*All we want for Christmas….* *Peter
McCabe Dun Laoghaire support group*

*….. Is to Bring Sam home again! *

*No, please don’t say it’s a bit early to be planning for Christmas. We are
in a strange place with plenty of time for thinking of what’s ahead, so
indulge yourself and read on. *

*What we really want in the Stroke Survivors Groups more than anything is
to be virus free, in good health, saving jobs and our economy and seeing
our family members travel home from abroad again. We have missed out on so
much this year, so is it too much to ask Santa to take the Dubs on a
winning run and to have Sam Maguire back again for Christmas. The Dublin
Senior Football team having won five in a row are strong contenders to win
the 2020 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship and the Sam Maguire Cup
again.*

* The GAA have set out ambitious plans for football and hurling for the
second half of this year. The Leinster Senior Football Final will be on
Saturday 21st of November, the All-Ireland Football Semi Finals on 5/6
December and the Final in Croke Park on Saturday the 19th of December, six
days before Christmas and 2 days before the shortest day of the year. If
needed extra time and penalties will be used. The All Ireland Hurling Final
will be on Sunday 13th December.*

*The football final was played in December many years ago. In 1909 and in
1913 Kerry won and in 1916 and 1917 Wexford won All Ireland Football Finals
in December. Dublin never reached a December final. The omens are not so
good!*

*This year’s Leinster Final on 21st November will coincide with the Bloody
Sunday Centenary Commemorations. My late father in law “Stonewall” Joe
Norris was in the Dublin Panel in Croke Park that day in 1920 when 14
civilians were killed and over seventy injured. The Tipperary player
Michael Hogan (24) and two children were among the fatalities. Earlier in
1920 Dublin defeated Kildare in the Leinster Final and then Cavan in the
All-Ireland Semi Final. Joe Norris (29) and the other O’Toole’s players who
made up most of the Dublin team were fit, confident and ready to go on and
win their first All-Ireland medals. This was not to be, the final did not
take place until 1922 and Tipperary won the title. Despite the turmoil and
delays in 1920 a ‘Great Challenge Match’ was arranged for the 21st November
between Dublin and Tipperary. *

*The GAA is in the process of finalising the Bloody Sunday centenary
commemorations. Visit the websites gaa.ie/bloodysunday
<gaa.ie/bloodysunday> and crokepark.ie/gaamuseum
<crokepark.ie/gaamuseum>. Other events being considered by the
Tipperary and Dublin County Boards include; lectures, replica jerseys,
wreath laying on the graves of the footballers who played that day etc. The
Tipperary group Rebel Hearts have released a fine video and a new
rendition of ‘The Ballad of Michael Hogan’. You can view it on youtube.com
<youtube.com> To give voice to the 14 men, women and children killed
in Croke Park the Abbey Theatre in partnership with the GAA has
commissioned 14 writers, directors and actors to come together to create 14
minute monologues to be staged live in 14 different GAA clubs and schools.
Details to be announced in coming weeks. **www.abbeytheatre.ie/season-2020*
<www.abbeytheatre.ie/season-2020>

*100 years on could COVID19 spoil our dreams and bring us a new wave (not
Mexican, we hope) and lead to further postponements. Regrettably a small
number of people are acting recklessly with mass gatherings, house parties,
holidays abroad not to mention golf functions etc. We must hold our ground
(and stay above it) and continue good practice and follow the HSE guidance
and regulations. To win the Sam Maguire Cup five times in a row is a
brilliant achievement (Jacks on a roll). Imagine the endless euphoria if
Liverpool win the Premiership again next year!! Perhaps our ‘new humanity
will test positive’ if Dublin doesn’t get this special ‘six pack’ for
Christmas. So, if another county wins the All-Ireland in December and the
celebrations are not in Dublin, be gracious, wish them well and let them
have a loan of ‘our cup’ ! ‘Suil leat le dochas I do chroi’*