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Five Times It Was Acceptable For Your Mammy To Miss Your GAA Match

Five Times It Was Acceptable For Your Mammy To Miss Your GAA Match
By Sinead Farrell

She was there when you bought your first pair of boots and she'll be there when you hang up them up for good. She was delighted when you got your first trial for county and she was the one who comforted you when you got dropped. But sometimes Mammy can't make it to the match and here are the five times when her absence is justified.

1. Mass

Mammy: 'What time is the game at?'

You: '5'

Mammy: 'And is it home or away?'

You: 'Away'

Mammy: 'Oh now that's cutting it fine if I want to make it home for mass at 7.'


The dilemma is real. Most definitely real. The match is only a 20 minute drive away but mechanics of Mammy's mindset dictates that by the time the game is over and you get home and get showered you won't have long to spare to get to the church in time for mass.

2Cemetery Sunday

'Well I don't know why they'd have a game on the same day as Cemetery Sunday...'


Anyone who has a mother on the Parish council or is locally renowned for providing A1 sponge cake and sandwiches at community events, will know the chaos of preparing for Cemetery Sunday.

And even though the match will be played several hours before the mass service even starts, it's a downright nuisance all the same. If you want to live to see daylight again, you'll quietly remove yourself from the cookery warzone and make your own way to the match. Don't even dream of asking if she'll have time to go and make sure to get back in time for Cemetery Sunday.

You have 10 hours to do this. May the odds forever be in your favour.


3. The Station

The rural Irish institution that is The Station. Essentially it involves booking a priest to say mass in our house. The house gets blessed, the neighbours come round and an awful lot of cleaning has to be done.

It's not happening for another two weeks but sure the house needs to be hoovered four times in a row, the bedrooms need to be fumigated and the bathroom needs to be disinfected. It's a time consuming operation to ready the homestead to a level of prestige worthy of a visit from the local Priest.


Mammy needs the time and space to prepare that monstrous volume of ham sandwiches. And there's an industrial consignment of tea bags coming in and who's going to sign for them if she's off gallivanting at your game.

Some people think Mammy has 20 hands.

4. Your aunt and cousins are coming


Any time your aunty Kitty and her two sons make the hour and half drive to stay at yours for a short summer holiday, the house becomes a hive of activity. Mammy keeps the place in pristine shape most of the time but now she has to up her game before the sister arrives. If you thought sibling rivalries end at any point, you have a lot to learn.

The conflict doesn't stop, it just transfers into a kind of passive competition. So instead of rowing over the remote control, they try to outdo each other with the layout of their homes. The greater the gloss from the Rayburn, the higher your Mammy goes up in ranking.

Sibling warfare waits for no man or woman so you'll just have to play on without her in the stand.


5. When she's scared from seeing you get injured

Mammy was a trooper for turning up to the games in all manner of inclement weather conditions. But ever since she saw you keel over like a sack of potatoes when your tore the cruciate, her face has always been a shade paler.

It's now at the point where her nerves can't stomach watching you endanger yourself with 'that football' so she refuses to go to the games. Instead she waits at home clutching rosary beeds until they snap praying for your safe return.


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