Thousands cheer for Sam’s Dublin homecoming

Mayo fans welcome home senior and minor football teams in Castlebar

Mon, Sep 23, 2013, 22:04

Thousands of GAA supporters cheered the Dublin team as they arrived on stage in Merrion Square for the Sam Maguire Cup “homecoming” tonight.

Manager Jim Gavin and captain Stephen Cluxton carried the Sam Maguire Cup onto the stage and were greeted with loud cheering, chanting and applause. The team arrived into the square on a blue and yellow Dublin Bus but it was a sea of blue as Merrion Square filled with fans of all ages.

Sports commentator Des Cahill was MC for the celebrations which were focussed on a special stage at the southeast corner of the square.

Roads around the area closed for the celebrations which began at 7pm and finished shortly after 8.30pm.

Following the event the Dublin team set off for Parnell GAA Club in Coolock to continue the celebrations.

Mr Cahill welcomed Dublin’s Lord Mayor Oisín Quinn who along with the city council hosted the event, followed by the team backroom staff, the Dublin County Board and True Blue Dubs, chairman of the Dublin County Board Andy Kettle, and finally the victorious team bearing.

The AA warned motorists to avoid the area with Merrion Square South and East already closed to traffic, as are Fitzwilliam Street, James Street East, Mount St Upper and Stephen’s Lane.

The agenda featured post match analysis and interviews with many of the team members.

The city council advised revellers the homecoming is to be “a family-friendly alcohol-free event” and to use public transport and keep an eye on the weather.

A spokesman for Dublin City Council said the last homecoming event in Merrion Square two years ago features a crowd of about 50,000 people and similar numbers would be expected this evening.

Meanwhile in Mayo the victorious minor team and the senior team who lost to Dublin were welcomed by thousands to MacHales park in Castlebar.