herald

Friday 17 August 2018

Blues back Shauna to land All-Ireland title

DUBLIN football stars are lending their support to a Blues fan competing in the All Ireland Talent Show.

Footballers Michael Darragh Macauley, Bernard Brogan and Eoghan O'Gara took time out of their busy training schedule to meet with teenager Shauna Buckingham (18) ahead of this Saturday's Spring Series clash against All-Ireland champions Cork in Croke Park.

Shauna, from Rathfarnham, is a massive Blues fan and the players were only too happy to wish her luck in the All Ireland Talent Show.

"It was brilliant, they're all lovely and really supportive. I was shocked when they agreed to meet with us because they're just so busy preparing for matches," Shauna told the Herald.

Michael Darragh Macauley told her dad Neil that he's already voting for Shauna, and he's recruiting the support of the entire football team for her next appearance on the show on February 27 when she'll sing Time To Say Goodbye.

Neil explained: "They were really supportive. That's what we need, we need to get the Dubs voting."

Meanwhile, excitement is building in the countdown to the Blues' double-header on Saturday.

The Dublin football and hurling teams will go head-to-head with All-Ireland champs Cork and Tipperary in the first of the Spring Series.

The series -- part of Dublin County Board's ground-breaking initiative to promote the GAA and Allianz League to a wider audience -- will stretch over four nights at Croke Park stadium.

Establishments in the surrounding area are gearing up in preparation for the big event, which will also benefit the local community.

Popular GAA haunts The Big Tree on Dorset Street and Quinn's in Drumcondra are expecting crowds before and after the games.

"We get a lot of families in here so we are hoping for a big crowd," Quinn's barman Neil Kirwan told the Herald.

Big Tree manager Cathal O'Reilly said staff had been getting the venue ready. "We've had staff in all week polishing glasses and organising the place. We are throwing a fundraiser evening in aid of the Special Olympics."

The Dubs' carnival style Spring Series event will see some of Ireland's finest musical acts take to the pitch in between games, including Damien Dempsey, Horslips and die-hard Blues fans Jedward adding to the action.

Dublin's hurling team will open the series at 5.15pm in a battle with Tipperary, followed by the Blues against Cork at 7.30pm.

Tickets are just €45 for the entire eight games.

hnews@herald.ie

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