The appearance of our footballers in Croke Park stirred us – got us up and full of pride. The excitement was palpable
The word ‘Pride’ had a busy weekend in Leitrim and rightly so. The appearance of our footballers in Croke Parke stirred us – got us up and full of pride. The excitement was palpable, but the players and management had a job to do and they did it.
The result wasn’t what they or we were hoping for, but they played the game and not the occasion. The overriding feeling was that Leitrim footballers left their performance on the pitch and not in their hearts. Others will dissect and analyse the Division 4 league final, but the rest of us, a safe distance away from the reality of it all, can just be proud and are.
And we were proud of the whirlwind of Leitrimness that is Stella McGirl, as she took the ‘Late Late’ by the scruff of the neck and bounced it up a few considerable notches. It made it easy for those of us following in her slipstream. ‘Garadice’, our official musical ambassadors made us very proud as they took to Croke Park stage, and although John McCartin’s fitness levels were hampered, due to an exhausting wedding the day before – they too left it all on the pitch.
Yes, a great weekend to be Leitrim – the sun came out – our hearts were swollen and an hour of daylight was added to our days. By Sunday morning, there was a pep in our step... Spring has Sprung and the cattle will still get their hay in Dromahair and Aughacashel. The childer will be taught in Drumeela and Kiltyclogher, the post will be delivered, the drains will be cleared and people will get on with their daily lives all over this wee county. And that makes me proud too.
Next week I start in a new play, written by Mark Doherty and directed by Aaron Monaghan. It’s called ‘TRAD’ (Tradition). A mad surreal look at what it is to be Irish. It goes to the ‘Peacock’ in Dublin for two weeks in May, my first time on the stage of our national theatre. A proud moment.
Of course, I’m by no means the first Leitrim to do that. My friends in the Corn Mill performed there a few years ago and will again I’m sure (maybe sooner rather than later), but for me, it’s a big deal. When I got to the first day of rehearsals, I realised I wasn’t the only Leitrim involved. The set and costumes for the show will be designed by Naomi Faughnan of Dromod and one of the two live musicians on stage throughout the play will be fellow Carrigallen man, Fiddler Andy Morrow. Now that does make me proud! What could be better than achieving your goals, than to do it as you stand beside some of your own crowd. Sharing the moment increases its value, not the other way around.
So maybe this pride is more about people than achievements, more about your colleague that your foe... more about where you come back to than where you go. Leitrim people have always achieved, always excelled, but most of all, they have always remembered where they came from. And the cattle will still get their hay.
Come on - get up - get into the car
We’re going to Croke Park – YES - we got this far
Look out – Look out, Leitrim’s coming out from the long grass
To kick ass - And miss mass on Saturday evening
And if we win –
We might have to miss mass again on Sunday
Because we’ll be heading off to our rural bars
In our self-drive cars and our zero zero booze
But no more, heads you win – tails we lose
Imagine – Leitrim exceeding at our national game
Nor normally our claim to fame
No, we’d be better known for whins and taking things lying down.
Well no more my friend – Lets put an end to this sporting buggery
Because these Leitrim boys are on the rise and no surprise
Well we couldn’t get much lower – we’ve spent all these years in Division 4
And up until now, it’s been poor us and our excuses
But Cavan men have their uses and Terry Hyland and his entourage
Took on a team, they said you shouldn’t touch with a barge pole
And he made them whole again smile again and us
And now we’re getting on the bus for Croker
The entire population of Leitrim wouldn’t fill a tier of the Hogan Stand
But we’ll stand and fill a tear of joy and pride for our side, our boys in green
Our team - two zero 19 LM...
The country folks are taking off their coats to fight
TRAD tours from April 5 – Tour dates from www.livindred.ie