IT’S no minor matter – in fact a Cork school has three major reasons to get very excited about this weekend’s All-Ireland finals.
Their principal, and former past-pupil, Brian Cuthbert, will be pacing the sideline in Croke Park on Sunday hoping to mastermind a victory for his Cork minor football squad.
But the pupils of Scoil an Spioraid Naoimh (buachaillí) in Bishopstown, Cork, will also be cheering on two more past-pupils, Jamie O’Sullivan and Ken O’Halloran, members of the Cork senior football squad facing Down later in the afternoon.
The pupils were joined by their neighbours from the girls’ school yesterday to wish Mr Cuthbert the best of luck on Sunday.
The Bishopstown native, who was appointed principal of the boy’s school just three weeks ago, will begin his All-Ireland weekend as soon as the school bell rings this afternoon.
“It’s been a baptism of fire,” he joked yesterday. “There has been great excitement in the school during the build-up and it reached fever pitch yesterday. Now we’re all set for Sunday.”
And spare a thought for the mother of another All-Ireland finalist who lives across from the school, who faces her own showdown on Monday.
Halldene-based Fianna Fáil city councillor Mary Shields will be in Croke Park to watch her youngest son, Michael, line out in the back line for the senior team.
But she confirmed last night that she’ll be throwing her name in the hat, along with Cllr Terry Shannon, when her party meets on Monday night to select their nomination as the city’s next Lord Mayor. She was backed last night by Cllr Kenneth O’Flynn.
“In Cork’s city council history, there has only been three female Lords Mayor – Jane Dowdall, Chrissie Ahearne and Deirdre Clune. Of these, two have been members of the Fianna Fáil party,” Cllr Shields said.
The late Ms Ahearne was the last female Fianna Fáil Mayor of Cork, over 21 years ago and it’s time for another female to hold the chain of office, said Cllr Shields, who was first elected in 1999 in the south west ward.
She said family members are travelling from around the world to be in Croke Park on Sunday.
Meanwhile, an extra train was laid on by Iarnród Eireann yesterday, bringing to six the total number operating between Cork to Dublin on Sunday morning.
Fans planning to travel by train have been advised to book tickets online at www.irishrail.ie.
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