Back home in Mayo

Posted in Connect on September 19, 2014.

It was probably the dulcet tones of Joe Duffy that confirmed to my brain yesterday afternoon, that we were back in Ireland. We had landed in Dublin just before 9am and got on our buses back to Mayo soon after, but most of us had fallen asleep on the journey home. Then, sometime after noon I awoke to hear Duffy on the radio advertising his upcoming show – I don’t think any of us were in the mood to listen to him right then.

We had left the hotel in Montvale at 4pm (NY time) the previous day amid scenes of great emotion. Our great friends Mike, Ailish and the kids, Frank, Eilee, Ann-Marie and John Martin were there to wave us off and I have to admit that there was a lump in my throat as we parted from those wonderful people. We’ll meet again, I pray. Frank even managaed to do the Castlebar haka as the buses pulled away from the hotel and we set off for Kennedy.

The group were slightly more subdued than usual as we headed for the airport, but there was great excitement about getting home to meet loved ones and tell them about our amazing trip.

Many of the party were worried about the weight of their bags but a session of weighing before we left the hotel ensured that everyone was just about under the limit. Orla Barry has to be commended for her accuracy as her bag weighed in at 22.6kg (the limit was 23kg). We got through to departures and had over an hour to kill there but that was no penance, given the hectic schedule of the previous 10 or 11 days.

The girls sat and chatted and chilled and some even managed to locate footballs and had a game in the departures lounge while we waited.
We were soon in the air, heading for Dublin and back home to Ireland. The flight was uneventful, but the Mayo girls were happy and when we landed on home soil they were rejuvenated once again. Moran’s buses were on hand to collect us as soon as left the terminal and in no time at all we were pulling in to Applegreen for breakfast.
At that stage, eveyone just wanted to get home and get a hug from those waiting back in Mayo and it wasn’t long before we were heading west once again.
Sleep overcame most people at that stage and most visited slumberland but Joe Duffy’s intervemtion ensured that I was back in the land of the living as we approached Ballaghaderreen.

When the convoy passed Bohola everyone was awake and ready for arrival. Jim Moore lifted the mood with a short rendition of The Rose of Tralee, before Gary Middleton and Conor Waldron took over and the three boys guided us home in the mood that we had left – happy and joyous.
There was a big group of family and friends waiting for us at Mayo Leisure Point and there were tears of joy shed as families were reunited once again. Immediately, tales of an amazing trip were being trotted out and the excitement in the eyes of those who waited at home was a joy to behold. I’m sure they’ve been well acquainted with the events in New York by now.

The sun was beaming out of the sky when we arrived home, but today (Tuesday) the rain has made a determined comeback. I don’t think any of us mind. We’re too tired to care about the weather today.

It’s great to be home – but we’ll never forget our time in Montvale, Mike and Ailish’s, Pearl River, Washingtonville, Gaelic Park, Rockland, Ramapo Valley, Woodbury Common, Pallisades, Emmet’s Castle, NYC and everything in between. We’ll have another update later in the week when the brain returns to normal and the county U-16 final has been played, but for now – thanks for reading these ramblings over the past week or two. Pictures from the trip can be accessed on the facebook pages of Team Castlebar 2012 and my own personal one.




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