Two tribes


“When two tribes go to war, a point is all that you can score.”

Those lyrics – from “Two Tribes” by Frankie Goes To Hollywood – never particularly meant much to me during my 29 years of existence. Always a song I enjoyed but never one that I paid too much attention to the words of.

However, in the past two weeks since the All-Ireland final draw the words have become much more prevalent. Especially in the past couple of days as Dublin circled the wagons around ‘Saint’ Diarmuid Connolly and ourselves around ‘Devil Incarnate’ Lee Keegan.

The undoubtedly orchestrated campaign to smear the name and character of Lee Keegan while trying to influence the decision making of referee Maurice Deegan reached heightened levels of farce during the week when Ger Brennan of all people was rolled out to read off the script.

All this campaign managed to do was galvanise the Mayo support and, I’ve no doubt’ somewhat galvanise the Mayo footballers as well. Anyone who was of the opinion that the drawn game was left behind us or was giving out about Aidan O’Shea’s rush of blood to the head near the end moved on from that and rowed in behind our fearless wing-back.

The #ThingsLeeDid campaign was a fantastic example of how Mayo supporters are talking the battle to Dublin and their supporters. The ongoing piss taking of Dublin supporters complaining about not being handed all 15,000 Hill 16 tickets has been well done.

It helps that we have a team and management that we know will back up all the online talk and bravado with a display in Croke Park at 5pm tomorrow.

It is that team which has galvanised us more than anything. When we see Brendan Harrison or Keith Higgins come storming out of defence with the ball, when Colm Boyle makes another superman type block, when Barry Moran rises above the Cusack stand and plucks the ball from the sky and when Cillian O’Connor pulls out a score like the one at the very end last week you cannot help but be galvanised.

Nobody can say they have been surprised at the behaviour of certain sections of Dublin ‘supporters’ (and I am loathe to give them that title) or of the former players being trotted out in front of the media.

What they have gotten in response so far has only been a mere trickle of what they can expect comeSaturday afternoon. When those Mayo heroes walk out onto Croke Park, or burst like a train as they did last week, the roar will be heard in every corner of the city. The Dubs dressing room will shake so hopefully they will still be sitting in it, waiting and wondering.

The supporters were immense two weeks ago. James Horan said in 2013 that we went quiet and I would agree with him. Although that was more down to absolute fear of the unknown when drawing level near the end of an All-Ireland final.

This time around we were not found wanting. We are 100% behind this Mayo team and each and every one of the lads togged out and wearing that jersey and the vast number of top level guys on the sideline.

On that sideline we have a management team that no other county can match. For all their money Dublin cannot match the brains and experience of Stephen Rochford, Sean Carey, Tony McEntee, Donie Buckley, Maurice Horan, Eoin Rochford and the rest.

These guys are at the very top of their game and are in it for one thing and one thing only. To bring Sam to Mayo.

Talk of the curse reached a crescendo last Sunday week, and understandably so considering the two own goals. Personally I was never much of a believer but it wore me down over the past few years. For my two cents, I believe those own goals were the last kick of the curse. One each for the great Padraic Carney and Paddy Prendergast.

On Saturday evening two tribes will go to war. They will go to physical war on the pitch and in the stands we will play our part as we must roar and scream and shout and support our boys. Don’t worry about losing your voice, it will come back. Don’t worry about the fella telling you to sit down when cheering Mayo, he doesn’t understand. Don’t worry about looking the fool with your celebrating points and goals, there will be 40,000 of us all doing the same thing.

Mayo’s character has been questioned time after time after time over the past number of years. The likes of Brolly, O’Rourke, McConville and all the others have  questioned Mayo, generally for off-field reasons. Our support has been questioned at times and currently our players are being accused of every dirty trick in the book by some of the guys who wrote the damn thing.


Saturday evening there is going to be a battle on one of the most famous pitches in the world at Croke Park. All the talk and bluster and online comment of the past two weeks is just both sides setting themselves up and picking their targets. The real battle between two great teams now awaits.

79 thoughts on “Two tribes

  1. Never thought about the two goals for two surviving players angle. I’ve never believed the curse exists but there is a great mystique about it and the two goals merely adds to it.

