Mayo’s 2004 show of support for Tyrone in the aftermath of the tragic death of Cormac McAnallen

Colm Keys

Connections between Mayo and Tyrone may not be as strong as other counties, but back in 2004 bonds were formed in the aftermath of Cormac McAnallen’s sudden death.

Tyrone’s first game after the burial of their captain was against Mayo in Castlebar, and the night before a special mass was held in Ballintubber Abbey.

Memorably, the route into Castlebar was lined with messages of support from Mayo people and organisations, a show of solidarity greatly appreciated by the visitors.

After the game, a solemn affair which Tyrone won by 2-11 to 1-5, the squads then dined together.

Mayo would have their revenge on the result, however, when they knocked the All-Ireland champions out of the championship at the quarter-final stage later that year.

9/11 and the New York GAA connections

An All-Ireland final on the 20th anniversary of 9/11 with a New York-based president, Larry McCarthy, in office.

The terrorist attack on the Word Trade Centre in New York took the lives of almost 3,000, among them many with Irish connections in the city’s fire and police departments.

But there were two prominent GAA members, Damien Meehan from the Donegal club and Kieran Gorman from Sligo, who also died in the attack.

Gorman’s good friend Michael Burke, a New Yorker with connections to Tubbercurry and Charlestown, took part in the rescue effort, and last year embarked on a tour of Ireland delivering commemorative 9/11 jerseys, commissioned by O’Neill’s, to most of the 32 counties as part of a fundraising initiative for local charities of the counties’ choice.

Michael is currently raising money for the Colm Horkan Memorial Fund. Information and tickets for the virtual golf classic can be found at

Tyrone’s scoring spread

If Tyrone select the same starting team as they did for the semi-final, Michael O’Neill and Conn Kilpatrick will be the only two players not to have scored in their previous four games. Overall, 17 players have scored at least once, illustrating their versatility. Mayo, on 15, have had only two fewer.

Number of the day – 10  The number of counties that Mayo have faced in 17 All-Ireland finals. Wexford (1916), Dublin (1921, 2013, ’16, ’17 and ’20), Kerry (1932, ’97, 2004, ’06), Laois (1936), Cavan (1948), Louth (1950), Meath (1951, ’96), Cork (1989) Donegal (2012) and Tyrone (2021).

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