ballyhaunis play four roads in the Connacht hurling semi final on bank holiday Monday.

  10. It really is 50/50 but I give it to breaffy.if the beast is let loose they won’t be stopped.
    Someone said they expect a lot from Liam irwin well he isn’t making the starting 15 for breaffy!
    I see Kerry association in London had a dinner last week and raised £250000 towards Kerry new training facility!
    I hope we have a big enough biscuit tin to collect that sort money when we over! No doubt a couple empty boxes of USA assorted biscuits and roses from the Xmas will be brought to London!

  11. Aidan,
    boxes of USA assorted biscuits can actually be bought in London. Great big tins at that. Better to buy them in London instead of taking up room on the plane in the luggage.

  12. Jim Flag,

    If the boxes of USA biscuits were bought in London somebody or bodies would have to eat the biscuits or have them go to waste which would be terrible. Now who could be got to do that?

  13. The rain is due in on Sunday afternoon, which is a pity. They are 2 good teams and I was impressed with the way Breaffy setup against Ballintubber in the semi. Also great to have the county final on the bank holiday weekend. As someone already said there will be nothing between them. The more experienced team might prevail in this one.

  14. Personnel wise its 50/50 but I think Castlebar know how to win it so will prevail by a couple of points

  15. Good link there HSE. Kerry show how the fund raising is done. Mayo County Board, please copy.

    There’s a further piece on that Examiner page highlighting comments of our own Johnno on the sadness he feels at rows in Connaught spilling outside the dressing room. This was at the launch of his autobiography, Keeping the Faith. The Connaught Telegraph, if posters will forgvive me for mentioning this publication without the words rag, bile, gutter press etc.affixed, reports that over 1,000 people attended the launch; now that’s impressive.

    Incidentally, the cover of said book is quite interesting:

    Large photo of Johnno
    underneath this: O’MAHONY, in large capitals,
    underneath this, the strap line KEEPING THE FAITH in smaller capitals
    Tiny print at the top: The autobiography of John O’Mahony

    For all the world, like an election poster

    This one should be well worth a separate post Willie Joe, to keep us going until the third week in November.

  16. I think Breaffy can do the business on Sunday. For sure they are up against it. Castlebar are a seasoned team with oceans of experience and depth. Obviously Aido is their key man and he must play well. But and its a big but the others have to step up. They need to put in their own performances and not be relying totally on the big man.
    I thought in the semi the goals that Breaffy got were heavy blows for tubber in terms of their timing and for large parts of the game Breaffy were struggling.
    Looking forward to it. Roll on Sunday.

  17. “Keeping the Faith”, more like “Exploiting the Faithful”.
    I think everyone in the county saw through the fairly obvious political play that was going on with his last management stint.

  18. AndyD,
    only 1 man for the job of eating a tin of USA assorted biscuits.

    I have no doubt that our good friend “Who ate all the cakes” would go through an entire biscuit tin all on his own in no time at all. He could then be on the next plane back to Dublin. Leaving the empty tin to be filled with nice crispy notes and loose change.

    Much better than the Kerry way of fundraising. We’ll show them how its done.
    You’ve got to think outside the box (or inside the box) in this case.

  19. The biscuit tin story is getting out of hand lads, come on. Mayo County board might surprise ye all in Ruislip in June with a crisp looking carrier bag from Dunnes.

  20. might be some website for Mayo fundraising. Night owls in Vegas down to their last 5 dollars thinking burger or a hand of 25?
    Legendary card slammers on Mayo bar counters able to take on the worlds best 25 card drivers 24/7 online. Best of all you could have the power of the crowd to gang up against any many who is on 15 or 20. “I was in the lead and then it was like they all played to prevent me winning?” We could make a fortune for the county board. Gamblers all over the planet in their Elverys gear. The Japanese would have to win little steel ball bearings of course seeing as they can’t gamble for money. Then of course the legendary count backs when a few players slam their cards down on that virtual bar counter too quickly.
    Followed by the inevitable “Why did you play that card there?” to the poor novices.
    25, the game that has made, broke and fed Mayo people at Christmas with Turkeys and Hampers.

