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Saturday 3 December 2016

No dampening of the Dublin spirit as hundreds watch match outdoors

Sunday 20 September 2015. Smithfield: Martina and Noel Reily form Cabra.
Sunday 20 September 2015. Smithfield: Martina and Noel Reily form Cabra.
Sandy Roberts, Alison Douglas, Henry McCaghy, and Georgina Regan
Crowds watch All-Ireland final 2015 in Smithfield Plaza

In the end it was a bit of a washout, but anyone who gathered to watch the game on Smithfield's big screen in Dublin didn't care.

At the plaza in the north inner city up to 200 fans had come donning their county colours to view the proceedings from Croke Park - and all were blue!

The downpour was not going to wash away their hopes of a Dublin win.

"It's more fun when it's raining," said Jay Deering from Tallaght. "We came here because we couldn't get tickets."

Another fan who braved the elements was Nicola Donnan, from Clondalkin, who came with a group of family and friends barely visible among flags and face paint.

Roars

"We don't mind the rain at all, the kids love it," she said.

Once the game was underway, the loudest roars came from some who had never seen an All-Ireland before.

Georgina Regan, Alison Douglas and Sandy Roberts, from the UK, were staying a stone's throw away from the outdoor screening.

"We had no idea about it, we just ran out this morning to buy jerseys," said Georgina.

They were overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of Dublin fans.

"We love it, we want to move here. Dublin blokes are so much better-looking too," she said.

They were sheltering under the umbrella of GAA fan Henry McCaghy, from Smithfield.

"I'm only really a fan of the women," he said to the delight of his new friends.

Liz Murphy from Tallaght may not have travelled far to see the game, but it was certainly a sacrifice to go to cheer on her team.

"We left my grandson's Christening to come here, that's how dedicated we are," she said.

"It was worth coming out in the rain for. It's a bit tight, but they are doing their best," she said close to half-time.

As the second-half progressed, the only movement among the crowd was the raindrops bouncing off umbrellas.

As Kerry slipped and slid in attempts for a last-minute goal, it soon became clear who was going to emerge victorious.

Many who sheltered from the rain ran out to celebrate the impending win across the plaza.

Others stayed glued to the screen, including Martina and Noel Riley from Cabra.

"It was just brilliant," Martina said after the win.

Noel said that the tough moments were "any time we weren't scoring".

As the celebrations started, everyone in Smithfield went off singing in the rain.

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