Ronnie Fay passed away last week. She was buried in her beloved Skerries and after spending her entire adult life fighting for the rights of the traveling community, huge crowds of travelers were there to see her return home. She loved them. They loved him.
Ed Mickey was the first to spot me. “Joe Brolly,” he shouted, “Come here, until we talk to you.”
After he gave me a glimpse of Dublin’s ills, I said, “I’m going to put you in the paper this Sunday Mickey.”
“No points” he said.
“I do not know how to read.”
This caused a great burst of laughter in the crowd that had gathered.
“This aul Sunday Game has gotten terribly boring,” said Paddy McDonnell, a tall man wearing a very fashionable sun hat.
“You don’t like Colm O’Rourke? I said.
“Another shit! ” he’s laughing. “Say it this way Joe, if Red Mickey was on Sunday’s game with him on Sunday evening, you would represent him in district court on Monday morning.
“You’re not a Dessie Farrell fan either,” I said.
“I’ll tell you something Joe,” said Red Mickey, “my mother Bridget could have handled them for six in a row. If I get my hands on Dessie Farrell, I’ll throw him in the canal behind Croke Park!”
Paddy ‘Blue Eyes’ McDonagh said, “What paper do you put it in?”
“The Sunday Independent.”
This produced groans and eye rolls. “It’s one of those big newspapers, isn’t it? said Paddy ‘Blue Eyes’.
“Too fancy for me,” he said, “and too big. You’d have to clear the table to read it.
When the hearse arrived and we calmed down, Paddy McDonnell nudged me and said, “I’ll get the paper Sunday Joe and read it to Red.”
The pitch was packed and the players were arguing well before the throw-in. Conor Lane was about to act, looked around, saw they were all in and threw the ball.
Kerry had a backstroke and played good attractive football, with long kicking passes and good forward spacing, reminiscent of their play in the first half of that immortal 2013 semi-final David Clifford missed a 19th-minute penalty, putting it a yard wide, before catching it with a delightful point past a hilarious dummy.
After 20 minutes it was Kerry 0-6, Dublin 0-4. Then came the decisive period. In the 23rd minute, Dean Rock scored an incredible goal, but in doing so, away from the game, Dublin’s number 4 (Sandán MacMahon) blocked defender Kerry.
The referees called the umpire, confidently identified Niall Scully (No 12) as the culprit, the goal was disallowed and a mystified Scully was shown a black card. In all honesty, Scully took it like a man.
Kerry immediately scored on two quick runs and then Dublin, looking like a new team at the Ireland has talent auditions, missed a brilliant goalscoring chance.
A long kick sent Lorcan O’Dell clean with Dean Rock hovering at the far post to palm him towards the net. The young man failed his audition, passing the ball so far above Rock’s head that he went into the parking lot.
After that it got embarrassing, with Kerry feasting the Dubs away at half-time, with Dara Moynihan scoring an excellent (no pressure) goal to leave it 1-14 down 0-4 at the break.
The second week in a row, an inside striker scored an excellent goal against Dublin with no real pressure.
The game was dead after that, with Dublin a shapeless mess, kicking hopeful long balls, playing as individuals and, worst of all, playing without discipline. It was a world away from the perfectionist diet of Jim Gavin.
The worst was that Dublin showed no fight. They ran to pass and drop balls and run aimlessly solo, but none of it meant much.
Just like they did last week against Armagh, they looked like fools. A five-point loss at home last week. Seven points this week. The greatest team in the history of the game has suddenly become the star of Division 1.
Dessie Farrell better not walk along the canal for a week or two.