Before tonight I’d never (for obvious reasons) been at the homecoming celebrations of an All-Ireland winning side so I was happy enough to hop on the bus into town earlier this evening with two of my kids to catch the revelry in Merrion Square where the victorious Dublin team showed off the gleaming spoils of victory in front of an impressively large and rather enthusiastic home crowd.
It was, I have to say, a rather fun evening and Des Cahill was in his element as the ringmaster of the ceremonies. It was all very informal, with not that much in the way of speeches and more in the way of singing, which kept the crowd happy. The highlight of the evening was a side-splitting number about all of his team-mates performed by Kevin McManamon, who claimed he’d made up the lyrics earlier in the day with Philly McMahon. Somehow I think the work on this might have started at some point last night.
What came through this evening in spades was the great sense of teamwork and camaraderie within the Dublin set-up. I know it’s easy to point to a winning side like Dublin and say that what we need to do is copy their approach but Pat Gilroy does appear to have done an awful lot right over the past few years and I think it’s obvious that we’ve plenty to learn from how they’ve gone about their business and what they’ve achieved.
We can’t learn anything from their singing, however – without the karaoke machine they just couldn’t keep in tune at all and the voices sounded a bit worse for wear too. And it’s only Monday – what’ll they be like come the weekend, I wonder?