herald

Sunday 16 December 2018

Uncle Ben had Alan pulling pints in Brogan's Bar before he kicked points

It's the pub where Dubs star Alan Brogan pulled pints before he moved on to score points at Croke Park.

And Brogan's pub on Dame Street in Dublin will be a hive of activity for the All-Ireland clash on Sunday.

Owned by Ben Brogan, the uncle of All-Star players Alan and Bernard -- Brogan's will become a veritable HQ for fans who can't get tickets to the match.

In his late teens Alan worked for his uncle behind the bar at the famous Dublin pub. But now Ben has become used to playing second fiddle to his nephews. "I used to be introduced as Bernard Brogan's brother, now I'm introduced as his uncle."

The Brogan family have already welcomed three All-Ireland medals into their family -- thanks to one of Dublin's most famous footballers -- Bernard Senior, brother to Ben.

"I went straight from being the brother to the uncle, and nothing in between. When we were kids we were always Bernard Brogan's brothers -- it was great," Ben told the Herald.

Familiar with the tension and excitement an All-Ireland final brings, Ben says it will be a very emotional day for the whole family but that he knows the Blues can win the title.

"Dublin's time has come, Kerry's time is over," said the Lucan native.

"Alan has had an incredible season; Bernard is marked as a special person so it's been tough for him, but they're all capable. They're ready and the core of the team have been largely injury free all season," he added.

Despite going head to head with 36-time champs Kerry, Ben said that there is a sense of calm in Gilroy's camp.

"It's very low key -- the hurlers really took the pressure off the lads this year.

"We don't get really away to big matches like other counties, so I think that has contributed to it."

The publican will oversee the decorating of Brogan's Bar, which will be decked out with flags and bunting for the big occasion.

"We'll be showing the match here on Sunday, but I'm hoping to be at it -- if I'm lucky.

"The lads get their tickets and Bernard Snr distributes them among the 50 or so of us in the family."

Ben is also expecting a large turn out after the match.

"Some of the family will come back here after the game and we're hoping the team will bring the Sam Maguire in with them."

hnews@herald.ie

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