  21. I started reading this blog around this time last year. It coincided with a change to a smart phone as opposed to a new found interest in the Mayo football team. I have always been passionate about Mayo football. It was with great reluctance that I gave up my blackberry but I soon came to know the joys of clicking onto this site, initially on a sporadic basis but then with increasing regularity as I became drawn in by the varying opinions and the mystery and intrigue underlying some of the comments. As a result, my blackberry is now long forgotten. I have come to recognise the regular posters and as soon as I see the name at the top of the post, I can very often predict the content. That’s not to say that it is all very predictable, there are enough curve balls thrown in to make it interesting but it is easy none-the-less to see the common themes. Don’t worry, I’m not going to start guessing who is who and putting names out there. I know that Willie Joe has a hard enough job to do and while I might not always agree with his opinions, I have to applaud him for the time and effort he puts into managing this site and hence I will abide by the rules to continue to enjoy using it.

    It was clear at the time of the appointment process last year that there was huge discontent with how that was handled. There was heated debate but by and large, there seemed to be a final acceptance of the rallying cry that the supporters must now row in behind the two new men, after all there was no-body else queuing up for the job and they had done nothing wrong. There were still predictions of doom and gloom, that we would fall from the dizzy heights that we were at and you couldn’t help but feel that this is what some people were waiting for so that they could say ‘I told you so’. The discontent with the County Board was more than obvious and their fundraising activities seemed to be an area that was targeted big time. There seemed to be a notion that there were big business men preparing to bank roll the team and that they were prevented from doing this by the ‘idiots’ in the County Board. The biscuit tin approach was ridiculed and we were called upon to look at other counties so see ‘how it is done’. I have expertise in fundraising and the one thing that I can say is that it has to be all totally above board and transparent. Otherwise, we enter a murky world where brown envelopes flourish and the sport becomes tainted. The Country Board are officers of our association democratically elected by the clubs and they are charged with the task of making sure our fund raising is above board. I would say to any business man wanting to lay off some cash, please do it through the correct channels and do not try to use your cash power to try to have undue influence over the team and how it is supported.

    To be fair, many on this blog provided their support to P.J. Monaghan when he signalled his intention to run for office on the County Board. The idea to effect change from the inside was the correct approach to take and he must be applauded for taking this step. However, he baulked at the last hurdle and his cohorts were left with no choice but to continue to criticise from outside. Funding and the implementation of the Liam Horan report continued to be the main bugbears. Attention then turned to the team. Rumours of discontent were initially quelled with accusations of trolling and I was heartened to see that one of the old timers on this blog was actually prepared to stand-up and call it for what it was. We then got to the league and the goals were to retain division 1 status and blood new players. We suffered a devastating defeat to Dublin along the way and the knives were immediately out. It’s funny the posters that only come out when they have something to complain about. We left the league behind with goals achieved and were looking forward to the Championship. There was still a lot of pessimism around that we would be beaten by Galway and that the Rossies were waiting in the long grass for us. However, it didn’t go according to script for some and as we blasted our way through Connaught, it was obvious that this team was still a force to be reckoned with. Before the quarter final, there was hesitant optimism on the blog but the general consensus was that we would have to be our best to beat Donegal. Mayo gave an outstanding performance and the blog was hopping for days with words of congratulations to the players and the management duo. We now had some ‘tactical nous’ on the side line’ thrown into the mix. Some of the earlier detractors did not make any appearance though. The drawn game against Dublin had everybody on the edge of their seats. The fightback was immense and we were in a position to win the game in the final minutes but lucky not to lose it at the same time. The blog was peppered with optimism and this time there was a more definite feeling of ‘we can win this’ for the replay and why wouldn’t there be as we had nearly pulled it off in the first match. However, the replay was bitterly disappointing. We had our chances but the Dubs were too good in the end. The blog took off again. It didn’t take long for the old names to start appearing, for the little rumours to be dropped in that players were unhappy. We went from ‘the managers have tactical nous on the side line’ and everyone singing their praises (ok not everyone) to ‘they had their tactics all wrong for the Dublin games’. Kerry were going to do what Mayo couldn’t do and they would waltz off with SAM when it should be rightfully ours. The injustice of it especially when they stole it from us in 2014 as well. But the script changed again and Kerry didn’t do over Dublin and Dublin showed us why they have been touted as the best team all year round. Instead of regrouping and getting ready for next year, like Kerry did when they lost (even in more dramatic fashion that we did), the rumours started again, except this time no one shouted stop. It seemed the managers were fair game. The blog was even able to confirm for us that a letter was being delivered to the County Board long before the managers were ever informed that there was a no-confidence vote again them. The managers resigned with class and dignity but the accusations and rumours continued. The players didn’t give any reasons to the managers or the County Board, that much has been confirmed. So in the absence of any solid information, posters have been putting out their own suggestions. The players would not have embarked on this course of action without a replacement ready and they are so tight knit that the only person that can lead them is James Horan. They are his boys! We also know that people were cut from the backroom team and this didn’t go down too well with those that were chopped or with the players that had gotten accustomed to having them around. The accusations thrown at the medical team coupled with reports of disorganisation point us in the direction of those aggrieved. Recovery slipped in there as well for a while but we were assured that the person responsible for that area was not being held accountable. One has to infer then that somebody else was!

