The corncrake rebels

Sunday’s enormously uplifting win over Cork has, I’m sure, come to mean different things to different people. Here’s ontheroad with his perspective on it.

They say that only 126 pairs of corncrakes are left in the country. As a kid my night-time sleep was induced by the corncrake that lived in the bottom of our field. He was as much part of us as the lighthouse in the village and the fog horn on Eagle Island. Then the fog horn went and so too nearly the corncrake.

Near my home on the Erris peninsula lives one of the remaining 126 pairs of corncrakes. Recently I got a letter telling me the entire area is going to be an area of conservation for the very same fellow…the corncrake. Delighted I am. Indeed if I happened to live within 250 metres of said corncrake it appears I am entitled to claim a grant.

Now despite having four children, a mortgage, a pile of bills and a pickpocket government even I could not stoop as low as to claim for the privilege of hearing the threatened corncrake. The abrasive sound from his throat is payment enough.

Since 2006 Mayo started to take on the elusiveness of the corncrake. We knew it was out there but somehow it lost its voice. At first expectation was high that it would be found but as time went by with trips to Salthill, Derry, Cavan, Sligo and Longford the Mayo GAA corncrake almost disappeared.

The grand project of kicking on from two All-Ireland final defeats of 2004/06 became instead a tour of the Via Dolorosa with its attendant Sorrowful Mysteries. We went from expectation of the final piece of the jigsaw to rebuilding, excuses and grand ineptitude. Everybody seemed to be better than us. Every game seemed to take on the scale of climbing Everest.

The mantra of the poor mouth finally convinced the players and the followers than indeed we were rubbish. To confirm it we went and crumbled against Sligo and Longford a scarce twelve months ago. The prophetic covering of arses and options finally came home to roost. Like the corncrake, Mayo were about to almost disappear.

Then this year’s summer skies didn’t clear but Mayo cleared the mind. “Is féidir línn” somebody wrote for Mr Obama. Mayo, one of the last homes of the beautiful language heeded the message. The draw from Hell v Cork was met head on by James Horan with words along “well this game will tell us where we are”. It did sir. Can you imagine the keening, imploring and shaking of holy water had we drawn Cork 14 months ago?

Mayo won more than a game of football on July 31st 2011. They showed a nation what we mean when we say “the Mayo style”, a style good enough to produce two Millennium greats in Flanagan and Langan. The past is where we reference to but do not dwell in. But we should never forget our proud place in the history of the Gael. For the last few years we have tiptoed around almost apologising for being Mayo. No more.

I myself was inflicted by the doom and gloom going as far as to advocate a change in our jersey colours. Become like Sligo and Cavan by darkening the shirt. But darkening the shirt does not make you an All-Black or invincible, nor does the acquisition of a former Mayo fringe player or a former O’Byrne Cup Dublin player.

Last year I read the opinion of a former Mayo extra on playing his former county thus “What comes before me comes before me”. We were reduced to stage extras as our own came back to haunt us. The slashing in Longford mercifully put an end to the charade.

Whether we beat Kerry and then Tyrone/Dublin/Donegal is irrelevant. Like the corncrake, we have made our voice known once more. We remind a nation of our not inconsiderable pedigree. We ride tall in the saddle and we can look the nation in the eye. We ask no more than James Horan and his cohorts stay honest. If they do then we all benefit.

The corncrake will survive and prosper. As I went out for my run around Dunboyne on Monday I saw the village festooned with Mayo flags, many on houses that I never knew had a Mayo connection. Long may they fly and long may Mayo and the corncrake prosper.

39 thoughts on “The corncrake rebels

  1. Inspiring stuff ontheroad, born out of a performance last Sunday which to me said that as a County we are fed up with, the sniggering behind open hand,the condescending-almost sympathetic looks we got from the Cork crowd as we entered Croker,the cheap jibes from lazy pundits ,the apethetic attidude towards Team Mayo by most other Counties……etc..etc….ENOUGH- Eiri suas a Mhaigheo!!

  2. Genius stuff there ontheroad, really great piece, hairs stood on my arms reading it.

    We’re back.

  3. Very impressive piece ontheroad! inspiring stuff indeed…just like the boys last sunday. Thats the sort of stuff the players should read….shows what success on the field means to Mayo gaels around the country. Maybe they know already….they looked like the did last Sunday! as for the lazy journalism, well to be honest it suits us perfectly so im happy to let em write away.

  4. Excellent piece ontheroad.

    The media and pundits are getting a very hard time from Mayo people since Sunday and on this forum as well.

