Originally written by Conor Neville in 2015
According to Maurice Fitzgerald's account, culchies had all their prejudices confirmed when the 2001 All-Ireland quarter-final was delayed slightly because the Dublin supporters were slow in finding their way to Thurles. The papers the day afterwards didn't play up this detail.
It was the first ever round of All-Ireland football quarter-finals, and Dublin, losers of the Leinster final to Meath, were drawn to play Kerry in Semple Stadium. Hill 16 was transported to the Killinan End for the day.
At this point, younger readers may find it hard to believe that the GAA were once so carefree and casual about money that they agreed to schedule a Dublin-Kerry championship match for a venue other than Croke Park. Why was the game (both games, in fact) played down there?
This was the era when the GAA, and even non-Dubs, longed for a lengthy Dublin run in the championship for the sake of the auld "glamour" and for the much-trumpeted financial benefits. But still they weren't as welded to the idea of Dublin playing every single bloody game there as they later became. For one thing, the Croke Park capacity wasn't what it is now. The Hogan Stand just consisted of a lower deck in 2001. And the Dubs weren't then so regal that the didn't GAA see fit to allow them play out of Croker every now and again.
Also. the All-Ireland quarter-finals were a new thing and no one had yet decided it was mandatory that they should be played in Croke Park.
Kerry were All-Ireland champions, but the class of 2000 were hardly the most imperious Kerry outfit that ever won Sam. They needed replays to beat Armagh and Galway in the semi-final and the final respectively.
Dublin hadn't won a Leinster title in six years but there was a very tentative belief that they were making progress. They weren't requiring last minute equalisers to force replays against Laois at that stage, at any rate.
Kerry held Dublin at arms length for most of the game. With a quarter of an hour left, there were eight points in it. The introduction of Vinnie Murphy, which in later years often seemed like more of a theatrical gesture than a practical attempt to get back in a game, proved decisive that day.
In a frantic finish, the Dubs rustled up two goals, the first of them through Vinnie with the second punched home by Darren Homan after a Wayne McCarthy free dropped short. Amazingly, Dublin were in front. They held the lead for no time at all. With Tommy Carr providing unasked for audio accompaniment, Kerry sub Maurice Fitzgerald swerved over possibly his most famous score.
It was a moral victory, a category of victory which is no longer up for grabs for Dublin. Carr, wound up to the max all afternoon, gave a screaming, fist-pumping salute to the displaced Hill 16 after the game.
Shortly before the Dubs' unexpected revival, Carr scampered onto the pitch and delivered a textbook example of the 'hairdryer treatment' to referee to Mick Curley following an allegedly soft free. There he was screaming at the top of the lungs into Curley's face from a distance of about four inches. He was so unhinged that day, so coursing with outrage, that no one dared keep him in line.
The Galway-Roscommon quarter-final was featured as the second part of the double header, very definitely the less attractive of the two games. Deploying a theme park analogy, Pat Spillane told audiences that he felt he'd just enjoyed/endured a spin on the Big Dipper and was now set for a leisurely paddle down the Lazy River. Ironically, it was from the Lazy River match-up came the eventual All-Ireland champions.
In the replay, the on-fire John Crowley banged in a couple of goals and Kerry won a less memorable game. Kerry's win in the replay preceded one of their darkest days, a grotesque mauling at the hands of Meath. Every Meath fist-pass provoking hoorays from the crowd at the end.
As a result, Meath supporters practically conga-danced their way into Croke Park for the final in September. The team were promptly landed on their backside in a one-sided loss to Galway, who had stuttered their way, sometimes unconvincingly, through the qualifiers to the final.
Tommy Carr was removed as Dublin manager at the end of the year on the casting vote of county board chairman John Bailey. This decision provoked a mystifying revolt among Dublin supporters, for whom Carr's popularity had survived four successive years without a Leinster title. One especially zealous Carr advocate even brought a 'Bring Back Tom Carr' flag to the international rules in Australia that autumn.
Dublin vs Kerry 2001 - Where are they now?
Kerry's goalkeeper during the Paídí Ó Sé era, he quit the inter-county scene when Ó Sé was sacked. The guard from Rathmore moved to Clare in the mid-2000s where he played with Clooney-Quin and St Joseph's Doora-Barefield. He's now a coach with the Clare footballers under Colm Collins.
Won a series of All-Ireland titles in the noughties from the subs bench. The Castleisland man retired from inter-county football at the beginning of 2008.