    The County Board have now moved onto appoint the new manager so all should be hunky dory. That does not appear to be the case. The blog machine is in full flow again with talk of the Liam Horan report, funding and biscuit tins and how inept the County Board are in this regard. Into the bargain, the chairman of the County Board cannot remain because he was liaison officer to the players. Are we to take from that that the players were struck dumb all year and they could not have requested an alternative ear. In fact they weren’t able to use any of the machinery available to them to highlight their issues. Why was that? Well in my field we consider the ‘totality of evidence’ when making a decision. And so I will throw in my tuppence worth based on the evidence put before me, and believe me I have read everything. In my view, it’s just simply because the issues they had were not to do with playing football or the joint managers but more with some of them wanting to revert to the cosy-set up that they were used to with their former manager and his backroom team. Let’s hope for their sake that somebody doesn’t baulk at the last hurdle!

  22. HSE. Thanks for that link. Very interesting reading indeed. In a few years you will have people talking about the riches of talented footballers emerging from Kerry and we will be telling ourselves it must be something in the water down there.

  23. Very good post there Fitzy.

    Just feel the County Board may not want Horan, and Horan may have given hostages to fortune with his comments on the situation. Silence would have been a better option in the circumstances.

  24. Fitzy, you make good points. However, I disagree that the vote of no confidence was as a result of some players wanting to revert to the cosy set up they were used to. I have no doubt some players did long for the old setup. It seems to me that all or most of the players were unhappy and unwilling to have another year with the same management. Voting no-confidence in the managers is a very serious step to take and I suspect it was not done lightly or at the behest of a few of the team.
    I would like to know what went wrong but perhaps in order to preserve everyone’s dignity it is best to just draw a line under it and get on with a new appointment as soon as possible.

  25. Fitzy, interested as to what exactly cosy means.
    – Relationship to manager and backroom staff
    – The challenge of training/match day
    – Selection policies

  26. Firstly to say, that I am a long time reader of this site and would like to thank WJ for his hard work and dedication to provide this service to us all. (The criticism the other day by one poster was nothing short of disgraceful).
    I would agree that we should now draw a line under this whole saga. I think it would be a mistake to have the players grievances with the management made public. Living outside of Mayo I am still reminded by followers of other counties about mayo players pushing selectors cars around car parks all those years ago. Another stick to beat mayo fans with is not what is required now. I think a certain amount of credit can be given to both the players and management that we are where we are without the full details of the issues plastered over the national papers.
    I hope the next managerial appointment is the right one, whoever it is. This group of players have the ability to win an all Ireland, of that I am convinced. We just need that little bit extra to push us over the line.

  27. Interesting post Fitzy and your points are noted. You are 100% correct in terms of fundraising, and any bankrolling, as you put it, would have to be absolutely transparent and open, as would the ensuing expenditure. Ordinary people like you and I who may not be businessmen but might just want to throw in a few quid a month want the reassurance of knowing that everything is above board. Introducing the Player Welfare fund this year was a job well done by the players and county board as it also allows people to give directly, and little and often if they wish, which is just as important if enough of people are doing it. Thankfully we have hopefully left the days of brown envelopes behind us; it would be a crying shame to start partaking of such practices in the the world of county football.