    I think we might be being a bit unfair. On Connaught football, Sligo & Leitreim were easily accounted for this year. Galway are at a very low ebb at senior level, think they need to get rid of O’Flatharta. Roscommon are still well down the pecking order but are improving.

    Mayo had been very poor since 2007 in my opinion and it was difficult to foresee what happened at the weekend. So, on all available evidence I don’t think we could argue with Cork being made handsome favourites at the weekend – a tag I agreed with.

    It might suit Mayo to have a chip on its shoulder and use the negative comments as extra motivation. Whatever works, use it. But I think we must accept that it was entirely logical for Mayo to be massive underdogs at the weekend as was the case in both national and local meida. Obviously, we’re all delighted that Mayo proved everyone wrong and performed admirable in almost every facet. I think that should be the focus of the supporters.

    On another note, I know everyone is suggesting that club football should be postponed and I can understand the sentiment. However, there are hundreds of young men in Mayo who take their football very seriously and are extremely committed sho have been kicking their heels for a liong time already. Some thought has to be spared for these guys who try to plan lives, relationships and holidays around club fixtures that are as changeable as an Irish summer. An appropriate balance should be found.

  5. Too many commentators and pundits seemed to take an inate pleasure in condemning Mayo (and Conncht) football over the last year or so. Galway are u-21 champions, Roscommon and Galway are in the minor semis and Mayo have dethroned the all-ireland champions. I very much doubt Brolly will mention this at the weekend.

  6. 2 points in response MuigheoGoDeo;
    firstly I dont think anyone has an issue with Mayo being underdogs the last day, on the balance of performances to date and last year that was right and proper. What alot of people had an issue with, me especially was the manner in which it was done. It was very insulting, being told you wont win is not an insult, being dismissed out of hand like something that is on someones shoe, being directly insulted be being called “depressing” and “flakey” as some did is not on, and thats what I object to. Also, the “predictions” and “forecasts” were made by people paid to make them, who did so with very very little analysis and thought behind them. We should demand better. I have no problem with a pundit giving me a well thought out logical reason why they didnt rate us, but dont just do it because of what the 2006 team did, or the fact that we lost to Longford last year. They are paid to study the facts and offer a considered opinion, none of them did that. Some of us did, and we’re not paid to do so, and come to the opinion that Mayo could in fact win. That wasnt just partisanship, that was based on facts.
    Second point in relation to club championships, we have a chance now to do something that hasnt been done in 60 years. Maybe we wont do it, maybe we will, but we certainly need to give ourselves the best chance possible. Playing club matches this weekend is not giving ourselves the best chance possible. What if Cillian O’Connor is injured, will that help us?
    In the more succesful countys such as Cork and Kerry all is on hold at this stage of the year if the county lads are still involved. Some in Cork are now delighted because it means the county championships can move on. Even for a dual player like Eoin Cadogan, senior hurling county championship matches would be postponed as he is with the footballers.
    We dont need to shoot ourselves in the foot by playing club matches this weekend. Its a hard enough task in front of us without adding this.

    Good piece ontheroad, and I fully agree with you, the flag is flying high again. BUT we need to do it again against Kerry to almost fully complete the redemption. However, the damage that was done in 2004 and 2006 can only fully be undone by beating Kerry and then winning Sam. The script is now that Cork messed up, not that we were fantastic. I believe we can beat Kerry, my worry is getting Donegal in a final. My worry is based on not that Donegal are a better football force than us but rather that we’ll soon get used to the underdog tag and if we beat Kerry, with those two scalps under our belt we’d be fully expected to win it and that wont sit well.
    Dublin for me would be the perfect opponents in a final. But of course I’m getting ahead of myself, we have to beat Kerry first.

  7. The exponential increase in Mayo flags is in one way fantastic, and in another, unfortunate. Directly after the London match, I doled out some online cash on buying my Mayo car flag, and have been flying it ever since around Wicklow where I live – I was getting funny glances all the time, almost sympathetic. But not now. I believed Sunday’s performance was in this team, having watched all their matches this season to date. Faith is translated into flying the flag, and it was unfortunate that the faith was lost, but fantastic that faith is now being restored.

  8. east cork exile – I take your point about some of the commentary being over the top but I think we had been our own worst enemies. Who would’ve thought a team so comprehensively beaten by Cork in last year’s league final and again by Sligo and Longford could turn it around like we did on Sunday. We needed Sunday to banish those memories and hopefully a similar performance in a few weeks to show it isn’t a one hit wonder.