The Footballer of the Year in 2000, Moynihan is now often grouped among the finest Kerry defenders of all-time. Won four All-Irelands, all of them achieved against Connacht teams. Quit after the '06 final.
Only retired from club football with Glenflesk in 2011. Became a selector under Darragh O'Sé with the Kerry U21s in 2015.
Works as a business development manager with Musgraves.
One of his best displays for Kerry arrived eight years later against Dublin when, having emerged from retirement, he was a highly visible and energetic presence as Kerry demolished Dublin and triggered a wave of necessary soul-searching in the capital. He retired from inter-county football for a second time in 2010, aged 32.
The Footballer of the Year in 2004. He won all of Kerry's five titles in the noughties. Though he retired a year too early to pick up a sixth title in 2014.
Along with being a dicky-bow wearing pundit on The Sunday Game, he is also a teacher in Cork. He will manage the Glanmire intermediate footballers in 2021.
Won three All-Ireland titles from centre-back between 2000 and 2006. He became Kerry manager in 2013, succeeding Jack O'Connor, and won the All-Ireland the following year. Stepped down as manager in 2018 following a poor championship.
He is the principal for Pobalscoil Corcha Dhuibhne in Dingle.
Played for Kerry for 12 years, winning five All-Ireland titles. He was Man of the Match in the 2009 final. His manager Jack O'Connor had already written a startlingly frank book in which he made plain, and made plain at great length, that O'Sullivan's defiant casualness and laid-back approach drove him around the bend.
O'Sullivan was the pupil smoking at the back of the bike shed (always bike sheds, isn't it?) and skimped on the homework front but who nonetheless delivered come exam time.
The garda foiled a robbery in 2015 when he tackled a few hurley brandishing thieves trying to make their escape.
The most decorated of the Ó Sé brothers. He noses ahead of Tomás and Marc by virtue of being old enough to have played in 1997.
Spent three seasons as Kerry U21 manager between 2013 and 2015.
Primarily works with Property Partners Daly Ó Sé in Tralee but is also an Irish Times columnist.
The midfiedler's workrate was extolled in a memorable to all who heard it pre-2000 All-Ireland football final song. Won two All-Irelands in the Paídí Ó Sé era.
The Firies clubman now works as games manager for Kerry GAA.
2001 was the Dr Crokes player's first championship season. He won three All-Irelands in 2004, 2006, 2007. Works as a solicitor with Brosnan and Co in Killarney.
Won his only All-Ireland title with Kerry in 2000, falling out of favour from 2003 onwards. Spent two seasons as a selector with the Kerry U21s during Darragh Ó Sé's time as manager.
He recently became an account executive with Heineken Ireland.
Aodán Mac Gearailt
A prominent figure in 2000, he hit 0-3 in the All-Ireland final replay against Galway.
Secondary school principal at Meán Scoil Castlegregory, he was nominated for the Person of the Year award in 2015 for helping a student who suffered from depression. The student said that he had saved her life.
Frequent contributor to TG4's football coverage.
Mike Frank Russell
In some senses the most decorated player of all time, in that he has won almost every major national title with the exception of the Railway Cup.
He won All-Irelands at senior, minor and U21, an All-Ireland club title, the Hogan Cup, the Sigerson Cup, the National League, an All-Star and played in a successful international rules tour. He last played for Kerry in the 2009 league before opting out of the panel before that year's championship.
He is a primary school teacher.
Free taker who won three All-Irelands for Kerry between 1997 and 2004. He was captain for the last of those. He retired from inter-county football in 2006, aged 30. He took over as chairman of the An Ghaeltacht club in his native West Kerry in January, 20201.
He works for Raidió na Gaeltachta.
Won three All-Irelands between 1997 and 2004, the first of which was one largely as a sub, though he did something that few Kerry players not called Maurice Fitzgerald did and actually scored in '97 final. A frequent scorer in 2000, he was hitting his absolute peak in 2001, destroying the Dubs in the replay.
He is a garda.
His final year in a Kerry jersey having made his inter-county debut in 1988, a terrible year for a Kerryman to make his inter-county debut. Unlike many of the stalwarts of Kerry's lost years, he hung around long enough to win Sam.
He continued to play with St Mary's Cahirciveen long beyond the end of his inter-county career. Managed the club to an All-Ireland intermediate title win in 2016.
He is currently a selector in Peter Keane's Kerry senior management team. He is also principal of Coláiste na Sceilge in Cahirciveen.
