Dancing in Croke Park.

Well “no All-Ireland is won in April,” and Kerry played a great game for an hour in Croke Park yesterday. But in the last 15 minutes a great Dublin team got Hill 16 singing Molly Malone by crushing Kerry, 2-18 to 13 points. High balls didn’t seem to work for Kerry and Dublin seemed to always make the right decisions.

After the game the GAA gave us the largest attended celebration of the 1916 Rising in music, song and dance. It was magnificent.

Patrick Cassidy’s haunting arrangement of Padraig Pearse’s lyrics sung by his niece Sibheal Cassidy held the half hour piece together. Patrick Cassidy was in Kerry at the start of the year for the wedding of Grainne O Sullivan and Gerard Barrett. He is a well known film composer who lives in LA and has written the music for Ger’s up and coming “Smalltown” television series.


I liked the way the pageant started with the Northern myth that has so dominated the Irish experience, the Cuchulainn violent story. This myth gave way to the singing of “oro se do bheatha bhaile.” Through dance we were invited to look up. Inspiring words from Michael Cusack, Padraig Pearse were heard alongside words from John Redmond and Edward Carson as they recruited Irishmen for W.W.I. Then Lisa Lambe sang Canon O Neill’s “The Foggy Dew.” Tom Barry’s famous question ,’what did it all mean?’ was asked. The survivor of the Civil War asked a question that still echoes down through the years. Then children spoke the Proclamation and Micheal O Muircheartaigh finished with the words ‘ni neart go chur le cheile ,’ our strength is in being together.’ His gentle, liturgical language lead to connections with the GAA family globally and then the grand finale.

We were given so much to think about as a new formative peaceful myth was being crafted or was sensed. The turf of Croke Park was filled with feet and not a football in sight. It was smoke filled and so many of the selfie generation were smiling at the camera. What a great amount of work and thought went into the pageant and congrats to everyone involved.

If you missed it, here is a chance to see it. Link expires Sunday 15 May 2016.

//players.brightcove.net/1290862567001/EJpe9ul_g_default/index.html?videoId=4860412670001

Direct Link to TG4 Player here

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