Not even the man who battled an evil empire in a galaxy far, far away could save the Kingdom — and so Sam Maguire will be residing in the capital for the next year.
The streets of Dublin will be thronged tonight as the county’s senior footballers show off the cup to fans.
However, there was disappointment not just for Kerry natives, but also for Mark Hamill — aka Star Wars hero Luke Skywalker — who tweeted his support for the lads in green and gold ahead of the rain-sodden final at Croke Park.
“The force is with Kerry!!! Yerra go wan Kerry,” delared @HamillHimself, who has been enjoying the Kingdom’s hospitality during the latest phase of shooting on Sceilig Mhichíl for the next Star Wars instalment
The adopted Kerryman was, like most of those returning by the motorways and rail network, gracious in defeat.
“Congrats to Dublin on their All-Ireland victory! Well done, lads-proud of both teams & grateful 4 Emerald Isle’s kindness!” he wrote after the final whistle.
For the victorious side and their jubilant supporters, the journey home was a much shorter one. And they will be hoping for less inclement conditions when the champions show off the silverware at 7.15pm.
“I look forward to welcoming the Dublin team to O’Connell St, where we can let them know how much we appreciate their great efforts,” said the capital’s first citizen, Lord Mayor Críona Ní Dhálaigh.
A stage will be erected just south of the Spire, meaning no public access from Upper O’Connell St, with fans asked to arrive via O’Connell Bridge, or from Middle Abbey or Lower Abbey streets.
Stars of the small screen were among those lucky enough to get inside GAA headquarters for a game that saw tickets changing hands online before the weekend for more than €600 each.
Westlife singer turned TV and radio host Nicky Byrne was there, as well as sports commentator Jimmy Magee, along with political figures who included Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tánaiste Joan Burton, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin, and the North’s deputy first minister Martin McGuinness. Former taoiseach Bertie Ahern and his daughter, novelist Cecilia Ahern, also showed up to shout for the Dubs.
Meanwhile, Kerry’s victorious minors will travel home with the seniors on a train due to stop at Rathmore at 4.40pm today. It will then arrive at 6.10pm in Tralee, where the teams will proceed to Denny St for a reception.
They will later go on to Killarney, where they are expected at 9.30pm in the Glebe car park in the town centre.
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