John O'Leary was Dublin numero uno from 1981 to 1997. And Stephen Cluxton has held it down since 2002. But in between, it was Davy Byrne who held down the position for a few seasons in the Tom Carr era. Abruptly quit prior to the 2002 championship season.
He worked as a goalkeeping coach with the Dubin footballers under Jim Gavin's management. He also managed Ratoath to their first ever Meath SFC title in 2019.
The Dublin dual player was deployed at corner back that day. He later played all around the pitch. Ryan was probably at his best at midfield when he used to charge through defences in the later part of his career. Won an All-Star in 2009. He was forced to retire from inter-county football and hurling in 2012, aged 33.
He works as a teacher.
Arguably, the most popular and widely praised Dublin footballer of that era. Christie, of Ballymun Kickhams, won several Leinster titles in the noughties before retiring in 2007.
Christie was part of David Power's Tipperary backroom team as they won the Munster Football Championship for the first time in 85 years in 2020. He will manage the Tipperary U20s in 2021.
He is also principal of Kilcoskan National School in North Dublin.
Won Dublin's only All-Star in 2001. Would prove to be his only All-Star too. Picked up a pile of Leinster titles in the noughties, retiring around 2007.
Works for AIB.
His final season in a Dublin jersey, Curran had been a fixture on the Dublin team since the relatively exciting days of the early 90s. One of Dublin's best players when they finally got over the line against Tyrone in 1995.
He managed Ballymun Kickhams to the All-Ireland club final in 2012/13, Clann na nGael to the Roscommon SFC title in 2015, and won the Dublin SFC2 with Cuala in 2020.
An All-Ireland club winner with Kilmacud, Magee played for the Dubs during the late 90s and early 2000s, returning briefly for a bit part role in the 2007 season.
He spent three seasons as Wicklow manager between 2015 and 2017.
In 2004, brattish and shady Australian snooker player Quenten Hann suggested that Gaelic footballers were weaklings next to Aussie Rules lads. And weaklings generally.
Magee fought Hann in three rounds in a charity boxing match. Charity or no charity, Magee broke his nose and beat him easily.
It wasn't the most elegant of fights.
Impressive wing back for the Dubs throughout the noughties and the older brother of Paddy. Quit the Dublin squad at the relatively young age of 29.
He works as a tax partner for EY.
Retired in 2009, having made his inter-county in the unfortunate year of 1996. He was Dublin's most celebrated player in the All-Ireland free years.
He regularly works as a Gaelic football pundit for RTÉ. He is also Head of Enterprise, Sport and Education for insurance company Marsh.
Played through the late 90s to the mid 2000s, winning a couple of Leinsters. Was told to quit football in 2005 but returned to win an All-Ireland junior title with Mick Deegan's Dublin side in 2008.
Like Charlie Redmond before him, combined Dublin senior football with firefighting with the Dublin Fire Brigade.
Ballymun player Robertson played during that dark period when even Leinster titles were out of reach. Fisted an equalising point which rescued Dublin against Laois in the 1998 championship. Was widely accepted to have picked the ball clean off the ground before popping it over. Laughing, he told the Sunday Game evening show that there was a bobble on the ground.
He retired from football in 2006 due to injury troubles. His last championship appearance had been two years previous in the All-Ireland quarter-final defeat to Kerry.
Works as a doctor. Selector with the Dublin senior team in 2012.
Played for Dublin throughout the noughties, Moran was forced to retire altogether in 2009 after a failed hip operation.
He is a director in the Bank of Ireland retail banking department.
Won more silverware at Leitrim than he did it with Dublin, playing as he did through Leitrim's finest era and a relatively bleak era for Dublin football.
He was a selector during Jim Gavin's unprecedented era of success in recent years. He works with family construction company Darcy Bros.
The GAA's very own Big Jim Larkin. He was CEO of the GPA from 2002 to 2016.
Now the Dublin senior manager with an All-Ireland already under his belt.
Was at this point halfway through his long inter-county career. Won his only All-Ireland title in his first season. He retired from inter-county football in 2010.
Became forwards coach with the Dublin footballers in 2015, and helped Jim Gavin's side win a historic five consecutive titles.
He is now the Director of Development at the DCU Educational Trust.
Vinnie's gonna get ya. One of the country's most destructive forwards in the early 90s, he was Dublin's go-to man inside during the 1992 and 1993 seasons. By 2001, he was the out-ball, brought on to rustle up a late score and make life hell for defenders, which he did to great effect in Thurles. Had only returned to the Dublin panel the previous year.
He works for the Irish League of Credit Unions.