Down’s multitudes


Sir, – I greatly enjoyed Peter Makem’s article “When Down’s 1960 All-Ireland victory brought down barriers” (Sport, September 30th) regarding the emergence of the Down footballers as a force in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

However, his assertion that the 88,000 people that attended the 1960 All-Ireland final represented “the largest gathering of people on the island of Ireland since Daniel O’Connell’s monster meeting at Tara back in 1843” surely ignores the hundreds of thousands of people that attended the funerals of Charles Stewart Parnell in 1891 and of Michael Collins in 1922. Even these momentous gatherings were dwarfed by the estimated one million people that attended the High Mass of the Eucharistic Congress in the Phoenix Park in 1932.

In the Covid-19 era it seems strange even referring to such large crowds but hopefully we can soon again gather in our thousands to commiserate, celebrate or commemorate. – Yours, etc,