    As I said I take the point on why club matches should be delayed but I’m asking that you put yourself in the shoes of the average club player who dedicates their life to their club with massive sacrifices being made.

    I think ultimately, there is going to have to be a separation between club and county. Either completely different playing calendars or county players cease playing club football.

  9. Mayo had a good team all the time, the problem was what passed for a manager. He took the job to get elected and when he got elected he wanted out, so he just ran the show in to the ground. I’m an old man, I was in Croker in 51 and I did something last week that I never did before in my life – I had a Tenner on Mayo last Sunday. I really didn’t feel I was backing Mayo, it was just showing the faith I had in James Horan. We have along way to go yet but if they play against Kerry the way the played last Sunday the won’t go down without one hell of a fight. Thanks James and the team and of course the rest of the back room staff for restoring pride in our great county.

  10. The big task for Mayo is to maintain the level of performance we seen against Cork, in 89, 96, 97, 04 & 06 we always peaked for one game, never able to repeat the performance a few weeks later. I hope the team are not satisfied with beating Cork, and kick on and produce the same level of performance against Kerry.

  11. Like many others on the roads post left me with tears in my eyes and the hair standing on the back of my neck. It’s a fairly unique Mayo post so thanks for the insight. Like many of the previous threads I’m deeply proud of Sunday’s performance, I expected something close but was overawed by the complete performance. I watched the match again tonight on Setanta and there is plenty of room for performance but I’ll leave that to the boss man. This team can definitely take a step further but only by upping their game by another 20%, not a big ask given the simple handling errors on Sunday. all in all I have total faith in James and the players. Go n’eiri libh

  12. Its great to see our pride restored and too see how much this team means to mayo people, as shown by the excellent piece above.
    But we need a touch of reality now. The quarter final is done and dusted. Time to move on and focus on the semi final. At the end of the day we are only in a semi final yet, a position that should be a realistic goal for every mayo team every season. I know it’s so tempting to say “Up Yours” to everyone who wrote us off, but really the only way we can definitively tell our critics to get stuffed is it we win the all ireland. They will have no comeback then. In the meantime I believe we have a duty as supporters to bite our tongues and not stirr up unwanted and unhelpful hype around our team. If we win Sam then we have the rest of the year to gloat to everyone that we are the best team in Ireland and nobody can say a damn thing about it.

    Regarding the club fixtures, in my opinion they should go ahead. I know its a gamble if anyone gets injured, but aren’t fellas just as likely to get injured in a hard training session with Mayo as they are in club football??
    You heard Jack O Connor complaining that that his team wasnt getting enough game time, I really think it would do our lads good to go out there and play for their clubs. They would be refreshed and more in tune returning to the county training then. Wrapping fellas in cotton wool before big games hasn’t done much for us in the past has it?

  13. Lovely piece.

    Every year on June 23rd my mind wanders back to another special Mayo tradition-Bonefire Night.

    Alas theres no Bonefire in Boston, and theres no corncrake either. I always associate Bonefire’s night with the corncrake.

    My brother actually earned the nickname “the corncrake” given how well he could imitate our little friend-a nickname that has stuck for over 30 years

  14. Great stuff ‘on-the-road’. And the reaction to your piece just goes to show how important football is to us in Mayo.

  15. Nice way to start the day reading that piece and credit to the author.

    A friend who recently had a baby texted me for a pint last night, the second time i’ve had to wet the head (in a small way) the last week, we gathered in a snug in the Palace bar as we are all exiles, 4 friends all from Mayo and talked non stop for the evening about the game last week and our hopes for the next game, and bejasus even the game after that. At one stage I just thought how great it was to be talking about mayo football in August again.

    Pundits? I wouldn’t waste me words. Enjoy the little things, thats the way to get through it all, the corncrake, the flag, the next match expectation, August never looked better.

  16. Many thanks. Just a thought. Kerry won the 1997 All Ireland by beating I think Tipp, Clare , Cavan and Mayo. Looking back, it seemed a rather handy trip.This year Kerry have beaten Tipp, Limerick, Cork, Limerick again.

    Two roads open up. Kerry can beat us and go on and do what they do well. Or, we can can continue doing what we started last Sunday. Beat Kerry and we have the scalps of the 2010 and 2009 All Ireland winners.

    If Tyrone made the last Sunday in September and we did and won , in one fell swoop we would have taken out the lot including the 2008 winners. We should relish the opportunity, recognize that it is a big ask and thank what ever god you still believe in that we get the opportunity to tug at the hem of immortality.