    I remember being in Fenway Park as a little ladeen and hearing about the Bambino curse on the Red Sox. If curses are your thing then that curse was broken in 2004, ours will be broken tomorrow.

  2. Get up, stand up, stand up for your rights. Get up, stand up, don’t give up the fight. We have a Dublin sky over Mayo at the moment, their tears are streaming down on the natives

  3. If your voice still works at 18.40 hours tomorrow in Croke Park, then you have not done your job. If you are a Mayo person and you attend the game dressed in neutral colours and with no flag, then you have not done your job.

    The performance on the terraces and in the stands has to be lifted even higher tomorrow. The foundations of the place need to be moving. If Croke Park authorities do not need to bring in structural engineers to assess possible heave/slip/movement on Sunday morning, then we have not done our job.

    Everyone of the 50,000 Mayo people lucky enough to be there has got to do their bit. Can every Mayo person bring the biggest green and red flag possible and join in the “Mayo Mayo” chant. Please. Do it for your county.

  4. Well said Mike,
    We the fans have a big role to play tomorrow!
    It was great looking at Eir 360 photo from the last day we really outnumbered the Dubs!
    Hopefully more of the same tomorrow!

    Lets hope that right from the throw in tomorrow the lads go at it with the same instenity as the last day to sent out the message to the Dubs lads” THIS IS OUR YEAR,” loud and clear!

    There’s nothing better than a silent hill!!

    Let’s do this for the lads and leave our voices in Croker!!

  5. We do a disservice to the men of 1948-55. There is no curse. Also in addition to Prendergast and Carney, both Mickey Loftus and Willie Casey are alive and both were togged out subs that day. This curse crap has grown more and more lately. Mick Mulderrig RIP, All Ireland x2 winner before he was 21 told me it was utter rubbish. So no curse, not two of the ’51 team and squad alive but four. Tomorrow we write our next page of history. Good luck Mayo people one and all.

  6. I echo all that has been said above regarding the need to upping the support even more tomorrow. While we were loud two weeks ago I feel there was more in us. This is it folks. Just push yourself even more tomorrow. 1 1/2 hours, to be as possessed a supporter as you can possibly be. Do not leave one ounce of energy within yourself come the final whistle. It does matter and it will matter tomorrow. Safe travelling all.

    Come on Mayo!!!!!!

  7. Jim Flag is right….everyone has a big flag… Bring it!!!

    Secure and protect every possession with your lives Mayo…MY BAALLLLLLL!!!

    Looking forward to trip up early. The aftermath will be something else!!!

  8. It is pissing from the heavens up here in Dublin tonight. The Dubs must be quaking in their boots!!!!!!!!!!! Their new found fear of rain and all!

  9. From the roar after halftime in the Fermanagh game, we, the supporters have grown. Tomorrow we must prove ourselves worthy of this mighty team. Let us also, leave nothing behind.

  10. WHAT EVER IT TAKES ; Has to be our call on the pitch and in the stands .the players have a job to do and we as supporters lucky to be there have a big job too SHOUT for Mayo like never before. ps if you want a nice Quiet place to sit and watch the Match stay at HOME on your sofa. MAYO MAYO MAYO.

  11. Cursed?? I feel privileged to have been on this journey with this wonderful team. Tomorrow we cross over the divide and bring Sam home as winners.

  12. Time for us supporters to love our county as much as our great warriors who don our counties colours tomorrow and through the decades have, talk is cheap , typed words more so, courage , effort , pride they are the defining characteristic our lads bring to the field, least we can do is to empty the lungs , stretch the larynax, stand tall wave OUR flags and show the country , the world , what it means to us to call Mayo , ours, always ours
    Mayo forever

  13. Martin the Dub nice to see you back, best of luck to your team too but I am afraid we are taking Sam tomorrow.

    Safe travelling to all and roar and shout our men on to the promised land.

    We are mayo we are in this together

  14. The past eleven days have been like purgatory – waiting and wondering as to whether we will ascend into heaven tomorrow evening or be banished to hell !! Even if it ends up that it’s down I’m going well I’ll be going down with my voice in tatters !! C’mon Mayo

  15. Seilbh na peile…like Connaught tonight
    Ate them ate them ate them without salt.

    Possession possession possession!

    Hup Hup Hup!

