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Brady’s bunch ready for take-off

Sport

BRAINWAVE  Former Mayo footballer David Brady is bringing more than 100 people to New York next weekend. Pic: Conor McKeown

Feature

Mike Finnerty

HE’S a man of many talents who’s never been afraid to take on a challenge, but David Brady’s latest turn as a Tour Operator has surprised even the man himself!
The former Mayo midfielder has pulled together a package trip for more than 100 people to fly from Shannon to New York for next Sunday’s match, and says he ‘could have filled the plane twice’ over such was the demand for places.
“There are 110 people going and we could have brought 310,” the Ballina Stephenites legend told The Mayo News.
“But in terms of managing logistics, and keeping everyone together over there, we just felt that 110 was about the right number.
“Flyway Travel in Ballina looked after the flights and hotels, and I did everything else. The biggest problem was actually trying to facilitate everyone, there was a phenomenal response.”
We’re pretty sure that you’ll never guess where the idea for Brady’s latest brainwave came from?
“The whole idea stemmed from December 2017 when a few of us in the family were wondering what we’d get for our parents for a Christmas present,” he explained.
“They’d only ever been outside of Ireland once in their lives, and never been to America, so we decided to buy them flights to the Mayo v New York game in May 2019!
“I suppose you could say it was two Christmas presents in one, we didn’t have to get them anything last Christmas,” he laughed.
“Then I got thinking that Mayo supporters are like one big family anyway, and rather than mam and dad travelling on their own to America, I decided I’d try and put something together that would allow a group of Mayo people to travel together, a package for people like my parents.
“The ball started rolling in January 2018, and here we are!”
Brady’s group package included flights, accomodation for four nights, transfers to/from the airport and the match, and admission to an ‘Over For The Match’ night on Saturday.
“But no match tickets!” he laughed.
There is also a charitable element to Brady’s package trip, with two local charities set to benefit from each person’s subscription.
“I was conscious that some people would be thinking, ‘what’s in for it for Brady?’ But my target was to make the whole package as cheap as possible for people and that any profit made would go to CF West and the Mayo Roscommon Hospice.
“We got a phenomenal response,” he added. “There are actually seven men coming from London to Shannon so that they can travel with the group to New York. And by the way, I’ve never met these people before!
“There are people from Cork, Kildare and Dublin travelling with our party too — who have no connection to Mayo, they’re just going for the craic.
“There’s never a dull moment though,” he smiled.
“Even up to today, one lady who’s travelling with us realised that her passport was going to expire while she was over there. So a few TDs had to be contacted!”
And while all roads will lead to Gaelic Park on Sunday for the big match, the five-time Connacht championship winner says there’s only place for Mayo supporters to be on Saturday evening.
“We’re having an ‘Over For The Match’ in Rosie O’Grady’s with Kevin Kilbane, Alan Dillon, Mickey Conroy and Kevin O’Neill all confirmed.
“The doors open at 6.45pm and we’re going to have two panels on two different floors, with the proceeds going to the Mayo Training Camp in Rockland GAA club and the Mayo GAA club in New York. It’s $50 in and should be a great night.
“So we’ll see ye in Rosie’s!”