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Dublin to play at rugby's Ravenhill

JIM GAVIN is taking the Dubs to Belfast next Saturday (6.0).

They are going to play at the home of Ulster rugby in Belfast, Kingspan Stadium.

Dublin will be up against an Ulster All-Star selection that will be managed by Joe Kernan and Brian McEniff.

The fixture is being billed 'A Game for Anto'.

Anto Finnegan played senior football for Antrim for ten years. In 2012, he was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease.


Three years before that, he began to get an unusual feeling in his hands when he was on a family holiday at Disneyland, Paris.

The 41-year-old father of two captained Antrim to their first All-Ireland success, the 1999 'B' Championship.

"We are honoured that Anto has invited Dublin to take part in this game," said Jim Gavin.

"When the players were told of the invitation, their rallying response was typical of what is so often displayed in the GAA when one of its members calls for help."

When Anto revealed that he was suffering the illness, he received a huge ground swell of public support.

He decided to go public after being inspired by the stories of Paul Magee and Colm Murray.

He hopes the increased awareness of the illness will help with the research. "I am humbled by the gesture of the Ulster GAA and rugby," he admits.

"Saturday will be a historic day for many reasons.

"I am proud to be associated with it.

"It is testament to the respective sporting organisations, my family and friends that this historic match will take place at the home of Ulster rugby."

The Ulster rugby chief, Seán Logan, predicts a good day out.

"It is fitting that as we celebrate our newly developed stadium that was once a GAA pitch,

"Its surface will now host such a significant Gaelic football match."

Northern Irish Sports Minister, Caral Ní Chuilin, added:

"I can recall Anto playing with great passion for Antrim.

"He has applied that same passion to the jersey he now wears, one that represents his determination to make us aware and educate us about MND.

Tickets range from €10 (adult) and €5 (child). Special group bookings for clubs and youth groups (028-90493222).

www.ticketmaster.ie. www.deterMND