    Mayo Mayo Mayo!

  16. A county holds its breath from Ballina to Ballinrobe, Ballyhaunis to Belmullet and across the mountains hills and alleys we are all waiting on the plains of sweet Mayo. Sleep tight fellow Mayo men and women. Tomorrow is our day of deliverance.

  17. Last Sunday with the wife away for the weekend and nothing better to do, I headed out for the Dublin mountains with one thing in mind – I wanted to plant a flag on the highest point of the county. After a long slow drag up the service path I finely reached the summit of Kippure mountain only to be greeted by gale force winds and an almighty shower of hailstones. After some much needed refreshments I made my way to one of the many stay wires that support the towering 110 metre high transmitter and with the aid of some duck tape and twine managed to secure my green and red Mayo flag.

    As I left the mountain I got a great since of pride in the knowledge, that a Mayo flag was now flying higher than any Dublin flag in the county. By the time I got back to the car I was cold and very wet, but no matter, my mission was complete.

  18. We really need to be heard tomorrow. We did ourselves proud the last day but now it’s time to make more fucking noise than ever before. Time to make Croker ours. COME ON MAYO

  19. Well said “Jim Flag” & “Liberal Role”,though I fear the “fans” in the three rows in front of me the last day haven’t heard of this blog or Cairde Maigheo or wearing our colours or cheering!.
    Channel 65 years of hurt & 13 days of Dublin propaganda in through your lungs & throat tomorrow for 70-80mins.
    Let’s see what unchartered territory looks like!

  20. Nice one Jim Flag… Finally got my Hill ticket…will be bringing big Bertha… Every Mayo supporter…bring a flag! Bring an extra one for your pal

    Be wary of croke park not allowing flag sticks into terrace so bring a stick up your jumper or down your pants!!!

    Onto the game… It’s going to take something really special from our team. A performance we haven’t seen yet from them… I hope we can do it cos few neutral people in Galway or Dublin (I’m based between both) giving us much chance. Time for our team to prove the doubters wrong. If they don’t.. then we leave with the same old tag.

  21. Have to say I’m finding the ticket hunt much tougher this time round but def think tickets will become available on the day especially on a replay. People will swapping, exchanging and trying to get seats side by side and all sorts. Whatever happens let’s try and get as many as we can into the hands of Mayo people first and foremost. So be there on the day.. you never know.. there could be a chance to witness a once in a lifetime event.. C’mon Mayo

  22. What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”~Ralph Waldo Emerson

  23. Over here in sunny lanzarote so won’t make replay unfortunately. The ‘blarney stone’ in the old town will have to suffice.

    Speaking to lots of Irish over here and the interest is unreal. Met people from all over the land from armagh to carlow to cork and they only want one winner!!!

    Everyone is expecting fireworks and it won’t be for the faint hearted.

    Enjoy everyone and here’s hoping the 65 year wait is about to come to an end. Many emotions will be released for everyone who’s seen so many close encounters over the last quarter of a century. Tears of joy are needed for once. I know I’ll think of my late father who never got to see it

    Criost linn

  24. I agree with John Cuffe. No such thing as a curse. We do a disservice to the men of the 1950’s with our talk of something that does not exist. I feel sorry for anyone out there who holds such beliefs. I believe in ambition, I believe in winners, I believe in this great team. I will make myself heard all over Croke Park tomorrow evening.

  25. Here’s hoping for All Star performances from Clark, AOS and COC. It’s a big ask from all 3 but if they perform we’ll capture Sam.

  26. Choose pain, heartache, depression
    Choose to place your faith in false gods adorned with tight shorts, false tans and braids
    Choose whether or not to wear your county colours for fear of ridicule should you be at the wrong end of another hammering
    Choose false hope at the start of each FBD Cup campaign

    Choose Galway as the enemy, Roscommon as an annoyance, Sligo as soccer heads, Leitrim as your favourite underdogs
    Choose to wish Padraig Joyce was born our side of the border
    Choose McHale Park as mecca, Tuam as a hay shed, Hyde as a hell-hole
    Choose to park in the old bacon factory, stand under the score board, watch the girls go by with fake tan dripping from the night before