  17. FFS Lads, is this sentimental stuff for real?

    What are we like? To me this is the exact reason we have been as pitiful over the years in our quest for football success. We beat Cork – yes a great achievement, particularly where we have been the last few years, but big feckin deal, Cork are one team who won one all Ireland, they are not some mythical super humans. But if we start this crying, 1951, 1996, poor old Mayo, the sound of the corncrake, ah for god’s sake, we deserve what we get. I honestly can’t understand how Mayo people never learn, yes I had a big release of pride and emotion last Sunday in Croker, but after following Mayo for some 30+ years, I keep it contained because we have all been there before. I really thought after 2004 and 2006 and what has happened since that Mayo people would finally learn, but some things never change. Bring on MWR et al for the drivel now. God I even heard some plonker on RTE yesterday evening saying that Horan was ignoring the best player in Mayo…McDonald! Hard to credit it.

    The biggest positive I am taking though is that Horan seems a rock of sense and has his feet firmly on the ground and knows that the usual Mayo yahooing is a big part of the problem. His team appears a reflection of himself and to me that is the biggest positive. Its proving to me that no matter how many Strategic Plans we have, it will make no difference to Mayo because we always loose the run of our selves. What it is likely to take is an extraordinary effort by a one-off Management and Team that can wade through the usual non football obstacles. I’m telling you its also refreshing not to hear the Mayo management and team bleating to the media – we have had too much of that in the past also. Give Horan and his team the best chance of success – lets all back off and give proper support and leave the corncrake to the conservationists.

  18. Not quite gettin’ the slant Maradona are you?…insulting to very grounded and knowledgeable posters who you are very unlikely to hear of painting sheep or writing idiotic ditty’s…….just proud Mayo football people.

  19. …I respect that, but I think we have to forget about the past once and for all. I have been on theraphy over mayo in the past…maybe that gave me a big dose of reality! Lets move on, beat Kerry and we can do all the sentiment after we actually win an AI. Hard to believe Kerry, Cork, Galway, Dublin, Meath, Donegal, Down, Tyrone, Derry and Armagh have won all irelands since we played Cork in 1989. who with any resaonable expectations is left? kildare, Monaghan maybe. I think its 20 all irelands we have contested at all levels since then, same as Tyrone…we have won 1, Tyrone have wone something like 16. Point is I think we shoule such talk until we actually win one because maybe its not such a big deal as we think it is to win. Anyway, point made, lets move on. Respect yer comments tho

  20. Agree and disagree with you Maradona, agree with all you say about Horan. He seems to be all business without any hidden agenda (unlike his predecessor). He also knows his business and handles the media exceptionally well.

    Disagree with you about “Mayo people”. We are who we are; it’s as simple as that. No apologies here. We are insanely crazy about football, poetic, passionate and artistic on and off the field. We live eat and breathe the stuff. As a result we do suffer our losses badly, (especially the unjust ones) and celebrate our triumphs exuberantly. Probably OTT but so what?

    The corncrake piece was a well written analogy. I wonder how many other Counties had a piece like that written about their football this morning?

  21. A bit harsh there Maradona, by your reckoning we should just be robotic and show no emotion. It’s one thing to be actin daft singin ” sam is comin home” etc but it’s another thing just to enjoy the fact we have restored a bit of pride back in the county.

    There are two types of extremes in the Mayo supporter, the one who drives a man round the bend talking of winning Sam every year( guilty when younger) and then there is the other who tells you to shut up when you try to get ” Mayo, Mayo,Mayo,Mayo” going during a vital part of the game. Both these types are negative. There is a middle ground, we need to be there V Kerry, in numbers and drive the team on, they deserve 25-30k supporters in Croker for this one.

  22. Brilliant piece by “ontheroad”. The author deserves a much wider forum. I have read this man’s articles in the Western and his letters to the Sunday Indo. He has already won “letter of the week” three times with the Sunday Independent,and I look forward to the time when he has his own column with one of the national newspapers.
    Your’s Ed from Blacksod

  23. Maradona , we sup from the same cup. I choose to write my piece my way. You are free to call it your way. Johnny Cash once said to Bob Dylan after Dylan had a bite at him “you sing it your way Bob and I sing it mine…both have a right”.

    Not comparing Maradona and myself to Dylan and Cash but you get my drift.

    I can leave all the nostalgia aside and become brutal. No better man to ask what the f*** O Mahony and the county board were up to since 2006. No better man to task those that deride and sneer at us.

