CONCERNS for the safety of several Mayo GAA fans are growing today, after it was reported that contact has been lost with groups of supporters who set out earlier this week on the treacherous journey to the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick for this Saturday’s All-Ireland semi-final replay against Kerry.
The fans had set out early to beat the traffic to Limerick for the much anticipated match, after a clash with a previously scheduled American Football game meant the replay could not take place in Croke Park; the first time in over a decade that an All-Ireland semi final would not take place at GAA headquarters.
Looking to avoid notorious traffic hotspots such as Tuam and Claregalway, several thousand Mayo supporters set off on Monday morning at 6 AM. Progress was said to be going well until all contact was lost with the party at around lunchtime yesterday, and as of time of print has yet to be re-established.
“Mayo For Sam 1, this is Mayo For Sam Actual, do you copy, over?” said Fr. Sean O’Ryan, from the Mayo supporters command centre in Westport.
“Mayo For Sam 1, if you read me, what is your position, over? Nothing… I’ve been on the radio for nearly 24 hours now, and I haven’t heard any word back at all. I should have known letting them attempt the journey from Mayo to Limerick was a one-way street, but they couldn’t be stopped. Squad leader Eamon Hettigan told me, ‘I didn’t paint this Ford Escort green and red for nothing, old timer’ and then lead them onto the N17”.
Fr. O’Ryan turned to a large radar screen, where flashing neon lights pointed to the supporters last known location, about 18 miles outside of Gort.
“God damn those GAA fucks for forcing us to do this,” said the priest, lighting another Silk Cut.
“They should have known when they scheduled the replay for Limerick what would happen. But they got their blood money for the Yank football game and just threw us to the fucking wolves. I can tell you now, not one of those bastards knows what it’s like to be stuck in Claregalway for three hours with kickoff bearing down and a match ticket burning a hole in your pocket”.
As teams tried desperately to regain contact, fears began to spread among the ten people left in Mayo as to what would happen when the traveling supporters ran out of provisions.
“We know they had enough ham sandwiches to last them for a week,” said Brian O’Brady, who didn’t join the supporters because he’s more of a hurling man.
“And they had flasks of tea that should still be hot, if they closed the lids on them properly. But after that, there’s only a few packs of Tayto, maybe a few Yellow Snack bars”.
He turned, pointing out strategic locations on the board.
“If they can make it into Gort, there’s a Supermacs there. After that, there isn’t another one for nearly twenty miles. We can only hope that they hold out, and don’t have to resort to eating each other”.