    Choose whether to travel up to Croker the day before or the morning of the big match
    Choose whether or not to take home that Tipp girl you met in Rodys
    Choose a big mighty fry before the match in your sisters place
    Choose too many pints before the match

    Choose the Big Tree after the match
    Choose to go on the piss even though we lost again

    Choose to hope that Maughan finally gets it right, O’Mahony hangs around if Maughan doesn’t
    Choose to forget Holmes but thank him for the league title
    Choose to dream about what it would have been like if we had won in 1996, Choose to forget about 1997 and 2004

    Choose to be a Garda, Civil Servant, Plasterer, Carpenter, Plumber, Electrician, Nurse
    Choose a flat in Drumcondra, Phibsboro, Rathmines
    Choose a house in Ballycullen, Carpenterstown, Lucan
    Choose Rody Bolands, the Portobello, Flannerys, Coppers, McGowans
    Choose the Manhattan, Giggs Place for eating

    Choose to leave your place of birth at the tender age of 17
    Choose to go to college in Galway, Sligo, UL, UCD or get the start with the big brother in Dublin
    Choose only to return home for Christmas, Easter, the local town festival, Connacht Championship fixtures
    Choose whether or not to apply for a job in the one local factory and accept half your current wage in the hope that life will be better than the rat race in the big smoke

    Choose Cox’s, Rockys, Mantra, Long Necks to drink
    Choose Baxter, Volex, Coca Cola to work
    Choose Breaffy House, Castlecourt Hotel, Hotel Westport, Pontoon Bridge, Downhill Hotel to get married

    Choose Enniscrone for holidays

    Choose the Westhern, The Cannacht Telegraph, the Mayo News, Mis Whest Radio

    Choose long summer days in the bog, driving a tractor at 12, going to the local mart as a big day out
    Choose your first car a souped up Jap import, on your mothers insurance, don’t tax it until you are caught
    Choose the site your father leaves you and to build a unimaginatively designed mansion on it

    Choose the two teacher school for primary education, the big school in town for secondary
    Choose to go down town for lunch, play pool in the pub, hope the convent girls notice you
    Choose getting a pint in the local at 16, seeing your father in the local disco, thinking you scored because you kissed a girl
    Choose to stand outside the church at Sunday mass choose, to always be a mammys boy

    Choose Mayo

  27. “For my two cents, I believe those own goals were the last kick of the curse. One each for the great Padraic Carney and Paddy Prendergast”

    I like that way of thinking. On a serious note I like most have never believed in the curse but speaking to people old and young after the game we came to the agreement that if we don’t win it on Saturday then we honestly don’t have any other excuse. Great Mayo teams have played on all Ireland’s final day and none better than the team we have playing tomorrow. By any law of averages, when it comes down to the one thing that absolutely no man on earth can account for then Luck just hast to come once to Mayo. We have had so much bad luck it’s quite frankly unbelievable. There are too many to mention, from Cork in 89 when three Mayo balls hit the post and came back or wide, three Cork balls did the same and went over. To the game with Meath when we had it won buried and over only for the last kick off a tired boot couldn’t even make it to the goal but got the luckiest bounce over Irwin and the bar to set up a draw for Meath. To conceding two early calamity goals to Donegal on a day we were by far and away the better team. And then we have 12 days ago when a ball could have gone any which way it TWICE went the wrong way for Mayo! Other Counties get there only once in a blue moon and get the breaks on the day and come away with a win. Dublin for as good as they are get a lot of lucky breaks (like last Sunday week) Kerry fans expect to win every All Ireland, if not they expect to at least be there. Again they have had their fair share of luck through the years in their achievements. But Mayo all the times we have stood in Croke Park and watched in horror as yet again we get a kick in the b@##s. Just once on All Ireland’s final day it would be great to get that little bit of Luck. Enjoy the game guys, Safe journey and Hon Mayo

  28. Just for the record and to elivate the boredom there is such a thing as a curse theologically speaking…! It’s in the bible book of Duteronomy But you will be glad to know there is a prayer called freedom from curses if anyone wants to take to their knees…..

  29. 01st October 2016 at 18.40 hours BST a famine that has lasted 23,750 days will end.

    This will spark emotional scenes on a scale not witnessed before at a sporting event. Grown men will cry openly. Women will weep.

