Wednesday 26 October 2016

Mayo man Ray Foley: My dad wasn't impressed when he saw my face painted in the Dublin colours

Ray Foley
Ray Foley
Ray Foley

Broadcaster Ray Foley will be among those with divided loyalties come Sunday’s All-Ireland semi-final clash between Dublin and Mayo.

The 98fm DJ has been living and working in Dublin for more than 15 years, but grew up in Ballina, Mayo.

“Well, because I’m broadcasting on Dublin’s 98fm means I’m contractually obliged to shout for the Dubs,” he said.

“I think for this game I might be quietly shouting for the boys in red and green though.”

But he admitted he’s a typical bandwagon supporter.

“Whoever wins, at the final whistle, I can just say I was rooting for them all along,” he said.

A 98fm ad in the matchday programme for the 2013 final between the pair saw Foley’s face painted in blue and navy, something he hasn’t lived down since.

“My dad opened up the programme on match day in Croke Park, dressed in red and green and sees my face painted in blue.

“I got a phone call straight away, and he got an awful slagging at home about it,” he said.

Meanwhile, bragging rights will be up for grabs at government buildings as the Dublin and Mayo contingent pit themselves against each other this Sunday.

It’s even causing some internal rivalry within one department.

Sports Minister Paschal Donohoe and junior minister for sport Michael Ring, from Dublin and Mayo respectively, hinted a bet could be on the cards.

Mr Ring told the Herald that he’s happy to be pitted against colleagues – and said the loser could expect to be reminded of it for the next year.

“I’d expect him to be giving me very generous odds, because Dublin are overwhelming favourites,” said Mr Ring.

The sides met in the 2012 All-Ireland semi-final, with Mayo emerging victorious. However, Dublin exacted revenge by defeating them in the 2013 final.

“I was working with Leo Varadkar for the last All-Ireland semi-final in 2012 and I had the last laugh over him, but they got their own back on me the day they won the All-Ireland,” said Mr Ring.

“I think it’s our turn again. I’m quietly confident.”

Mr Donohoe would not be drawn on the rivalry, but said he expected Dublin to be too good for their opposition.

“Both teams set up to attack and this is what everyone is looking to as why the game will be the game of the year.

“I expect Dublin’s greater firepower and more experienced forward line should see them through,” he said.

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