Listening to the opening half of the All Ireland, in Buenos Aires, on Radio na Gaeltachta was magical; SBB poetically describing Galway dictate and dominate. The imagery and beauty of his Irish words helping us believe, so too did the call to Connemara and Daideo`s optimistic prediction- Galway by 5.By half-time, with Galway ahead by 3, history beckoned; we decided to see it for ourselves. I fiddled with the borrowed laptop, connected cables, downloaded apps and finally got images on TV.
The previous Friday, I lunched in the Brothers` residence with Br Thomas and Br Sean, Galway men with an encyclopedic knowledge of Irish sport especially hurling. Thomas has been in South America for over 40 years, ,Seán ten years longer. Both were excited and nervous about the final. Discovering that my wife`s nephew, Jack had played football for this year`s Galway U21s. Br.Sean recounted the final against Roscommon and Jack`s game at full-back. Comprehensive communication is instant now but years ago the Brothers would have to tune in with short-wave radios and hope the BBC World Service mentioned the All-Ireland result as a final sports item. If not, they would have to wait a week for the result. They would never dream then of making a telephone call. How times have changed!
We had invited Thomas to watch the semi-final against Tipp with us but he was too nervous to watch, preferring to pray in church and catch snippets in city centre cafes. We too listened to the semi-final at a café on Peña, outside at a street table breakfasting in glorious sunshine. The mobile phone, onthe table next to the pastries and coffee, broadcasting wonderful words, commentary that licensed our dreams and memories. Galway won a thriller that day but today`s images on the television brought us back to reality. Kilkenny smothered Galway in the second half. Blurry figures moved like Darragh`s PlayStation players as the screen buffered and rebooted. TV images lagged the radio commentary so we abandoned words. Galway lost and it was my fault apparently. Darragh was upset. `You should have left the radio on, everything changed when you turned on the telly. You brought us bad luck!’