CIARA McGorman, an Errigal Ciaran stalwart, and her husband Shane from Newport in Co Mayo, are buzzing with anticipation, as they look forward to tuning into Saturday evening’s mouth-watering All-Ireland final with millions of other viewers across the globe.
Ciara has been living in Philadelphia for the last 20 years, and recently returned to the US after a wonderful seven-week vacation that included visits to Tyrone and Mayo.
She was in Croke Park to see Tyrone beat Kerry with her father, Declan, who has been a great supporter of Errigal Ciaran and Tyrone down the years.
Her daughter, Córa, aged just four-and-a-half, also enjoyed the trip to Tyrone – the family’s first trip since the Covid pandemic, which caused mass restrictions to be introduced across the world.
As they met up with relatives, the topic and banter of many conversations was the fortunes of Tyrone and Mayo – but the Gormans scarcely dreamed the counties would meet in the final.
And even now, as the family are back home in Philadelphia, they can’t wait for the big game… although Ciara suggests that, due to the level of excitement, it may be better if they watch it at home, behind closed doors!
For the Kerry clash, Ciara had a ‘brilliant’ day in Croke Park with her father and other relatives.
“That game and occasion was something else,” she said.
“The atmosphere and adrenalin going through the players and supporters and whole stadium was fantastic.
“I was beside my dad, and hugged him with joy which was very special. He is proud of his family, club and county. It was great being with family,” she added. “My husband, who was in his sister’s in Dublin, rang two hours after the final whistle and I was still outside Croke Park talking to friends.”
Ciara and Córa visited family in Tyrone and Mayo before heading back across the Atlantic. Córa used to wear a half-Tyrone, half-Mayo jersey, but insists now on wearing the colours of the Delaware County Gaels club.
“People are saying to us, ‘at least one of you will win the final!’,” Ciara continued.
“Mayo people are mad about their county. Despite all the heartbreak and disappointments, they never give up.
“I’ve felt so sorry for my husband after the defeats they have endured.
“No-one would begrudge them winning the All-Ireland. Mayo people are lovely – it’s just a pity it’s against us this year!”
Ciara and Shane, and perhaps Córa, too, will watch the game from their home.
A former Errigal Ciaran player, Ciara and her husband have retained their GAA roots coaching children’s teams, and fervently supporting Delaware County Gaels.
“We watch all the games on GAAGo,” she continued. “I have a Tyrone flag on my car, and Shane has a Mayo flag.
“It will be tense and might be best we watch this game behind closed doors, rather than go to a bar or club!” Ciara laughed.