No unadorned surface has been left untouched, no bare space undecorated, as walls, animals, bales of hay, and cars have been given the blue and white treatment as Waterford fans prepare for their first All-Ireland final in nine years, with their heroes attempting to bridge a winning gap stretching to 1959.
Just retired and outside the bubble, Cork’s Daniel Goulding can reflect now on half a decade when the Rebels were consistently at football’s top table. The trials of Mayo remind the Éire Óg man that Cork’s 2010 All-Ireland title is to be cherished. But just as he might have been, were those halcyon days from 2007 to 2012 taken for granted?
It’s the hope that gets you every time. You subconsciously start to build walls after disappointments to protect yourself, and you insist you won’t let the same blind faith seep in and cloud your judgement again.
John Martin closes the front door of his uncle Nick Power’s house behind him and makes for the top of Oxmantown road. His instruction, from there, is to turn right onto North Circular Road and head in the direction of the City centre until Croke Park presents itself in the Dublin skyline. Martin, having never been to Croker, hasn’t one iota where he’s going.
False modesty may be something Jim Gavin can occasionally leave himself open to being accused of, but no such thing is at play when he insists that Kevin Heffernan’s team of the 70s will always hold pride of place in the Dublin football pantheon.
Teddy McCarthy has claimed he was treated ‘like some bowsie in a nightclub’ when attempting to enter Croke Park on Sunday - the former dual star a notable absentee from the 1990 Cork jubilee team presented to the crowd prior to the All-Ireland football decider.