    Biscuit tins, on the other hand … I’m sure Kerry didn’t have any of those in New York when they came home from New York with over €1m in June, and a further €330,000 from London. Something for a county like us to aspire to, surely? After all, who needs one businessman wanting to lay off some cash when you can have dozens 🙂 Anyway, with that, it is past time to park talk of biscuit tins. I am boring myself now. But I too have worked in fundraising; it is a tough gig and not one I would want to return to, but I have seen how it can be done well and I guess it is frustrating knowing that we could be doing more to help ourselves financially. Although I think JP might well have the answer above!

    Your summary of the year is a good recap over just what a rollercoaster it was, from the anger of 2015, to apprehension at the shaky start, to cautious optimism, to despair against Dublin in Spring, to hope with the start of the championship, to elation of the recovery against Dublin, to numbness at losing another SF. It was also a good summary of just how volatile we are in our own outlook from game to game and how we can engage in revisionism as we go. Regardless of what anyone’s opinion is on the current saga or the politics behind the football, each and every one of us was on that journey together all year, all hoping we would reach the same destination. And so it will be until we do. Sadly, many of us can lose sight of that common vision at times like this and sometimes, our own biases blind us or skew our perspective. That’s life.

    As an aside, the beauty of this site is that everyone, including yourself, can use it under the cover of anonymity if they wish, and luckily, for the most part, people respect it enough to abide by the rules. Some of us also consiously choose not to remain anonymous, and are prepared to stand by our comments in doing so. We all have our suspicions on who is who and who is posting from where, as is the nature of human curiosity, but the important thing is that a very wide range of viewpoints is reflected, right from those who have operated within the inner chambers to those who may have only watched a few games from their armchair. Incredibly most of us can and do remain civil to each other despite disagreements that might go to the tips of our toes. We are very fortunate to have this forum and long may it last.

    And of course, the most interesting of all are the thousands of people who read everthing here and never post at all. A very good day (or good night, depending on which corner of the world you’re in) to you all. 🙂

    Mayoman8, you are right. Time to get back to the matter at hand which is Sunday. Heart says Breaffy, head says Castlebar. Both say it will lack nothing in terms of spirit and fight.

  28. Out of interest is the London game def on Sunday 29th may? And also where will most Mayo supporters be staying and socialising?

  29. Time for a song after all the fallout that’s been going on of late.
    Probably one of the worse Mayo Songs of all times but very apt at the moment.

    “Now boys, pull together in all sorts of weather
    Don’t show the white feather, wherever you go
    Act each as a brother and help one another
    Like true hearted men from the County Mayo”

  30. Really looking forward to the game on Sunday. It’s going to be some clash and wouldn’t rule out Breaffy sneaking off home to the Shamrock bar with the Moclair cup in hand ! However, if both teams can hit top gear I still think Castlebar will have that little bit extra off the bench to inject more pace and scoring threat in the closing quarter. Watch out for Robbie Fadden at #8 on Sunday – a lad we’ll be seeing in a red and green jersey in the not too distant future.

  31. Fitzy I enjoyed your post on the Mayo Inc and we all concur with most of it..Like the others I do not understand your reference to cosy. What ever is at the other end of the scale to cosy would be more appropriate when talking about this bunch of lads. I have followed them for almost 60 year.s at home and abroad. What has been happening here in the last 5 years has no parallel in my time in Mayo football. I hope James Horan returns and that our elected officers take steps to propagate the ethos currently in the senior team to the other county teams at all the other grades. The last 5 years of senior football should act as a blueprint for the future. This will take strategic thinkers and planners to implement, and I do not know if we have the leaders in place. Ultimately it is what this row is all about.

    I am in a club all of my own, in that I do not see the AI as the be all and end all of it. I have never been embarrassed when we loose a final. It just means we are better than all the rest Padraic Harrington was affectionately known as the king of second place for the majority of his playing career. At the Belfrey Club house recently he stood among his peers and realised for the first time how rare his back to back Open titles were. He alone gets to have the last laugh.

  32. 45 I agree with that, it could come down to the strongest bench in the end. Really looking forward to this one. How old is Fadden as I did not see him with Breaffy before?

