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06th Apr 2024

Michael Darragh MacAuley blushes as Joe Brolly tells comical story of 2011 All-Ireland final

Lee Costello

“He realised that Michael Darragh was still sitting in his socks.”

Michael Darragh MacAuley was visibly blushing as Joe Brolly told a comical story about Dublin’s 2011 All-Ireland final on the Late Late Show.

The two GAA legends were on with Patrick Kielty as they celebrated the sport in a special show, that was sure to bring up lots of brilliant memories and stories.

Brolly has always been a great admirer of Darragh MacAuley, and not just because of his incredible football skills that saw him win several All-Ireland medals, but also his personality off the field.

To set the scene, back in 2011, Dublin had reached their first All-Ireland final in 16 years, and were determined to end the drought, so this is the most important game in the county’s history in almost two decades.

Pat Gilroy was the manager at the time, and was very reliant on MDMA in midfield to deliver on the big days, but as Brolly reveals on last night’s shows, the ex Dublin star can be a tad forgetful.

“He’s the only person in the history of the GAA to turn up to his first All-Ireland final (like this). Pat Gilroy was his manager, I went to Trinity with Pat, and he’s very fond of Michael Darragh and said Michael Darragh was the driving force behind that Dublin revolution.

“He told everybody to get their gear on, then he realised after a minute that Michael Darragh was still sitting in his socks. He starts to think ‘f**k me, tell me he hasn’t forgotten his football boots’. He gives him the eye and he said ‘yeah I forgot my football boots’.

“Pat had to give him his, then he went on to produce one of the great performances in an All-Ireland final.”

Much like a proud father happy to share embarrassing stories in front of all your friends, Brolly wasn’t finished at that, and proceeded to tell everyone about the time he was asked to mark Tyrone legend Sean Cavanagh.

“One of my favourite stories that Pat Gilroy tells about Michael Darragh. They were playing Tyrone, and they were gunning for Tyrone because they had been beaten them regularly. Tyrone had been the team of the 00s.

“Pat had cleared out the old brigade and brought in all these boys, the ‘dirty dozen’ as he called them, Philly McMahon and all these boys. The training was ferocious. Pat did the 6am training sessions just to push them to the limit.

“He said you couldn’t sicken [Michael Darragh], he just ran out the bleep test and said ‘is that all you’ve got’.

“They played Tyrone in a crucial league game and Pat has targeted it. There was an atmosphere of war in the training room, and he said to Michael Darragh ‘you’re picking up Sean Cavanagh’.

“Michael Darragh looked at him blankly and says ‘what does he look like?’

“Ray Boyne had to download pictures of Sean Cavanagh on his tablet and show them to him. Then thereafter, he would make up a wee booklet of the player Michael Darragh was marking.”

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