Thursday, November 21, 2013

When the Dubs Came to Town

Stephen Magill, Philly McMahon, Kevin Fagan, Ger Brennan
and Brian Rooney enjoying the celebrations Saturday night
at McGanns.
Boston was painted blue and navy last weekend when the Dubs came to town with the Sam Maguire and National League Cups.  A party of Dublin players, selectors, and the 2 cups made the 3,000 mile journey westward from Ireland to Boston, home to many natives of the Emerald Isle, amongst them many Dubliners.  It was the first time since 1976 that Dublin captured the League, Leinster, and All-Ireland trophies.  The visit was hosted by The Friends of Dublin GAA Boston, a group formed 2 years ago which also hosted a visiting party 2 years ago following the 2011 All-Ireland success. 

Jason Sherlock, Chris Sage, his cousin Ger Brennan,
and Paul Campbell at McGanns.
Star players, Ger Brennan, Dermot Connolly, 2011 captain Bryan Cullen, Darren Daly and Philly McMahon were joined by selectors Shane O'Hanlon and Michael Kennedy on the trip.  Jason Sherlock, a winner in 1995, who was in town for the week as part of a group from DCU, joined in the celebrations.  First stop Saturday evening was the Irish Pastoral Center fundraising banquet in Florian Hall, Dorchester, where Ger Brennan addressed the crowd, amongst them President Mary McAleese.  Then it was into town to a reception at McGanns Pub on Portland Street.  A group of 100 guests had a chance to meet the players, take pictures with the cups, and enjoy a celebration of Dublin's second All-Ireland in 3 years.

L-R: Shane O'Hanlon, Philly McMahon, Darren Daly, Bryan Cullen,
Ger Brennan, and Dermot Connolly visit the Boston Marathon
finish line. The autographed shirt will be auctioned with the
proceeds going to the One Fund.
The celebrations were non-stop on Sunday as the party toured several Boston area bars.  Hundreds of people, young and old, Dubs and non-Dubs, showed up as the cups and the group made their way from The Phoenix Landing in Cambridge, to The Black Rose and Mr. Dooleys downtown, on to Porter Belly's in Brighton and ending the day at The Blackthorn in South Boston.  People took photos with the trophies, and the players were more than willing to oblige those who wanted to take a souvenir pic with one or more of the stars.  On Monday the group were received by the Consul General, Brendan O'Chongaile, and then paid a visit to the finish line of the Boston Marathon to show their respect for the victims of that terrible day in April, a touch of class by the players who to be great ambassadors for the GAA, Dublin and Ireland

The lads and the cups headed home Monday night, and certainly left a great impression with everyone they met on their visit to the city.  It was a weekend that will not be forgotten too soon by those who had the good fortune to be part of it.  A big thank you to the traveling party, the committee, those who supported the event, Joe Dunne, the Consul General, the hosting bars, Guinness, Magners, Budweiser, and Dirty Water TV for helping make this weekend happen.

By Rory O'Donnell

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