Growing up GAA
As a child of Ireland there are some things that will stay with me no matter where in the world I go, such as fear of the wooden spoon or spud dinners on Sundays. There are some things that I miss every day, like a good cup of tea (Lyons only, sorry Barrys lovers!), a dairy milk or a nice pack of Tayto. And don’t even get me started on the hot chicken roll for a hangover. But the real homesickness for Ireland only really gets to me when I see Mayo play an unreal game of football from a pub in god knows where. Watching GAA matches from a pub in Brussels, listening to them online in Quito or refusing to go on Facebook in case I see the score so I can “read” the match on the42.ie always gives me a pang for home that nothing can compare to.
Growing up in Ireland, and definitely in Mayo, Gaelic football is more like a cult religion than a sport. Every man, woman and child treats Mayo football like its life or death, and I’m sure it’s the same in every other county, and equally so for the hurling fans.
I wish I could put into words the passion and the commitment, the pain and the tears that every Irish person puts into our national sports. But honestly, words would never be enough. The atmosphere and the energy on match day are like nothing else. I was in Argentina when they beat Iran in the 2014 World Cup, I was in Montevideo when Uruguay beat Italy (aka Luis Suarez bite-gate) a few days later and in an Irish pub full of Germans in Quito when they won. But none of that even came close to the feeling in Croke Park on All-Ireland Final day.
Besides, the day Germany won the world cup was the day Mayo won the Connacht final. And we all know what’s more important. #Mayo4sam
Keeping it Cultural,