Lord Mayor hopes Dubs can extend Mayo’s All-Ireland agony
‘I think it’s taken Dublin to be successful again to get a big buzz in the city’
Lord Mayor Oisíin Quinn: raised on rugb y, he has grown to love Gaelic games
On his Twitter profile, Oisín Quinn says one of his favourite ways to relax is watching Dublin’s hurlers and footballers in action. It wasn’t always so. As a young lad, the Lord Mayor of Dublin attended St Michael’s and Castleknock schools, neither of which could be described as GAA strongholds.
“I went to rugby-playing schools,” he says. “My initial memory of Gaelic football would have been some of the classic games between Dublin and Kerry in the 1970s. I probably wouldn’t have been someone who went to Croke Park every year but I’d watch if Dublin were in a Leinster final or in one of the final games of the Championship – or the final, obviously.”
This summer his enthusiasm for the sport has increased markedly. He was elected Lord Mayor in June and the role has afforded him the opportunity to attend Croke Park on a more regular basis. The experience of watching the Dubs has been an instructive one for the traditional rugby man.
“They’ve been fantastic games; they’ve actually been some of the best matches I’ve seen in any sporting codes, particularly the Dublin versus Kerry semi-final,” he says.
In the same way that a swaggering Dublin side of the 1970s encouraged a generation of youngsters to try their hand at Gaelic football, Quinn believes the county’s more recent success has helped the games spread to new areas. A lot of his friends who wouldn’t have gone to Gaelic sporting schools now have kids in GAA clubs.
“I would say the atmosphere has kind of changed over the last couple of years, and I’m looking at it from the perspective of someone who was at those type of rugby-playing schools in Dublin and therefore didn’t grow up in a culture of being in a Gaelic football club but was aware Dublin had a great team in the 1970s. I think now in a way maybe it’s taken Dublin to be successful again to get a big buzz going in the city.”
He reckons hopes – or at least hopes – that Dublin will have the edge on Sunday, but realises Mayo desperately want to win after a run of All-Ireland final disappointments: “They will really feel they’ve got a great, great chance this year.”
He’ll be at the match, as will his sons, who are “mad keen to go”. They’ll soon learn, no doubt, that watching your team play in an All-Ireland final is exhilarating, but it’s certainly no way to relax.