  33. MO4EVER, with respect, ‘The Boys from the County Mayo’ is one of the best songs, not only about Mayo, but about Ireland and about emigration and its impact on the Irish psyche. It’s also a rallying cry which Mayo fans should use more often.

    The problem is that is has always been murdered by drunks and maudlin renditions. However, one such rendition which I heard many years ago, sung by Dada in Tom Murphy’s play ‘A Whistle in the Dark’, put the hair standing on the back of my neck.

  34. Catcol,

    I have to agree that “The Boys from the Co Mayo” has been murdered by more drunks and would be singers who cannot sing than almost any other but still it is not a rallying call. Too sad and mournful.
    I think the Saw Doctor’s song “The Green and Red of Mayo” is more suited as a rallying call. Just an opinion and I don’t expect everybody to agree.

    Re Liam Irwin, did he not spend summer in the States as many students do? If so it is not surprising that he is not starting for Breaffy. But start or not I think he could have a major influence on the final. And what is the story on Peter Dravins who I think got a run in the FBD last Jan? He did not start in the semifinal either.

  35. @ catcol and PJ, your welcome, yeah it just shows what can be achieved when everyone pulls together (as it says in the song) in relation to fundraising etc. When the County Board, Supporters, Management, Current Players, Former Players, Sponsors, Local Media etc. are all working together towards the one goal, the betterment of Mayo GAA, then great things can be achieved. It would be great to see this happening in Mayo, everyone trusting everyone else that the best interests of Mayo GAA are being served at all times.

  36. Thanks Aidan for the update. He had a good game against Ballintubber. He will get a better test on Sunday and it could be crucial.

  37. That’s a great piece Willie Joe. Christy O’Connor is top class – the interconnections between both sides are simply dizzying.

  38. A well written piece Fitzy. I note however you seem to take issue with people raising the biscuit tin and the Horan plan. I think that the majority of posters here, when referring to the biscuit tin, use it to sum up the attitude that still seems to prevail among many in the CB, I know I do anyway. The Horan report shows what we could be achieving, the biscuit tin shows where we are. I for one highlight these issues not to ridicule or belittle people, I highlight them because I am exasperated knowing what Mayo GAA are capable of achieving if the proper structures are put in place.
    It drives me crazy to see Kerry, Cavan and the GPA fly home from New York with six figure sums of money when we have a bigger diaspora than any of them. Do you think that the people from these counties are superior or genetically better than us in some way that allows them to achieve what we seemingly cannot do, maybe our diaspora are less generous than theirs?
    I think that the real reason has more to do with the correct people, in the proper positions, backed up by a proper structure. The “totality of evidence” appears to support that I believe.

  39. Re “The boys from the County Mayo” song. It surly must be the worst excuse for a song /lament that was ever written. Why anyone would want to sing it is beyond me. If I was given the choice of which was the best song “My lovely horse” of “Father Ted” fame or “The boys from the County Mayo” I’d plumb for the former. I remember hearing it as a small child well over 40 years ago, Why Dev and his gang that ran the country hadn’t banned it, I’ll never know. They had banned an awful lot of superior art. . If you took out the place name’s and missery you wouldn’t have too much word’s left. As for Mayo boys sticking together, the same as any other county the “bad” you wouldn’t want to stick too close to. “Don’t show the white feather, where ever you go” is a reference to the women mostly who handed out “white feathers” when world war 1 broke out to young men not already wearing a British army uniform in the streets of London, Dublin, Ballina & Castlebar etc. If you were given a”white feather ” it was a token of “cowardice” in the eyes of these opinion makers of them days. If you were prepared to go out and murder for “your” King, country, and empire, you were sound, no “white feathers ” for you! It may be hard to believe, but over 100/years ago a certain “Bishop Higgins, from Ballyheane led a march in the town of Castlebar in favour of young Irish men enlisting in the British army for the ” great war” Of course he had no intention of joining them in the trenches himself. So that’s what I think.of ” the boys from the County Mayo” Fair play to those “drunken yobs”/who murdered it, misty eyed in their melancholy, they gave it the full respect it deserved! As for the football I’ll shout for Breaffy but my head says Castlebar, in any case either club can go much further!