    However I know that the reader of Willie Joes excellent site is able for a shot at a bit of culture and a bit of fun every now and again. Nostalgia is our past not our owner. I for one will always acknowledge it, respect it and use it to remind today’s crop that we were not always sitting on the fringe getting it stuffed down our necks by those that would not last five minutes in a pub in Leeds, London, Glasgow New York and Boston with the boys from my village.

    The stat about the Tyrone Mayo differential was one I dug out for the Mayo Review group. No nostalgia there but plenty of tears about our monumental waste of resources on the playing front.

    And whilst I am at it I have a pain reading about lesser spotted Dublin, Kildare tyros who have actually won nothing on the big stage. Take this and place it in the pipe. By the time Peter Solon was 21 he was the possessor of 1 Hogan medal,4 Connacht senior medals, 1 Railway cup, 1 National league and 2 senior All Ireland’s. He didn’t get to advertise for butter, biscuits or bullshit and he was from Mayo.

  24. Watched the game against last night on Setanta. It was great to see Andy Moran calming the other players down after the final whistle. He has turned into a fine player and a great leader for Mayo. He did not look that special when he started playing Senior first and I thought he would not make it. When you compare him to the likes of Parsons, Kilcoyne, Conroy who were very good at u-21 level but never consistently stepped up as senior level what a plus Andy has become

    McLoughlin was even better than I thought. For a relatively light guy he is a strong lad and throws himself about very well.

    I must say it was great to see O’Shea clatter O’Leary. David Brady was the last Mayo midfielder since O’Shea to hit anyone like that in Croke Park. Mayo players were actually getting booked for dirty cynical play which has not happned for years. Great to see.

    I would worry hughely about Cafferkey though. He is not good enough to command the small square. He nevers wins any high balls into the square like McGee from Donegal is doing which is a real worry. He never seem to win any of the physical challenges. If Kerry can enough ball into Donaghy around the square we could be in big trouble again. McGarrity has to be the option off the bench after 10 minutes and no later(unlike 2006) if that area is a problem. You would hope maybe the Mayo could be winning the midfield battle which would force Donaghy out the pitch. It is my biggest concern going into the match. I’m really afraid of what could happen there.

    Check out what the kerry boys are thinking.

  25. You made the last few remaining follicles on my pate stand erect with your masterpiece On the Road – I’m just wondering how you get to sleep at all over that side of the country without the call of the corncrake. Maybe you have a reproduction of them on a CD and herself plays it for you to nod off. Whatever — I think you have undoubtedly proved that you ” might take the man from Blacksod but you’ll definitely not take Blacksod from the man” To return to the football – I was talking to a couple of the Mayo players last week and what struck me was the quiet air of confidence they both had – they spoke of how well things were going in training and they expected to beat Cork. James Horan seems to have instilled a great team ethic into this bunch of players – rarely do you hear any of them use the word “I” – it is always “We” – – – It was also good to see Peter Burke helping out in the pre-match drills. He has been coaching the two goalies for some time now but he is well liked and respected by all the squad – he has that level headed, common sense approach that tends to rub off on the players – James Nallen of course is another man who has seen it all before. These are the men players will look up to and listen to – James Horan has chosen wisely in his backroom team and thankfully it appears to be reaping dividends. Jaysus – it’s getting late – brought home the last trailer of turf this evening – the silage is under cover – it’s the month of August and the Green and Red are still involved – – – – – but “Hark” – – – What’s that sound I hear ? ? Well damn me I dont believe my ears – – – if it’s not the good old Corncrake calling me. Ah Shure tis great to be Back Home In Mayo!!

  26. I’m over 40 years away from Mayo but much the same drivel goes on. What Mayo’s performance last sunday has to do with the previous manager I do not know. He introduced most of the current players to senior football [Feeney’s being the notable exception]. What is different is that the younger players [O’Shea’s, Freeman, McLoughlin, Vaughan etc] are that bit more mature. O’Mahony’s record is second to none – the pity is that his best acheivements were not with Mayo. But that may be due to the way he was shafted in 1991. The end result of that shafting was the lowest point of Mayo football since the late 70’s. I hope Mayo GAA have learnt since but the reaction to last years in depth report does not suggest that this is so. Once again an exceptional performance from the players may paper over the cracks.

  27. Hark good old Samuel Maguire born in the year we last won Sam and called after him. How are you? Sorry for making the last of the follicles on your pate rise. Tis the last thing I wanted to do be gob and begorrah and tis a lovely morning we have altogether as I write back to you looking out from my half door and the currachs heading out.

