The train could be the thing

Choo choo


We’re inching ever closer to Connacht final day – only nine days to go now – and while there’s little or no coverage about the match in the papers as yet, with Noel Connelly’s encouraging quote from the press night about all the squad being fit and ready the only morsel to chew on, time is ticking on and planning for the day is a job that could usefully be done at this stage.

With this in mind, the mail I received last night from Mayo GAA – as a Cáirde Mhaigheo member – piqued my interest, containing as it did details of the special train that Iarnród Éireann are laying on from Westport to Roscommon on the day. I tweeted the details on this last night (here). The timetable looks pretty good and I might even go for it myself as, for a change, I won’t be haring back to the capital after the match but will instead be spending that night back on sacred soil.

If you’re a season ticket member you’ll also have got that mail by now on this as well and so you’ll know the whole score on what’s happening on the ticketing side of things. Basically, if you do plan to go and your credit card details are up to date on the season ticket system then you’ll be charged automatically for the match and, like the last day in Pearse Stadium, all you’ll have to bring with you to Hyde Park is your season ticket which will be scanned on the way in. If you’re not planning to go then there’s a facility to opt out and the mail you’ll have got provides full details on this.

I’m not going to get into the whole seating arrangements issue as this is all a fait accompli at this stage. Problems like this are clearly a direct consequence of putting the venue first and the punters last, rather than – as all of the other provinces do – the other way around. But it’s done now and we’ve got to get on with it and hope that everything works out okay on the day.

John Prenty was on Midwest yesterday, by the way, putting the Connacht Council’s side of that particular debate. If you’re interested in this, the audio is available here (the discussion starts at around the 1:12 mark).

The one point I’d strongly agree with John on is the bit about the weather and that if the day is okay then things are likely to go far smoother. Tentative early signs on that front appear okay, from what I can see – I’m keeping a close enough watch on the forecast for the west next weekend as I’m planning on doing the Westportif cycle the day before and that day looks like it might be fine so hopefully Sunday will be too.

Partly because of the likely state of my derrière after 160km in the saddle the day before but also because I’ll have the small lad with me in Hyde Park and can’t get a seated ticket for him, I’m planning on taking to the terrace myself on the day. There are still plenty of terrace tickets available and can be got from the usual outlets.

Finally, some light-hearted relief, it being Friday and all that. You’ll have heard by now about that infamous recent challenge match between Dublin and Armagh, in which Dublin’s Davey Byrne suffered an assault that landed him in the hospital with a broken nose and a few other bangs and bruises. Jim Gavin was pressed on the issue by Colm Parkinson on Newstalk’s Off The Ball show last night and to say that the Dublin manager wasn’t exactly forthcoming would be a bit of an understatement. The audio on this is here.

15 thoughts on “The train could be the thing

  1. You’re more than welcome to my juvenile ticket Willie Joe One of mine won’t make it that day

  2. Think Gavin did well with Wooly and said only what he wanted to.Cant see Davy starting for Dublin for a long time!Interesting and worrying that Gavin said both Dublin and Armagh gave good defensive everyone thought they will not be caught out this yr like last year.
    Mayo need to up defensive performance too but I am sure they dont need me to tell them that.

  3. Gavin is so patronising, he really really irks me every time i hear him speak! the same repetitive answer on off the ball made me cringe. I’d give anything for us to beat them this year if we play them. I’d even support Kerry to beat them!!!!!

  4. Contrary to other views expressed here, I have been until now a big admirer of Jim Gavin. To me he always conducts himself in a calm, confident and humble manner. However his interview last night was terrible. One of his players took a savage hammering by all accounts when he was in an indefensible position and Gavin’s lack of backing was just terrible. Byrne is probably no shrinking violet but neither that nor the fact that he is not one of the golden boys of the Dublin football team justifies the lack of anger and the lack of demands for justice. What happened cannot be tolerated, the fact that there is a fear of suspensions to other players on foot of the release of a video which might incriminate other players is not good enough reason to hide and shove the matter under the carpet. There is a tonne of work, fine traits and attributes attached to the management of a county team nowadays. But the basic fundamental of doing the right thing as a caring human being must come before all other measures of victory and trophies. Fair play to James Horan, Straight after hearing the interview he has strength of character to affirm that the matter should be investigated to the fullest. This is a big issue for Dublin and indeed all counties should take note too. I would not be too fond of having a young lad as a squad member in that Dublin squad with those type of standards in place wherein the manager either views an assault live or views it later on video and fails to take any worthwhile public action to see justice and protection served. Its pretty crap timing for the Dublin management but that happens in life when you are thrown into a situation wherein you must do the right thing. Disgraceful carry on.

  5. It takes 2 to tango, do you honestly think the Armagh fella laid into him for no reason? And that when he did the likes of Connolly and co stand and watch? It’s being kept quiete for a good reason I suspect, if there’s a video of what happened there would be trouble for both sides with suspensions.
    Anyway, that’s the end of it, guaranteed.
    I think a broken eye socket is not good, at any level in any sport

  6. Agree with you Dave.Have you ever seen a dub pass up a chance to run his mouth.if it was completely unprovoked I’m sure Gavin would have been all over it as well as Byrne.

  7. Pj there is a section on the website for football finals, it should be there. Myself and my niece €33 return from westport. Delighted to be honest. Great job, can have a pint now!

  8. Jim Gavin should be ashamed of himself, allowing thuggery like that on one of his players and talking the greatest heap of shite I have ever heard!!!!

  9. I’m told that E Regans shoulder will withstand a bulldozer from now. Anyone know anything about such matters?
    A nice soft breeze here keeping it at 25 * C. The S . French never heard of Mayo football team…. Imagine! Great bridge down here at Milau ! Pronounced same as Mayo. Shortens journey S by about 1/2 hour to Barcelona.
    Nice work by Tipp. Congrats.!

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