The miracles of modern technology - I don’t get a meaningful communication from a living being from one end of the week to the other (despite the 4 or 5 means of communication available) but here I am tonight in the SW of France watching Shamrock Rovers return to a home of their own after 22 years without a ground (thanks to RTÉ’s website). They had looked like beating Sligo Rovers quite comfortably but the other Rovers have pulled a goal back with a few minutes left - which will get yer man Seanachie’s hopes up.
Despite my own personal preference leaning towards the team from Dublin 7 - I must admit to feeling a wee bit of emotion looking over the scenes preceding the match - especially the minute’s applause for all the Hoops fans not having lived long enough to see this day. Tellingly enough, given recent history, the demise of Glenmalure Park was in great part attributable to property developers and the start of our 20 years of madness - I note with regret that Bohs future now seems to balance on the tail-end of the same lunacy. Hopefully, the market has fallen sufficiently through its own arse to leave Dalymount intact.
For Rovers part, it is good to see a full house tonight and I hope this will continue through the season - particularly after the completion of the second stand. I have to grudgingly admit that their Tallafornia home should be the best stadium in the country by the end of this season. In the light of how the League of Ireland has floundered through the Celtic Tiger era - it is pleasant to have some good news to look over for a change. Our ‘greatest fans in the world’ continue to have their fat arses bolted to either a couch or a barstool in front of which the Premiership spews pounds sterling all over them - and, worse still, they seem to still enjoy this. Following last season from afar was an ordeal - most clubs starting off, financially speaking, barely covered in rags found themselves stark bollock-naked by the end of the campaign. It seemed like a pathetic microcosm of the rest of the country. Rollercoasters do go back up again once they hit the big dip, don’t they ?
To finish up (update - final score: a 2-1 victory for the Tallaght boys) I’m afraid I have to quote George Byrne (a Rovers fan, I believe) and thank the ‘bogball’ boys for managing to delay this night by a couple of years by invoking the ancient Gaelic right to ‘have de law on ye’. Even if the bogsports crowd didn’t get in in the end - I have to salute the municipal ownership of/involvement in the ground - the model that is followed over here (in France) for most of the famous football grounds. Unfortunately, I think it will be the only example we’ll see in Ireland for the forseeable.
Also hope their party’ll end with Bohs visit next weekend. Too much good news ain’t good for no-one.
Footnote: There are a couple of aerial shots of the old Milltown and a record of an event which took place at the moxy development built on the site of the ground on the 20th anniversary of its closure in albertw’s flickr gallery here