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NO CRAIC Con O'Callaghan on Dublin's 'strange' All-Ireland celebrations

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Con O'Callaghan celebrates following Dublin's All-Ireland victory over Mayo

Con O'Callaghan celebrates following Dublin's All-Ireland victory over Mayo

SPORTSFILE

 Dublin footballer Con O'Callaghan pictured with his PwC GAA / GPA Player of the Month Award for December

Dublin footballer Con O'Callaghan pictured with his PwC GAA / GPA Player of the Month Award for December

SPORTSFILE

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Con O'Callaghan celebrates following Dublin's All-Ireland victory over Mayo

ON the evening he collected his fifth All-Ireland SFC medal, Con O’Callaghan found himself back in his parents’ house reflecting on it all.

Just 24 years old, and with so much achieved already, there was none of the usual bleary-eyed chaos associated with winning an All-Ireland. The Sam Maguire stayed in Croke Park and after an hour in the dressing-room together, the six in-a-row winning Dublin footballers made their exit.

“Obviously there wasn’t that massive buzz,” the Cuala man said of the aftermath. “The morning after normally you’d be going to the children’s hospital and then straight to the Boar’s Head, or something like that.

"There would be thousands of fans all over the street, there would be just great craic and a great buzz around there. It was just different, we had to celebrate it in a different way but it was kind of unique and special in its own way.

“It was strange, we obviously spent an hour or so in the dressing room afterwards. A couple of lads obviously had to get tested, so we had fun in the dressing-room after but it was very much – we had parked in the Gibson (Hotel) before – so get back to the Gibson on the buses, go home to the family. It was different.

“Normally there is a load of chaos, a massive gathering, friends, family, media in the Gibson afterwards, it’s a huge gig, bright lights. It’s a bit crazy, it’s fun, like, but I suppose you could appreciate it on a wider level.”

O’Callaghan insists it still felt real. Even in the absence of crowds and the truncated season and with the convincing manner of Dublin’s wins, it still felt like championship glory. It was another medal for his collection and soon thoughts will turn to adding more.

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 Dublin footballer Con O'Callaghan pictured with his PwC GAA / GPA Player of the Month Award for December

Dublin footballer Con O'Callaghan pictured with his PwC GAA / GPA Player of the Month Award for December

SPORTSFILE

Dublin footballer Con O'Callaghan pictured with his PwC GAA / GPA Player of the Month Award for December

O’Callaghan has just started with PwC and is in the midst of a masters in accounting so there’s plenty to keep him going. But a return to county training could only be a few weeks away if the public health picture allows it.

And were it given the go-ahead by the relevant authorities, O’Callaghan would have no qualms about going back given how well the GAA’s restart went last year.

“I am at home with my parents. They are not elderly but you obviously would be conscious of that, and that you don’t want to catch it. We will be guided by public health and the guidelines there.

“We ran a pretty good championship where there were not that many cases. I know Sligo were hit pretty bad at the start of the championship.

“In terms of February I don’t know, we will just follow whatever they say, but it did work last year and if it can be run off in a safe manner like that then happy days, if not we will readjust.”

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