  40. Most people were not aware of the White Feather reference. After some googling I see it does have some merit. Mostly people thought it was a rhyming subsitute for white flag to rhyme with together. Anyways, I can think of far worse songs. Kilkelly Ireland 18 and 60 is just a song that descends further and further into depression.
    Telegram from Bute Montana 1869,
    Dear Agnes STOP

  41. Ah lads, I’ve been away and only now seeing Mike Connelly’s statement.

    I am embarrassed to be represented by this guy. He insinuates that the genesis of the vote of no confidence was from the players not selected in starting 15.

    Lets have a think about this…… that would suggest that the vote would have been defeated given that the majority of the squad do start on the team! He seems to have forgotten that 27 player voted no confidence in the initial vote, and of the players that supposedly didn’t vote no confidence they all appeared to be on the starting 15 (again they were named in the Telegraph so who knows if it’s true, rag). And nearly 30 players showed solidarity in front of county board.

    Also, the same number of players didn’t start for the last 4 years under Horan but there was no unrest, how could this be Mike? If they were disgruntled for not starting, then why not under Horan was there a vote?? It is the same group of players after all.

    He states in hindsight that perhaps he should not have been player liaison but “Pat Holmes asked him to do it”. Hmmm, how could you not see a conflict there? How could he be a confidant for the players but at the same time when he goes home for Sunday dinner across the table is his brother and the manager of the players.

    The whole thing is rotten and his statement in the Telegraph is a disgrace to Mayo, Mayo GAA and all related to it. He should stand down and a root and branch review of the entire county board set up be carried out. It is a shambles.

  42. This old website really is an eclectic mix and a font of knowledge regarding all manner of subjects. From the administrative failings (or not depending on your persuasion) of the county board to the WWI colonial conotations of a seldom heard ballad about Mayo, where would you get it?
    I’ve a grand uncle buried in Butte, Montana by the way JP.

  43. JB, I googled the said ballad. Kilkelly 18 & 60_ depressing stuff alright, So bad I couldn’t suffer reading all the text. I’ll wait for Halloween and read it to any unruly Kids that come trick or treating, that’ll teach them! If that fails I’ll recall the heroics of Mayo GAA in the 1970’s!

  44. PJB I felt let down by his statement too while I have great time for his brothers I feel his game needs a big overhaul or we will be waving goodbye to many of our great players. We are set on a course that will ensure we do not continue as a Div 1 team for much longer or a six-in-a-row in Connacht

  45. catcol

    “Boys from the county Mayo”
    Well I did say probably the worst Mayo song of all time but your right there is a worse one now that I think about it….All Ireland final half time in Croke Park were 7 points down and Maughan has throw in the towel already imagine that. Sure haven’t we been 7 points down on many the occasion since and to think some people wanted Maughan back! Anyways the band start up playing your 7 points down and the last thing you wont to hear is “Moonlight in Mayo”- well feck it anyways.

    James Horan got rid of that weak mentality that we use to have, his teams played to the very end no matter what obstacles turned up in the games.We were no longer afraid of Kerry and for me that’s good enough. I think the CB should talk to him very nicely indeed were lucky to have him in our county.

  46. MO4Ever take it from someone that’s in the tent! Well so I’m told anyhow. Mayo under JM were able to beat Kerry in Championship! Something that JH could not emulate!

  47. That’s the boys of the county Mayo well and truly slaughtered by the snobby brigade and thats the end of that . Well not really as I wholeheartedly disagree for a start.

    I learned it in both national school and off a relation. Our master gave a completely different interpretation of the meaning of the words than lean times has above . My uncle Mick towey told me stories of how it was sang with great gusto and pride on the boats to Holyhead many years ago as men left in their droves .

    Maybe some of ye are not from an emigration culture and just don’t appreciate the song . It means a lot to some of us though ,so ye might ease up on the complete and utter snobbery.


    It’s a good read on Mayo songs and the why nots . I’d go further to say we don’t have enough pride in our county . When you think about counties likeTipp(galtee mountain boy), Galway ( west awake) Kerry ( numerous ballads like Barr na straide played at Paudi o se s funeral) , Dublin( again numerous ballads Foggy Dew would be my fav) . There are lots of more examples and they all have an element of nationalist pride , Mayo just don’t have that and you may laugh but I think it’s not a good thing , it gives an image of watery men like our Enda.

