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column They have lost the aura which protected them in recent seasons, but don't write off the Dubs just yet

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Dean Rock and Jonny Cooper were instrumental in Dublin's 6-in-a-row. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Dean Rock and Jonny Cooper were instrumental in Dublin's 6-in-a-row. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Aidan O’Shea of Mayo under pressure from Eoin Murchan of Dublin.

Aidan O’Shea of Mayo under pressure from Eoin Murchan of Dublin.

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Dean Rock and Jonny Cooper were instrumental in Dublin's 6-in-a-row. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

I was reminded of the late PJ Mara’s famous retort to a critic of the then Taoiseach Charlie Haughey ‘Go dance on somebody’s else grave’ after Dublin’s All-Ireland semi-final defeat last weekend.

At the best of times Dublin would not be the most popular team in the country and going unbeaten for six seasons in championship football did nothing to endear them to GAA fans outside the capital.

Still, it would be churlish not to acknowledge their greatness – we will never see the likes of them again.

But it’s way too soon to write them off.

Let’s be honest few of us envisaged then losing at half time or even deep in the second half after a Dean Rock free gave them a five-point advantage in the 59thminute.

Ultimately, they were swept away by a Mayo surge which was as surprising as it was decisive. It ought not to be forgotten though that it took a retaken 45 deep into injury time to send the game into extra time.

Still, not even Dub fans would begrudge Mayo this win. So often, they have ended up on the wrong side of these epic encounters against Dublin. They deserved a break –their big regret, of course, was that there was no trophy handed out afterwards.

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Aidan O’Shea of Mayo under pressure from Eoin Murchan of Dublin.

Aidan O’Shea of Mayo under pressure from Eoin Murchan of Dublin.

Aidan O’Shea of Mayo under pressure from Eoin Murchan of Dublin.

This was an All-Ireland semi-final and Mayo’s long-suffering fans don’t need to be reminded what happened in the 2006 and 2012 All-Ireland finals after they had dumped Dublin out in the semi-final. They didn’t finish the job.

This is the 70th anniversary of their last All-Ireland win in 1951. Can they finally bridge that gap?

One suspects the last thing they needed was a four-week break before the final, even if it will give Oisin Mullin time to recover from the quad injury which side-lined him last weekend.

A post-mortem after a failed All-Ireland campaign will be a new experience for the majority of the Dublin squad. Their then manager Jim Gavin set the tone for the last one in 2014 after they lost to Donegal in the semi-final.

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He accepted responsibility for what happened and during his reign there was never a repeat performance. It is only in hindsight that Gavin’s greatness as a coach/manager/psychologist will be recognised.

Dessie Farrell knew he was inheriting a poison chalice when he took the job.

It was a bit like taking over as manager of Manchester United after the departure of Alex Ferguson. There was no way Farrell was going to win six All-Ireland’s or five in a row like his predecessor.

He did win one and if given the chance by the Dublin GAA Board, he will have an opportunity to add to his All-Ireland managerial CV.

In 1983 Kerry lost their first match in the Munster championship since 1974 when Tadgh Murphy scored a famous last-minute goal for Cork in the provincial final. It was a particularly bad blow to the Kingdom who had blown their chance of winning the historic five All-Ireland titles in a row the previous September against Offaly.

But Kerry didn’t fade away. They regrouped under Mick O’Dwyer and with minimum changes in the squad, won another three All-Ireland titles on the spin before father time finally caught up with them.

It was a somewhat similar tale with Kilkenny hurlers who failed in their bid for the five in a row in 2010 when they lost to a magnificent Tipperary side. But with Brian Cody at the helm they avenged that loss in the 2011 final and went on to win again in 2012 and another brace in 2014 and 2015.

Given the age profile of the majority of the Dublin squad they will almost certainly win another couple of titles before we reach the half-way point of his decade.

But they have lost the aura which protected them in recent seasons.

For the sake of the Leinster championship hopefully every team will be empowered by what Mayo did.

They refused to show Dublin any respect and just drove at them at the business end of the game.

Fourth Division strugglers Wexford deserve a lot of credit because they were the first team in Leinster to demonstrate that Dublin might have a soft underbelly in the quarter-final of the provincial series this summer.

Ultimately, they failed but at least they discommended the Dubs and from that moment the champions’ vulnerability was evident.

But my advice is don’t write off Dublin just yet.

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