Search icon


15th Sep 2016

Dublin legend on how they practiced meeting the president with Pat Gilroy as Mary McAleese

Conan Doherty

Barry Cahill has seen a lot of things during his time at Dublin.

He’s played championship football at full back, half back, midfield and half forward. He’s won an All-Ireland, he’s won an All-Star and he’s served his county for over a decade.

He watched Dublin transform from a team who were bested by Westmeath and Laois in the race for provincial titles to a force that the rest of the country simply can’t accept anymore.

He’s seen a fair bit but, in 2011, it was on a whole other level.

Mary McAleese and Christy Cooney 18/9/2011

Preparing for an All-Ireland final must be a bloody pain in the hole. Aside from getting ready for the biggest game of your life, you have all the formalities and obligations to fulfill. You have media days, suit-fittings, ticket arrangements, good luck messages and travel to sort.

Somewhere in between all that mayhem, you have to train and recover and conduct analysis sessions and get ready to meet the president of Ireland.

Pat Gilroy wouldn’t see his men unprepared though. They used their training sessions in DCU to… train for meeting Mary McAleese. And who better to play the role of the elegant Antrim native but a burly St. Vincent’s man?

Listen to Barry Cahill describe the hilarious story below on SportsJOE’s GAA Hour podcast (skip to 11:54).

Stephen Rochford chats with Colm Parkinson on The GAA Hour, heated Lee Keegan debate, and Barry Cahill is outnumbered by Mayo backers. Subscribe here on iTunes.