  49. Magic mayo,while I belive JM done great things for mayo football, his time is gone,and about the only similarities between kerry ninty six , andlast year is the name.if I remember correctly in ninety six P Fallon played a stormer but did not make the squad for the final, and ninty seven was by a mile the worst final I attended, now I appreciate what JM has done in the past,and enjoyed some great days out but it is the past

  50. Sean Burke, I couldn’t agree more, on this snobbery thing. This song has been sung with pride by Mayo people all over the world. Why I even sung it at my wedding here in Dublin forty years ago and it brought tears to my fathers eyes, God rest him. And my God, how bitchy have got that even our own songs are being slated.

  51. Sean Burke, I certainly am from an emigration generation/and may have to “take the boat” again. Seen plenty of Holyhead and its “Cead Miele Failte” signs over its Pub doors. Been there, done that! There is nothing “Snobby”about giving “The facts” .

  52. Anyone reading V Hogan this morning regarding B Walsh might find similarities between iaba , and mayo county board

  53. For those looking for a decent version of The Boys from the County Mayo, check out Pete Seeger. He includes it in his American Ballads vol 3 alongside such classics as Gypsey Davy and Boll Weevil. He seemed to know a thing or two about songs and his version is terrific, even allowing for christening Ballyhaunis, Ballyharness.

    It would be nice if some of our modern songsmiths could take it and remake it into the classic that it is. When you see what Seán Tyrell does with such hackneyed songs as I’ll take you home again Kathleen, you long for something similar with our anthem. Or take, Jimmy Crowley. Is there anyone around who has remade the old Cork songs into something so fresh that they seem newly minted.

    All this raises questions of the effectiveness of anthems and singing at matches generally. Sean Burke provided a link to an old Spalpín column which deals with the topic and I know Anne-Marie has made and is making valiant efforts in this area generally.

    The trick I feel is to create or remake something that fans relate to – hence the need to give the old and the good ones a makeover. The further trick is to be able to render it at the appropriate time and it isn’t always obvious when this should be.

    I’ll give two examples of brilliant timing:

    The first concerns the 1989 semi-final between Cork and Dublin, before they went on to beat us. Their victory over Dublin was significant. I was on the old Canal End and as the crowds exited under the tunnel that existed then, the Cork lot struck up The Banks. The acoustic, the reverberation, the passion made it mesmerising. And, it was knowing… we know when to sing it and when not.

    The second example was a Wales v Ireland match at Landsdowne Road about 12 years ago. I was in the Upper West Stand I think and it was well populated with Welsh. Ireland were leading for most of the first half, but the Welsh got a try shortly after half time to go a couple of points ahead, maybe three. Momentum was building, but nothing yet from the red brigade. Then Jenkins dropped a goal, and Bread of Heaven rang out, powerfully It was taken up by the Welsh in other parts of the ground. It was awesome, and the message to the Paddies couldn’t have been clearer: we’re on our way; which they were.

  54. Re “Kilkelly, Ireland”, it may be mournful but it was reality as the words come from a package of letters found in a loft in the US long after they were written. I first heard it when Eleanor Shanley recorded it and it took several efforts at hearing it before I could bring myself to listen to the entire song. My own home place is not too far from Kilkelly so it had an extra poignancy.
    In any case there is no need to apologise for past history and its reality,which did include a huge amount of misery. and regards the “white feather” of “The Boys from the County Mayo” the reference may be to the first World War but if so it would have to be written in the past 100 years. A quick google search did not reveal the author or when it was written. Anybody able to shed light on this question? I have a feeling it may be pre than WW1.

  55. I listened to Pete Seeger’s version on You Tube, I rest my point. It’s years since I heard it before today, it’s worse than I had remembered!

  56. Best of luck to both teams. Heres hoping for a good game. It would be great to see an entertaining match. With 10 county players on show, five on each team and a number of others who were in or around the Mayo panel the last few years, there is a lot of talent on show. There are also a few players who will hope to make a breakthrough onto the county panel in the coming season. It will be interesting to see how both teams will set-up as well.

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