A few words in honour of Crossmaglen – Joe Brolly
I WAS at Crossmaglen’s All-Ireland medal winning presentation last Friday night. The team was piped in to the hall to set the ball rolling.
Hard to know how to celebrate six All-Ireland’s and nine Ulster titles in 15 years. Fireworks? Dancing girls? Stretch limos?
The talk was instead of football and the search for three in a row.
“I’d be a bit worried about Kilmacud Croke’s Joe,” said their captain Stephen Kernan.
“Anyone else?” I asked.
He thought for a minute, then smiled and said, “Not that I can think of.”
Jamie Clarke arrived in wearing a suit that had shrunk in the dry cleaners and sporting a quiff straight from the Duran Duran era.
It put me in mind of a joke my father tells where the punch line is that the pope makes a beeline through the throngs in Vatican Square to a man from Dungiven and says, “My son, who in the name of Jesus cut your hair?”
After the formal part of the evening I was chatting with John McEntee when over his shoulder I noticed a group of men causing a bit of a rumpus. On closer inspection, they were hurling their mobile phones against the wall of the function room, smashing them to smithereens and howling with laughter. “Keep the sim cards” shouted one of them. “Never mind them boys” said Big John. “That’s the oil men.”
Before I left, I sat with a group of the players, discussing football in general. The previous night, Cross had played Carrickcruppen in the league. Fielding only half their All Ireland fifteen, they won by 3-19 to 3-2. “ We gave away a couple of fierce bad goals” said one of the McNamees and the rest nodded sadly. “Far too complacent.”
The full story is in the current issue of Gaelic Life, published on Thursday May 31. Buy your copy now in your local newsagent or, for only 90p, purchase the online copy by clicking here