14 mins


Image by Ste Murray.

This is a poem about a play

That’s about being gay

And loving the GAA.

This is about clubbing together

It’s county, country, and Pride.

This is tribal. Alive.

A story of the GAA.

Coming out. Coming hard on the pitch.

This is Mayo and Sam.

From Lacken to the Liberties and back.

It is Éire. It’s flares.

It’s flags. Banners.

Kitbags and boots. It’s balls and sliotairs.

It’s Sundays, and training. It’s flaming hot.

It’s the score.

Panting on pitches. It’s roars from the stands.

It’s the dodgy Artane Boys Band.

Traditionally it’s the Ladies and Men’s.

Now we’re looking out for Them.

Representing of all our stories in all of their glories.

It’s where we all belong.

Croke Park is centre stage,

This is a play about the GAA

It’s Hill 16 and bloody Sundays.

History and dreaming of an all island, all Ireland team.

From all corners.

The provinces.

Munster, Ulster, Connaught and Leinster.

It’s our teanga too.

An Gaeilge abú.

A grá for the camán, and the warriors that use them.

It’s ancient, it’s myths.

When your team looses your heart does be in bits.

Setantas, Bríd’s and O’Sé’s all heroes back in their days.

Remember when they didn’t use helmets

Jaysis that was brave.

It’s hurl over hurley.

It’s hand on your crest.

It’s Philly McMahon (not that one) in corner back.

It’s the chants, the bants in the back of the pub.

It’s the clash of the ash.

It’s the Jimmy McGees.

Marty’s parties.

This is the match on the radio

Soundtracking your youth.

It’s the Sunday Game in your Granny’s.

It’s leather on boot.

This is about others, and being a sub on the side pitch.

Being an outsider and finding your tribes.

It’s rivals thriving in the competition.

It’s rivals holding tradition.

It’s Mayo for Sam.

It’s Kerry abú.

It’s five in a row dreaming.

It’s Carlow rising.

Newbridge or nowheres.

And Limerick winning the Liam.

It’s curses and cursing.

It’s Galway’s maroon.

Blue and Yellow,

Rebels red

Bruises and black cards.

The poor referees.

All stars and drag stars.

Did I mention those shorts.

Oh those shorts!

Cars full of clans,

Emblems and Pilgrims and rituals.

Headbands and match socks.

It’s squinting to see if the ball was a wide.

It’s the sounds of the crowd.

It’s Amhrán na bhFiann,

Sang from the heart,

By a full house, a packed out Croke Park.

It’s hawk eye.

It’s púc outs.

It’s Louth and it’s proud.

It’s the tricolour.

Two tone club flags.

It’s the Pride flag.

Over the GPO.

It’s up Down.

And maybe Donegal next year.

It’s being a true blue.


Your Ma!

Our heritage,

Our story on a pitch,

Our history played in 70 minutes.

It’s Kings and Queens.

It’s trophies galore.

Folklore and fights over sliotairs.

It’s weeping with pride.

It’s Irish as hell.

It’s gas and it’s mad.

Fastest field sport.

Sport feelings.

It’s All Ireland dreaming.

‘GAA MAAD’ previews on September 9 and runs until September 21 in Bewley’s Café Theatre. To check times, dates and grab tickets visit

This article appears in the 357 Issue of GCN

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This article appears in the 357 Issue of GCN