    Were you there? Was it you who started the “Mayo Mayo” chant about 60 seconds before the team even ran on to the pitch or did you sit quietly through the whole historic occasion. Will you be able to look back in years to come and say “i did my bit that day to end the famine”?

  30. .SHOUT AND ROAR AND JUMP ABOUT LIKE YOU ARE FUCKIN POSSESSED from when the team comes out to when Cillian finally holds the giant Ardagh chalice aloft …lets frighten the dubs…..and as the many have said on here already, dont give 2 shites about what anyone else thinks. WE ARE OF MAYO… by the Grace of God, Allah, Buddha, and any other diety you can think of.See you all in the big cita, Mayo forever..One last shot….this time we wont miss

  31. The only curse is that, for many reasons, we weren’t good enough. Simple as. Also, it’s not like we were regularly getting to finals, 1 final from 51 to 89!
    You are not going to fluke a final win. Yes, the eventual winner will look back at points in the season where the ball bounced their way, but, if your main strategy in a final is relying on luck, hoping your opponent underperforms and the ref sides with you, well then you are beaten before you leave the dressing room.
    This is not going to be handed to us. We have to take it. We have to control the game, dictate what happens and push on when our chance to head for the finish line appears.
    If you are afraid of losing you’ll never win anything. No fear tomorrow. Let’s all give it everything we’ve got, from our soul to the tips of our fingers. No let up, no fear.
    Mayo by 3.

  32. Haven’t read any of the above posts but from a lifelong Kerry supporter I wish the great Mayo Team the very best of luck tomorrow. Unfortunately I will be working so I will have to suffer the pain of secondhand information on the radio.

    My head says Dublin but my heart says Mayo, in every dream we are told to follow your heart so maybe tomorrow evening I will pour myself a small glass of Middleton Whiskey because after you pour a small one you have to correct the misjudgement by pouring a more suitable whiskey that has aged for sixty five years.

    I so so hope your time has come. Best wishes from pretty mush everywhere I’m sure,
    Mayo Abu.

  33. So here we are, our first All-Ireland Saturday. The very best of fortune to the team. No quarter, as they say.
    Mayo by three.

  34. Thanks Gamechanger .. hopefully you come up to Mayo next week for the biggest party of the century. .

  35. We will do this, im telling ye now Aido will fist it over the bar to put us 4 clear 3mins into injury time! Remember this post.
    As said above, we need to roar our heads off from 5pm on. If your shy, have a pint or 2 before the game to loosen up the nerves, do not be ashamed to roar….we may never be here again. We are Mayo!. Beileve.

  36. We think it’s been a long, long wait since we’ve brought Sam home. I was talking to a man from Boston tonight who told me his home baseball team, Boston Red Sox, had to wait until 2004 to win its first world Series title since 1918 – an 86 year wait! Since then they’ve gone onto win another brace of championships, in 2007 and 2013.

    Once Mayo bridge a much smaller gap this evening, we’re in for another few visits from Sam over the next few years! Mayo abu!!

  37. We are on the eve of something amazing tonight….please pray to those that have gone before us for strength,power, accuracy and a will to win not seen before This is more,much more that a game of football,it is a indescribable feeling of want that could only be put into words tomorrow evening when Cillian lofts SAM into the night sky for every Mayo person around the world.This is OUR time..Least we forget those that have gone before us..MAYO ABU…GOD BLESS.

  38. Game changer. .we so so hope our time has come too!!don’t know if it’s the vino or the emotions of the wend but your post near brought a tear to an eye of mine…Losing is not am option today..20 years ago I stood in the portobello buzzing with excitement of a meath mayo Im a little older and very freaking weary of getting my hopes up..but they are …and I really believe..

  39. Best of luck to all involved with Mayo GAA. All that we can ask is that by this evening nobody will have any regrets about their performance today, be that on the pitch, the sideline and in the stands and on the terraces. Let’s give it our all. Best wishes to everyone. We can do this. Roll on the game!

  40. Good morning all fellow Mayo supporter’s,tis going to be one long day .
    Got a feeling this is going to be an epic day and week.
    Hon Mayo.
    Mayo Mayo Mayo.
    You know the rest.

  41. That was a long fortnight. Safe travelling to all and here’s hoping that many of you have a joyous journey west this evening.

