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In September 2018 the All Ireland Ladies Football final attracted a record attendance to Croke Park of 50,141 people to watch the players of Dublin, Cork, Meath, Tyrone, Limerick and Louth contest the Senior, Intermediate and Junior All Ireland Finals. It was a festival of football, full of colour, noise and spectacle. It was also packed with skill; athleticism and passion from six highly motivated and dedicated teams of ladies footballers.
Attendances for the ladies football final have been rising incrementally over recent years but to put the most recent final in perspective, the attendance is greater than the 23,771 full house that watched the recent headline grabbing Naomi Osaka / Serena Williams US tennis open final, and for women’s sport, the event comes close to the 53,341 who were at the women’s soccer World Cup Final in 2015. Mayo ladies footballers along with Ulster LGFA teams like Antrim, Armagh, Derry and Donegal ladies have played their
There is a symmetry this week with the return of The Underdogs to our screens and the retirement of the biggest and best Underdog of them all. The one and only Kieran Donaghy of Kerry.
Had the programme not returned to our screens, Star’s presence on it and success as its most high profile graduate would perhaps have been a footnote in his retirement story, but the return of the iconic show with the iconic jersey has sparked the curiosity of many GAA viewers too young to remember it the first time around.
Aside from Donaghy a number of other notable GAA figures have featured on the show. Looking back now the Underdogs was an unusual addition to our screens at the time, a reality TV light shone on the GAA we know so well.
There was a certain innocence about them playing the Dubs and then Kerry with both county teams fielding a reasonable number of established stars in games which took place in mid December. Among