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Cork's red-y Cork supporters confident of ending 16 year wait for All-Ireland hurling final win

'This Limerick team is a fantastic team but I think we can do it'

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Justin and his three sons outside their home.

Justin and his three sons outside their home.

Justin and his three sons outside their home.

It has been 16 years since Cork won an All-Ireland hurling final and nobody is more excited for the match today then superfan Joe Cole (77), who got tattoos on both of his arms two years ago – one for Charleville GAA, and the other the Cork GAA coat of arms with the motto “Cork Forever”.

Joe has a ticket for the match this afternoon and he is hoping the men from Leeside will have the edge over their rivals.

“I live and die for Cork. For every beating we have gotten from Kilkenny in the hurling I have been there, and the same with Kerry and the football. This Limerick team is a fantastic team but I think we can do it,” he says.

“I have painted ‘Up Cork’ at my house and I have goalposts and bunting. What I got on my tattoo ‘Cork Forever’ is going up on my headstone. Well, when I die !”

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Joe Cole, at 77, is dedicated Cork GAA fan.

Joe Cole, at 77, is dedicated Cork GAA fan.

Joe Cole, at 77, is dedicated Cork GAA fan.

 

 

 

Joe’s hurling idol is the late Cork legend Christy Ring who he says is a true icon. “I didn’t see much of him in his own time but I read all the books and looked at the pictures. He was the greatest that ever was. A true icon of Cork. And also I love ­Jimmy ­Barry Murphy.”

Meanwhile, in Ballinhassig, Co Cork, father-of-three Justin Nagle has set up a Cork light show at his home, synced to the theme of The Sunday Game.  Justin’s wife Colette urged him to set up the red and white lights and he was helped by their sons Cian (10) Alan (12) and 14-year-old Brian.

The display is turned on from 8pm to ­midnight nightly and Justin says the ­reaction from locals has been fantastic.

“People have been stopping to look at it,” he says.

“Cork Chamber have reached out to businesses and encouraged them to decorate their offices. Home is the new office. So we decided to decorate.

“My 10-year-old picked out the song, Come On Ye Rebels, I picked the Sunday Game theme myself, one of Colette’s business partners suggested the The Boys of Fair Hill and we also have After All, by the Frank and Walters because I grew up in Bishopstown where they are from.

“There are cars pulling up every night for a look at the house. There is a great buzz. We also have the names of three local lads who are involved in the matches up there.”

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Light show on house

Light show on house

Light show on house

 

Locals are excited for Ballinhassig club men Darragh O’Sullivan, Patrick Collins and Ger Collins who have minor and senior involvement in matches this weekend.

Meanwhile, the HSE, the gardaí, Cork City Council and Cork County Council have come together to remind fans to avoid over-crowded settings and celebrate safely because of Covid-19.

Dr Philippa White, a specialist in public health medicine, asked everyone planning to watch the match to do so safely.

She warned that everyone (even those fully ­vaccinated) should still wear a mask in crowded spaces; and keep two metres away from people outside their household.

“We encourage everyone to remember to ­socialise safely – wear a mask in crowded ­places, and keep two metres from people not in your household. If you are in a crowded place, think about moving to somewhere less crowded and with good ventilation, so that you can enjoy the game in safety and comfort,” Dr White said.

She added that the community transmission rate in many parts of the country is now very high.

“We have a very high rate of community transmission in most parts of Ireland right now, so if you are travelling to the match or watching it with others this weekend, you should presume that you will encounter Covid-19. That’s why it’s important to keep up with our protective measures, even if you’re vaccinated. And for anyone who is not vaccinated, please take extra care this weekend,” Dr White said.

Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Colm Kelleher has said: "Please take heed of public health advice. We’ve come so far and still need to band together to protect the vulnerable people in our communities.”

And he added:  “Show your support and celebrate our great Cork team by painting the town red."

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