    Mayo by 3 points.

  42. On the road already…up mayo. This final wi be won on the sidelone and if that means having to drop or substitute SOS (And aos lesser) so be it. We’re in a dog fight. Roll on 7pm and cillian climbing up the steps 🙂

  43. Óró, sé do bheatha ‘bhaile,
    Óró, sé do bheatha ‘bhaile,

    Óró, sé do bheatha ‘bhaile
    Tá Sam ag theacht go Mhuigheo!

    Go neiri le foireann Mhuigheo agus le cunadh De beidh Sam ag dul trasna na Sionnainne!

  44. The Western Bulldogs have just won an all time classic AFL grand final for the first time since 1954!!! It’s going to be a historic day coz our famine is almost over too! Come on Mayo ?

  45. A Mayo man just leaving donegal heading to Dublin,have the Jersey on And full of pride in it stopped for diesel all the people wishing me luck and i felt like I was ten foot tall,when our boys take the field let’s get behind them and make them feel very’s our day Mayo abu

  46. Really enjoyed reading all the comments. Mayo girl who has been to all league and championship games for years, season ticket holder , dared my Dublin work colleague to wear Mayo jersey when we win for cancer care west .bringing the biggest flag and leaving the voice in Croker this evening. bring on the bonfires and party in citywest. #believe #thisisouryear

  47. Was just reading that Macs Left Boot, now our Bulldogs from the Western World will do the same…. Sorry Dublin its our Cup ye are minding there….COME ON MAYO….

  48. Safe journey to all. This could be one of the best days of our lives!!!!!!

    Come on MAYO

  49. Morning all, just after dropping young son, laiden with his sleeping bag to railway station, on his way to concert in Bettystown. A light autumnal mist lingering in the sky with light rays intermittently breaking through. He asked what I was doing for the day. I explained to him that this was All Ireland Final replay day and very important for all of Connaught people. I told him about how long it was since Mayo last won, and of the heartbreaking years in between. He seemed to be taking it all in, but then came out with “That’s so unlucky why didn’t they arrange the replay for Sunday….!” Anyway, we got there on time. Looks like it’s going to be a fine dry day, ideal football conditions. Forget this nonsense about wet conditions being an advantage to Mayo. You prove you are worthy champions by being able to adapt to all conditions. I have no doubt this fine team has the resilience to see this test through. Up Mayo!

  50. Here’s to the best day of all our lives, for our county, for all abroad, for all who are gone before us who will be with us I have no doubt.
    1st time going to a match that I’m already feeling v emotional and have shed a tear.
    Tears of joy later.
    Safe travelling to all of you.
    Tks to Stephen and the team for their great efforts and these days to treasure forever.
    Whatever the result we will always support them, coz they so so deserve it.

  51. Bucketing down here in the capital…supposed to clear up according to forecast but certainly doesn’t look like it!

  52. Check out the Doggies singing the Sons of the West after the AFL final.

    We can recreate it later today!!

  53. Nice… Oro Se agus ditto Mairead. Not feeling great here …don’t know if I’ll be able to tog out at all. But once we hit the road and get things in flight and flow id say I’ll be alright.

    Enjoy every step of the way !!!

  54. Western State Bulldogs (underdogs, country boys)have just beaten Sydney Swans (city slickers, favourites) in the AFL grand final. Have lost multiple finals recently and the last time they won it was 1954!!

  55. Good to have you on our side Man of Aran. If the shoe was on the other foot we’d be 100% behind ye too.

  56. Update from reporter at the AFL final.
    Will this be us before 7 today? I believe it will

    But what a privilege it was to describe such an earth-shifting moment in the annals of AFL football. No longer are the Dogs stranded on that one flag from 1954. They’re deserved premiers for 2016 and this party might never stop. Need something from a Doggies supporter? Maybe wait a week or two.

  57. Oh please God let this be our day….? I truly believe it will be… Safe journey to everyone. Hon Mayo.

  58. Time for House of Pain to replaced by Bob Marley number….

    Won’t u help to sing
    These songs of freedom?
    Cause all I ever had
    Redemption songs
    Redemption songs

  59. Did Sean Burke get a ticket in the end? They seem to be floating about. Go in to drumcondra anyway.

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