A flag on Dorset Street on the route to Croke Park said it all and had a cheeky poke at the Sweet Chariot at the same time:
“BOD save our gracious team.”
A fantastic poke at England’s Sweet Chariot arriving with the playing of God Save the Queen at the GAA HQ. It was EXACTLY what we needed!
Things like that destroyed the media frenzy from last week about the political significance of the occasion.
It continued to be blown away when 82,500 supporters anxiously waited for the first chord of God Save The Queen, what was the delay? Was there a problem? They hype would suggest there might be. No, the mood lightened as the huge screen showed the reason for the delay – – a kiss from Bertie Ahern to Irish President Mary McAleese as she found her way to her seat.
Irish fans are amongst the best in the World, welcome anywhere (the amount of times I’ve walked into places in an Ireland shirt, walking past the shouting English barred again is amazing!), Eddie O’Sullivan knew that and knew they would respect the anthems – but nothing prepared us for that atmosphere!
Ireland’s genius and de-railing of the chariot will live in our memories forever, but NEVER have we heard the anthems sang like that, North and South did each other proud this day, and the world watched – how divides can be overcome, lets hope they take a lesson from this!
Anglo-Irish relations will be the legacy of this performance!
On paper England should have thrashed Ireland, they didn’t and it’s a clear sign that central contracting for Ireland has worked and the RFU should be sitting up and taking notice!
Ireland simply bounced back from the French defeat, like any great side. We know the team is still shallow in several key areas. BUT we know that on their day they can beat anyone (yes, whisper it quietly, maybe even New Zealand). Bring on the World Cup!