Going to Croke Park again

I was in Croke Park again yesterday for the first time in years.

Most of my summers as a young man were spent going to Croke Park and I was lucky enough to play there for Kildare minors in the Leinster championship in 1980 when we lost in the final.

Many years after that involved going to the likes of the Meath/Dublin rivalry and the four (?) game saga one year.

But the last two decades have seen an enormous increase in coverage of GAA on the telly and it is easier and more convenient to just park up in front of the TV now. That can become a habit, however, and going to the live match is something I have not enjoyed for a long time.

I thoroughly enjoyed it yesterday at the hurling semi-final between Limerick and Galway.

The pre match pints, the packed pub, walking up Clonliffe road to McGrath’s pub afterwards, the roar of the crowd, the beautiful green sward of the turf, the chips and hot dogs, the packed toilets and the queues, the disappointed Galway faces on the packed train back from Drumcondra.

It was good to be back.