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Gloves off as Rebels get down and dirty

TWO days before battle and now, finally, it's getting dirty. A scurrilous article has appeared on the People's Republic of Cork website, denigrating the good folk of Dublin who populate Hill 16.

The anonymously penned article (now there's a surprise) claims that Dublin fans are to the GAA championship what "Millwall and Chelsea's dog-rough followers were to the English soccer leagues in the eighties and early nineties".

From there on, if possible, the tone of 'Hell on the Hill' moves downhill fast with attacks on their alcohol consumption levels, their alleged ignorance of on-field matters, and the "brazen booing of Dublin's bad boys, the hissing cynicism of the east coast's den of iniquity".

"Boozed up bowsies from Ballymun and drunk Decco's from Drumcondra will converge on the Hill with a limited knowledge of the game, adding extra syllables to every word uttered to give their brains more time to articulate their irrational thoughts. Yiz-a were bru-wah-tal," opines Leeside's answer to Woody Allen.

Joe Nugent had already read the offending article on www.peoplesrepublicofcork.com before Solo Run contacted the Dublin GAA Supporters Club secretary this week. "It's absolute nonsense," he responded. "It speaks more about the author of the article than the subject of the article. Dublin people would rather do their talking on the pitch than on sites like that."

Nugent accepted that the author was probably "just trying to wind people up" although, having castigated the alleged lack of GAA knowledge on the Hill, the scribe may have exposed some of his own shortcomings in this area.

Read the following extract: "Their sporting successes can be summarised as a brief rivalry with Kerry in the late seventies before most of their fans were born. It should be noted that Cork were busy at the four-in-row in the other code around the same time, so those of you lucky enough to live in that era wouldn't have noticed anyway."

Funny that -- there was Solo Run thinking the Cork hurlers had won four-in-a-row in the early forties, not the swinging seventies. Then again, maybe it's only honours maths students of Kilkenny hurling who can spot the difference between three and four.

Our numerically challenged Rebel goes on: "The capital expects so much yet gets so little -- while the local media bring the kindle and the fans stoke the flames. Therein lies the capital's undeniable principle enemy: burning festering self-hatred.

"The capital seems to revel more in self-criticism than any (albeit minor) victory. Does that ring any Morris dancing bells? As has been pointed out by many columnists, at the bottom of this intense self-loathing is a confused Dublin mindset -- despite the passport they don't know whether they are British or Irish."

Indeed. For it is a source of prolonged despair in the "minutely geographically small" county of Dublin (their description) that the Sky Blue footballers haven't won an All-England SFC title since 1995. Whereas the People's Republic were supping from Sam Maguire only -- let us remind ourselves -- 20 short years ago.