Cup overflowing at Capuchin Day Centre in Dublin as Sam Maguire visits
‘People who may be a bit down on their luck – it brings great joy to them’
The Sam Maguire at the Capuchin Day Centre in Dublin where All Ireland winners Colm Basquel and Michael Fitzsimons joined Br Kevin Crowley and guests to celebrate Dublin’s three in a row. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons
Br Kevin Crowley has long been admired for his charity but it was the Cork man’s extraordinary faith that shone through on Thursday as the Sam Maguire cup visited the Capuchin Day Centre for Homeless People in Dublin.
Acknowledging that Dublin had now won three in a row, Br Kevin went on to say that “from next year on, we’ll have the boys from the beautiful city by the Lee. It’ll be Dublin and Cork. We’ve been a long time waiting for it.”
A doubting Dub retorted: “No way, José.”
Sam was greeted at the centre with a joy that was unconfined by any loyalties. Wearing his Dublin jersey an emotional Joseph Deegan clasped the cup tightly as he posed for photographs.
“I’m a Dub all my life,” he said. “I live right beside Croke Park and I’ve seen him [Sam Maguire] many’s a time,” he added, proving that familiarity does not always breed contempt.
Tom Mooney, from Belvedere Place, was the first to greet Sam at the centre. He was dressed in a Dubs jersey and carrying a number plate bearing 17-D-SAM.
“I bought it in a shop,” he said.
Between signing jerseys, providing autographs, posing for photographs and thanking everyone for the honour of being there, Fitzsimons said the Dubs visits began in 2011 as former team mate Rory O’Carroll’s mother, Philomena, and brother Ross were volunteers at the Capuchin day centre.
“It’s a great day,” he said, adding that some of his team mates were missing out as they were attending the funeral of Eamon Campbell of The Dubliners.
“It’s great myself and Collie were able to be here,” Fitzsimons continued. “You can see the reaction we get off people and every time we are here we meet great characters, people who may be a bit down on their luck. It brings great joy to them and we’re delighted to do that. And for the staff as well.”
And through it all the Rams – the Retired Active Men’s Social, from Newcastle in Co Dublin – sang about Molly Malone, the Dirty Old Town, and an ecumenical version of that song from another code, Ireland’s Call, which became Dublin’s Call.
“We perform here quite often and do fundraising for Br Kevin,” said Vincent Swann, one of the Rams.
For his part, Br Kevin returned to earth quickly after his fantasy about Cork getting their hands on Sam anytime soon.
“But seriously, to the Dubs my sincere thanks. You have been great support to the centre for many years...and the famous Rams,” he said.
He called for three cheers, separately, for each, leading with “hip, hip....”
“He’s a great man, 84 too,” said a woman in the crowd.
And he is.