Much of the build-up to this All-Ireland final has centred around two Fine Gael senators and their
ceaseless brave whining crusade for All-Ireland final tickets, standing up for the great Irish institution of the Seanad in the process.
Senator Michelle Mulherin - who once complained of the "culture of entitlement" created by Ireland's social welfare system - complained that she was not entitled to All-Ireland tickets, claiming that her not being granted tickets for the big game was an example of "clear discrimination...in relation to members of the Oireachtas".
She later clarified her stance on Morning Ireland:
I got a letter back from Croke Park along with the cheque saying that owing to demand they were only going to now give to TDs. So basically, to my mind, that's a discrimination against senators.
Fellow Mayo native and Fine Gael senator Catherine Noone also came out to say that she had written to Paraic Duffy to complain that she had not been granted tickets. It was revealed yesterday that was embarrassed by the level of publicity her plea had received as she told members of a Fine Gael WhatsApp group. The Irish Independent report featured this incredible line:
Ms Noone said she "did not seek to be in the papers" - despite contacting this newspaper directly to express her annoyance at the GAA.
Thankfully, we are happy to report that - like so many of these stories in Ireland - we have a happy ending, as these passionate, dyed-in-the-wool, full-time-tenants-in-Mayo's-House-of-Pain have been granted their great wish, and have secured tickets for today's sell-out final.
The story is in today's Irish Mail on Sunday, and says that Catherine Noone has told the paper that "she sourced a ticket through some friends", while sources close to Ms Mulherin said she had also procured tickets.
The paper also run quotes by the chairman of Ms Mulherin's local GAA club, (Johnny O'Malley) Ardnaree Sarsfields and a member of the Mayo country board.
We'll start with the latter:
I don't know why [Ms Muherin] didn't just come to us. There would have been something that we could have done, and it would make more sense for her publicly as well. It made no sense to come out and criticise the GAA. It just brought attention to the fact that Oireachtas members get tickets at all.
She's just made a fool of herself for no good reason.
Her local GAA chairman had little sympathy for Ms Mulherin's plight this week, either:
We would be her home club but she isn't involved with us in any way.
I know Michelle, I know her well, but at the end of the day there is absolutely no sympathy that she didn't get a ticket.
The paper also decided to find out exactly how deep her Gaelic football knowledge is. A member of Ballina Stephenites was asked if she is a real GAA supporter:
I'd say she knows the ball is round, and that's about it.
We can only hope that the senators enjoy the game, as another uniquely Irish story draws to a close.
[Irish Daily Mail]