    Stack the turf, cover the silage and for gods sake don’t paint the sheep green and red or we will have them photograph fellas down with Joe Brolly and Liam Hayes and them laughing at us and that type of thing. Got to go now, just spotted a leprauchan down at the stream.

  28. Andy D, John O’Mahony could not do both jobs. We did not get the advertised John O’Mahony.
    As regards introudcing those players, he’d have been a complete but job if he didnt as most of them had just won an U-21 all ireland.
    And he may have introduced them but he didnt develop or motivate them which is the mark or a manager doing their job well. Those lads were a pale shadow last season of the versions we see this year, the fault for that lies largely at the feet of Johnno.
    Anyway, that subject has been talked to death, I dont particularly blame him but it pisses me off no end when I hear the wisecracks from other counties, “ah sure even Johnno couldnt sort ye out”. He couldnt, but what we got wasnt the Johnno of 89, Leitrim 94, Galway etc. etc.

  29. Some great debate here lads, Maradona i am afraid you are as bad as the pundits but you are writing off our fans instead of our team…

    ontheroad, the corncrake was my own alarm clock for my formative years and i had repressed his call to the recesses of my brain , I had repressed the feelings of joy at putting a good team to the sword as well..

    roll on the 21st

  30. Brilliant piece ontheroad.
    No-one should mistake our pride in last Sunday’s performance with triumphalism or a sense of getting the run on ourselves.
    We’re often our own worst critics but sometimes we need to take a step back and be proud of who and what we are. I know we won nothing by beating Cork the last day, but we regained some respect and I’ve never been as optimistic about what the next few years might bring. To think I feel this way after the despairing low of Longford last year, well I think only Mayo are capable of such emotional swings.
    I know we’ve been here before, but it does feel different this time. I like the way our players and management are keeping everything low key, no-one seems to be getting carried away.
    I said before how we seemed so quiet before the Galway and Ros’ games. It must be a deliberate policy and it seems to be working. Maybe James Horan has learned from the mistakes and the hype that surrounded previous teams, teams that he’s been involved with.
    We may well not win the All-Ireland this year, but for me it won’t be the crushing blow it’s been in previous years, because I can see what’s happening in front of my eyes and the development that our team is going through. Just think back to the hellish place we were all in last year.
    I’ve never in my life seen a Mayo team as determined and driven as they were the last day. We’ve had superstars in the past, players that the whole country has known. But now we have a collective of hard working, honest players who are willing to fight to the end for each other and the county they represent.
    I’ve loved the fact that the word “pride” has been mentioned so often on this great blog sice Sunday. Because proud is the one overriding emotion I’m feeling, irrespective of what happens the next day.
    So fuck the begrudgers.
    Sorry for the ramble, but I’m finding it hard to express my emotions and current sense of pride (there’s that word again) in my county. So a big thank you to you ontheroad for that wonderful piece, you’ve managed to reproduce my thoughts in a way I thought no-one could.
    Might see you in Belmullet on the 15th…

  31. guys-was thinking about doing Lahardane on the 15th-whats the deal with Belmullet?

    (Unfortunately will be driving and kids in tow no no drinking)

  32. Whitey. Belmullet has its big fair day on the 15th. They come from all over, town chok a bloc and great craic. Pity about the drinking but you could get a free Irish coffee from the guys who man the Lifeboat float. They give them out as a gesture of thanks for the support they get over the year. Its that kinda day, guys home from England, Scotland, US and here at home. Music madness and a touch of whats disappearing rapidly…people being friendly towards each other.

  33. According to how you describe the festivities on the 15th on your “home sod” – – – I’d say it would be hard enough to hear the corncrake that day!

  34. I put him in a cage and carry him under my oxter. I then get him to crake for the foreigners and they buy me a drink as I regale them about Mayo back in the mists of time fadó fadó.

  35. East Cork exile, of the players I mentioned on aug 5th, only Seamus O’Shea had won an U21 All Ireland, Enda Varley was a sub. [I checked the final prog.] Most managers, unless retired, hold down day jobs. I would think that John O’Mahony had more flexibility than most in terms of his work. Regards his last year, it often happens that a manager stays on a year too long and loses the interest of players. It can be difficult to recognise the issue until results prove it. I know from past experiance in club management. 2007 was an equally disastrous year but there was no issues with his management then. Regards the ridiculous comment [not yours] that O’Mahony took the Mayo job to get elected and then wanted out, he had ample opportunity to get out after being elected but did not. Taking the Mayo manager job as an electoral boost sounds a strange approach to me.

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