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6 Of The Greatest Enemies That Hill 16 Has Ever Known

6 Of The Greatest Enemies That Hill 16 Has Ever Known
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Since Hill 16 became the home of the Dubs, it has had its heroes and idols but it has also accumulated a rich cast of villains. Players who can't do anything without a chorus of boos rising from the depths of the terrace.

Recent years may have seen great success for Dublin, and they returned to winning ways in 2023, but that hasn't meant that there have been no new foes born to the masses on perhaps Croke Park's most famous stand.


We've taken a look back at some of those who have drawn the ire of Hill 16 over the years.

Here are six of the greatest enemies the Hill has ever known.

Six iconic Enemies of the Hill

The Mayo panel and management of 2006

Dublin Mayo 2006 Hill 16

27 August 2006; Dublin and Mayo players warm up at the Hill 16 end. Bank of Ireland All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Semi-Final, Dublin v Mayo, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit; Damien Eagers / SPORTSFILE

David Brady has since been collared as the man responsible for deciding that Mayo were going to warm up in front of Hill 16 ahead of the 2006 semi-final.

The Hill didn't take kindly to the spectacle of green and red shirts making a bolt for their end after the team photo.

Nor did the Dublin players react well upon seeing the Mayo lads lamping balls into 'their' terrace. The last thing they were going to do was warm up in front of the Canal End. That was obviously an impossibility.


Therefore, they had to link arms and march down to the Hill. They vigorously saluted the crowd. It was real pro-wrestling stuff. They proceeded to warm up down the same end as the Mayo players. Pillar Caffrey threw a shoulder into the back of Mayo selector John Morrison.

As Conor Mortimer told Niall Kelly of The42.ie a couple of years back.

I don’t know if it was Mickey [Moran] or [John] Morrison that said ‘we’ll go down the other side.’ I think DB (David Brady) said, ‘No, fuck it, we’ll go down that side.’ So then we went down (to the Hill side).



READ HERE: Meath Spent A Huge Amount Of Money On 'Manager & Selectors' In 2023



Graham Geraghty


As part of his role as Meath's most charismatic footballer of the 1990s and 2000s, Graham Geraghty naturally became an enemy of Hill 16 and a chief target for its most vocal inhabitants.


One Meath fan relates that the thing he misses most about the days when Dublin-Meath was a tense affair was the 'palpable fear on the Hill' when Geraghty ran at the Dubs' defence.


READ HERE: The Fergie RTÉ Interview That Got Graham Geraghty An Arsenal Trial



Mick Lyons

Perhaps no figure is more intimately associated with culchie glory in front of the Hill than Mick Lyons, the stern full-back and Meath folk hero who minded the square during the late 80s and early 90s.

Between 1986 and 1991, Dublin only beat Meath once (in 1989) and famously failed to get past them in 1991.

On the Evening Press on the Monday after Meath finally got past the Dubs in the final match of the four-game saga, Con Houlihan wrote;

Dublin has another obvious flaw. They lacked a lions tamer; In this generation, goalkeepers got their Magna Carta: now they cannot be challenged inside the small box. There is no law which says that Mick Lyons cannot be challenged inside a certain area, but is seems that way.


Pat Spillane


As one of the more visible and striking members of the greatest Kerry team of them all, Spillane no doubt made plenty of enemies on Hill 16.

But this combined with his long-time role as a lippy pundit has surely made him a top-notch pantomime villain among the throngs on Gaelic football's most famous terrace.

'Are you watching Pat Spillane?' was the jubilant cry shortly after Dublin stunned Kerry in the 2011 All-Ireland final and kept Sam in the capital for the first time in sixteen years.


READ HERE: Pat Spillane Suggests Three Radical Rule Changes To Improve Gaelic Football


Andy Moran

Andy Moran Hill 16

22 September 2013; Mayo captain Andy Moran gestures towards Hill 16 after scoring his side's goal. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final, Dublin v Mayo, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Daire Brennan / SPORTSFILE

Andy Moran scored two exceptionally important goals in front of Hill 16. The former was struck during the fabled Hillgate game of 2006 (see above).

The latter he scored during the fraught second half of the 2013 All-Ireland final. The goal was scored at a moment when the game appeared to be running away from Mayo. Their supporters hoped that it was the crucial blow that would stem the tide. Alas Dublin surged again, with Bernard Brogan's second goal proving the decisive score.

Notwithstanding the fact that the Hill was a mixed zone that day (assertive Mayo supporters pushed their way onto the Hill in anticipation of ending the 62 year famine), Moran cupped his ears in celebration, glorying in the sound of relative silence on the Hill.


Kieran Donaghy

Kieran Donaghy Hill 16 2009

3 August 2009; Kerry 'Maor Uisce' Kieran Donaghy. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Quarter-Final, Dublin v Kerry, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE

During his injury blighted 2009 season, Kieran Donaghy conducted an interview with Joanne Cantwell at half-time in the Dublin-Kerry quarter-final. No issue there, only the interview was conducted very near Hill 16, meaning that both interviewer and interviewee were nearly entirely drowned out by the sound of booing.

Donaghy didn't appear too perturbed. His snarling attitude on the pitch makes him a target for opposition fans. All indicators are that he loved it.

SEE ALSO: Kerry Legend Wants Change To Kingdom's Top Tier Football Competition



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