Lone Newry woman 'heartbroken' at defeat by adopted home team

 

CORK:A NORTH Cork village with a population of just 600 celebrated Cork’s All Ireland Senior Football Final win yesterday but locals in Meelin spared a moment to console disappointed Newry native, Mary Buckley, who was the only person in the area supporting the northerners.

Ms Buckley and her husband Pat held a party at their home yesterday which was attended by, among others, the couple’s two sons Anthony (10) and Declan (8), both of whom were firmly behind Cork to bring the Sam Maguire cup home.

Ms Buckley, who moved to Cork in the late 1990s having met Corkman Pat at the Lisdoonvarna Festival in 1992, said she was “heartbroken” at seeing her beloved Down lose out to her adopted home by just one point.

“I am absolutely devastated. I am getting teary eyed. But it was a great match. The second half was brilliant. It was very close. I am sure Down are disappointed. They are a good bunch of lads. They (the family) have ignored me since they got the cup! I am hoping they (Down) will be back next year. If they had worn their own colours they would have won.”

Both teams in yesterday’s match were required to change from their traditional, predominantly red strips to avoid a clash of colours.

Ms Buckley said she truly believed that Down would snatch the Sam Maguire cup from Cork in the final minutes. However, she was philosophical in defeat saying that Down’s time would come.

Meanwhile, having suffered heartbreaking defeats in previous years, Cork supporters were confident of their chances going in to yesterday’s match – the first ever meeting between a Leeside team and Down in an All-Ireland final. Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Mick O’Connell met with fans at the so-called spiritual home of the Cork team, the Gresham Hotel, before making his way to Croke Park for the match. He went to Mass with the team on Saturday night and said they were “relaxed” and “well up” for the challenges ahead.

Speaking after Cork’s nail-biting win, Mr O’Connell said he had travelled to Dublin for All Ireland finals since 1966. He said the win this year was particularly special for him.

“This is one I won’t forget. It was an incredible match. I felt Cork had it in them. Everyone was delirious when they won. Over the last four or five years we have come up and been unlucky. The support in Cork city has been great. I have been going to All- Irelands since 1966 but this is very special.”

The official welcome home for the Cork football team will take place this evening at the South Mall in the city. A purpose-built stage has been erected and the proceedings will be relayed to giant screens on Parnell Place and the South Mall. The county’s senior and minor teams are expected to arrive at about 7.30 pm, the minor side having been narrowly beaten by Tyrone in yesterday’s curtain raiser.