My brother who, despite his many flaws which I would be only too happy to list, given half a chance, is very kind and generous. Last Sunday, Cork played Dublin in the all-Ireland senior hurling championship in Croke Park the national stadium. My brother got tickets for himself and Daniel to go together (the other two children being uninterested in the prospect). Daniel was extremely excited. I was torn; obviously, I wanted Cork to win, more particularly since Dublin had already beaten Cork in the football and if they beat them in hurling as well (not a traditional Dublin strength) the children would be unbearable. On the other hand, it was Dan’s first match at Croke Park and I really wanted his team to win.
It was a very close match and according to my brother, Daniel really enjoyed it. But, in the end, it was clear that Cork were going to win. Daniel wept into his Dublin flag for the last 10 minutes. My brother said that Cork and Dublin fans alike tried to comfort him but he was inconsolable. When I asked him later what people had said to him he said, “I didn’t listen, I was too sad.” Alas, it is hard to be seven and see your team lose.
Here are the rivals before the match. They posed with a baseball bat for reasons which are not now clear to me. Obviously, a hurley would have been better.