Gaillimh Abú

Today’s the day for the All-Ireland Hurling Final in Croke Park.  All week long, sunshine has beamed down on us. Social media were a-buzz with photographs of the harvest being brought in.  Machines worked late into the night.  During the glory days of Wexford hurling in the 1970’s, my classmates in boarding school in Bunclody used to tell how in hurling families,  the men were excused for training and the women brought in the harvest with the help of neighbours.  ‘Meitheal‘ at its very best.  The job of the babies was to pose for photos in the Liam McCarthy Cup, once it was won.

All of Ireland pulses as one today.  All roads lead to Croke Park.  Galway will play Kilkenny in the Senior Final and the teams are well matched.  My home town, Portumna is well represented by Andy Smith, Damien Hayes and Joe Canning.  We’ve great tickets so we look forward to cheering them on.

But, there’s more…the matter of the Minor Hurling Championship between Dublin and Tipperary at 1.15 pm. Our family owes a great loyalty to Tipperary having spent most of our family summers by the Shannon in Dromineer, with the children doing an occasional summer camp in Kiladangan.  Iníon a trí, however, gave a little insight into the life of a Dublin Minor player recently….

– Oh, by the way, I’m not going to X’s debs any more…

– Why’s that ?

– He’s not allowed go- his manager has told them all that they can’t miss training.

– Oh- that’s a pity.  Does he mind ?

– No, that’s the way it is.

– Do you mind ?

– No…I mean….look what they’re aiming for…..  but I’d love to get a ticket for the match…..

No prizes for guessing who she’ll be supporting in the Minors today!

Very Berry Granola made by the Foods of Athenry

The Lawless family of The Foods of Athenry sent me some of their wares recently- good, nutritious, tasty food.  Flapjacks made of organic oats packed with essential minerals, vitamins and  soluble fibre.

And granola.   Now we’re only supporters in our house here in Dublin 9.  Later on we’ll don our colours and walk down to Croker early to ‘soak up the atmos’  ( yes, we did all get tickets, not together, but who cares?). But first, in a spirit of comradeship with the Galway team, we’ll breakfast on Very Berry Granola from the Foods of Athenry.  Fear Chéile likes to add pecans and blueberries to his.  I’ll add Mossfield Natural Yogurt and half a banana, chopped, to mine. Iníon a trí and her cousin?  Still in bed but will rise to the occasion.

Bowl of Granola from The Foods of Athenry with Mossfield Yogurt and banana

It occurred to me that a drizzle of honey would make the photograph look prettier, but to be honest, on the day that’s in it, I couldn’t.  Would our fine players do it?  In the spirit of ‘gloine ár gcroí agus neart ár ngéag’ (the cleanness of our hearts and the strength of our limbs) they certainly wouldn’t.  Anyway, this granola is bursting with goodness…fibre, multigrains, milled flax seeds and linseeds for an omega-3 boost.  And the Lawless Family added the honey already so why gild the lily?

With a bit of luck there’ll be bonfires burning on the hilltops as the Liam McCarthy cup is carried across the Shannon tomorrow evening. The west’s awake!  Gaillimh Abú!

Postscript: both matches were a draw.  Brilliantly played by both sides in each case. Replay on Sunday 30th September 2012. 

Keep on eating your granola, Lads…breakfast of champions!

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About haysparks

Viewing the world, the human condition, our history, evolution and health through the prism of food.
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