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01st Aug 2023

Powerful scenes across the city as Dublin celebrate their All-Ireland triumph

Niall McIntyre

There were emotional scenes in Dublin on Monday, as the county’s Sam Maguire winning heroes paraded in front of their supporters.

As is tradition, the team’s first port-of-call was the children’s hospital in Crumlin. Dublin corner back and nine-time All-Ireland winner Michael Fitzsimons previously worked in the hospital, and he was particularly delighted to bring the cup back.

“I think it’s a great tradition,” said Fitzsimons.

“Seeing it from the side of working, when teams have come in, and now coming back, you can see how much it means to patients and staff.

“I’ve worked here in Crumlin in 2021 with the orthopedic team here.

“So only delighted to get the opportunity to continue it on when we’ve got the chance,” he told RTÉ.

“It really re-energises you,” added Eoin Murchan.

“That’s what it’s all about, is the support we’ve gotten over the last few years even when things weren’t going so well. So it was great to get out to meet people, we don’t always get a chance to do it, and everyone’s very energetic this morning. It’s great,” added the 26-year-old.

The official homecoming took place in Smithfield later on, but Ballymun was the place to be.

Another long-standing tradition to bring the cup back to the club of the winning and with James McCarthy joined on the panel by the two Smalls, Dean Rock and Evan Comerford, the Ballymun connection was strong.

As part of the team’s homecoming night, the Ballymun Kickhams club-grounds were their first stop and there the team were given a mighty reception.

The Dublin fire brigade pipe band led them off the team bus at the Collinstown Grounds, on the old airport road, where there was a huge crowd, young and old, ready to greet the players.

The team then went into Smithfield for the official homecoming, where songs were sang by some, while others said a few words to the crowd.

“It’s been an incredible few days. It’ll sink in over the next week or so, but we’re having a hell of a time, that’s for sure,” said Jack McCaffrey to rapturous applause.

Meanwhile, we caught up with Paddy Small, who hailed James McCarthy and Stephen Cluxton in particular.

“It’s a special dressing room. We’ve massive leaders all the way through the the team, so it’s a privilege to even be a part of that. When you’ve James McCarthy and Stephen Cluxton in any dressing room, it’s always going to be a good one,” he said.

Then the real celebrations began. Brian Fenton spent the night in a Cork City jersey while the team didn’t let Small away with his celebration for his Sam Maguire winning goal.

As he wheeled away from the Hill, with his arms out wide, Small roared ‘Woooh’ in the style of a certain Mr. Ric Flair.

And this sort of thing was the theme of the night…

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Dublin GAA