Well, have ya Citywesht booked?

MYSELF and Johnny and Paddy were talking about it Saturday night in Mick Byrne’s. I’d about eight pints of the finest black stuff while the cool dudes were drinking this new pear cider everyone is raving about.

BOOK YOUR PLACE IN CITY WESHT FOR SEPTEMBER NOW: You can repay me with a pint when Trevor walks in with Sam.

BOOK YOUR PLACE IN CITY WESHT FOR SEPTEMBER NOW: You can repay me with a pint when Trevor walks in with Sam.

And then it came to me faster than a Rossie heading back out the N5 – what are we waiting for in bookin’ City Wesht for the third Sunday in September?

Paddy is always the conservative type so he said ‘hould on now bucko, let’s not be getting ahead of ourselves. We’ve still to go to Pearse Stadium and bate the Galway lads’ before Johnny, ever a stickler for detail responded ‘and what about poor Sligo, have they no chance of bating Galway? They’ll turn around and do them on Sunday just to prove that you’re a big eejit’.

It was like the Mayo version of Harry Enfield’s three scousers with me separating the two luders. ‘Lads, lads will ye not be worrying about Galway or Sligo or any of that craic. Have a bit of confidence in our ladeens, didn’t they go out tonight and show us what they can do. Like O’Mahony says will ye keep the feckin’ faith’.

So we talked it out. It doesn’t matter who wins in Sligo on Sunday, we’ll bate them. Sure Galway have no midfield and only one forward. The only forward Sligo ever had was ‘Ski’ McGee and him a soccer player.

All-Ireland quarter-final then and our first trip to Croke Park. We’ll have to take on one of the teams from the Qualifiers. ‘Kerry’, says cautious Paddy, with that worried look on his face I last saw when they ran out of Aftershock below in Longnecks.

‘Bring them on,’ says I. ‘If there’s one team that deserves the chance to give a dying team the last kick out the gate, it’s us. And let young O’Shea scored 3-3 to rub it in all the more.’

Slowly the boys start coming around to my way of thinking as Johnny comes down from the bar with one more pint of Guinness for me but the two fairies are now on feckin’ gin and tonics like a pair of women. ‘Ah girls, did ye go over yer calory count with the cider?’ says I.

Anyway we return to talking football. All-Ireland semi-final and we’re down to play the Leinster champions, as long as they get past their qualifier opponent.

‘Dublin lads?,’ I suggest. ‘Nah, Wexford,’ says Paddy. ‘Ah stop your slobbering, the hole is gone out of Wexford,’ says I. ‘And they’re in the qualifiers already sure.’

So we agree on Dublin. ‘Sure they haven’t beaten us in championship since 1985, and they needed a replay to do that,’ Johnny points out. ‘And Whelan won’t be playing so McGarrity might be able to play the whole game without worrying about his head getting takin’ clane off,’ adds Paddy.

‘Aye, and O’Shea and Moran will make shite of Hubbard and Bastick. Twill be us that will go seven up this time, except we won’t let them back into it,’ says I.

So Dublin and Kerry bet, all that would be left is to take care of Tyrone and show Mickey Harte a thing or two about football.

‘Would we book City Wesht for the whole weekend or just the Sunday night and stay in the city on Saturday for a good feed of porter?’, wonders I aloud. The boys aren’t sure either and we weigh up the pros and cons for a good while. ‘There’d be serious hassle trying to get a taxi out to Saggart at three in the morning after the Saturday night,’ says Paddy. ‘Yeah, but if we stay in City Wesht there’d be no messing with moving gear from one hotel on the Sunday to another with us dying from porter,’ counters Johnny.

‘Ah feck it, sure we could get the leg over with some quare wan staying in the city on the Saturday night and get the best of both worlds,’ says I. Two nights in City Wesht it is then.

The match itself? I’d be fierce worried Trevor might let the side down with poor use of Irish in his speech but maybe O’Mahony might get his good friend Michael Ring to give Trev’ a few pointers. Sure Ring is the Fine Gael spokeperson for the Gaeltacth so I couldn’t think of a better person to ask.

So that’s that sorted now. I rang City Wesht just there to book the three of us in. Funnily enough they say no one else has booked in for that weekend yet. We always were ahead of the crowd. Now, should it be the Welcome Inn or  the TF to stay in Castlebar on the Monday night?

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