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All Ireland Dubs expecting business as usual at a fanless semi-final like no other but

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Lockout: Dubs fan Gerry Gowran pictured ahead of the Cavan clash. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Lockout: Dubs fan Gerry Gowran pictured ahead of the Cavan clash. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Lockout: Dubs fan Gerry Gowran pictured ahead of the Cavan clash. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Dubs fans may be locked out of Croke Park this evening, but that won’t stop them cheering on the Boys in Blue.

The five-in-a-row winners’ last All-Ireland semi-final drew an 82,000 sell-out crowd on an August evening, as they beat Mayo on their way to retaining the Sam Maguire Cup.

However, the pandemic has led to this year’s game being played on a cold December evening, with no fans allowed into GAA Headquarters.

It means that there was no rush for tickets, and the streets around the stadium today won’t be filled with fans awaiting throw-in, or touts offering last-minute tickets.

Instead, Dubs are supporting their team from home or in the pubs around Croker – and are already making plans for the final later this month.

Gerry Gowran, better known as ‘Dublin Gerry’ in GAA circles, has been going to Dublin games since 1958 and today’s match will be the first major fixture he has missed in over half a century.

He told the Irish Independent: “We have to go by the rules. If we tried to get into (Croke Park) and got in, it would only start World War III. It would only be causing trouble, so we have to bite the bullet. The coverage on television is excellent, in fairness, so it will have to do.”

Noel McMullen, whose family have been based around Croke Park for three generations and are loyal supporters, said that he will be watching a Dublin game from home for the first time in years.

“Before the matches, there would always be a gang of us in the pub and having the craic and the banter. That won’t happen this year, which will be strange.”

Like many loyal Dublin supporters, it will also be the first semi-final Noel has missed since the Dubs claimed their first Sam Maguire this century in 2011.

Online Editors


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