Imagine the scenario, you are on Dorset Street on the day of the All-Ireland Final looking for a ticket, and after giving up all hope, you look down and see a corporate-box ticket staring up at you. Sounds implausible, but for one lucky Mayo fan that is exactly how things worked out on Sunday.
Conor Duffy from Kilcock in Co Kildare, whose father Paul is a native of Aughamore, travelled up to Drumcondra on a wing and a prayer in search of a ticket – and he ended up being wined and dined with the ‘prawn sandwich brigade’.
Conor’s brother, Stephen, and father had both secured their tickets the day before, and at the last minute Conor decided to try his luck and take the train to Dublin. After a few hours hanging around the pubs on Dorset Street without any luck, he decided to take the train back home to watch the game in the comfort of his living room.
As they were passing Paddy McGrath’s pub, Conor’s father met Kilkelly man David Tarpey and they had the craic for a few minutes. As they moved off, Paul Duffy looked down at the footpath and noticed a gold piece of paper with All-Ireland Final written on it.
“The stub was gone but I decided that I would head down to the football ground and chance my arm,” Conor (23) explained to The Mayo News. “We had gone no more than five feet when we saw another piece of paper on the ground. Dad picked it up and the two pieces read suite 617, seat 28. It was the missing stub. I could not believe it.
“I had given up all hope and it was like finding a golden ticket. I wasn’t going to shout out ‘did anyone lose a ticket’ because there were thousands on the street without tickets and they’d take my right arm off for one,” he admitted.
Conor worked his way down towards the Cusack stand with his ticket in hand and his excuses ready if any questions were asked about the torn stub. However, when the green light went off on the scan, ‘no questions were asked’ , and Conor made his way towards his seat. However, he was still uncertain if he was going to be allowed to watch the match.
“I got in about two o’clock and decided to stay at the bar drinking Guinness, because I was afraid if I went to my seat, the person beside me would ask, ‘how did you get that ticket’?.
“I was also listening out for people on phones saying ‘have you found the ticket’, but I heard nothing. I went to the seat at about ten past three and nobody said anything. The first person to speak to me was someone wearing a green and red t-shirt who said ‘there will be plenty more food coming soon’.
“I had a great view right in the middle of the field in a corporate box for the All-Ireland final with Mayo playing. Apart from the result, the day could not have gone any better,” he joked.
“It was an incredible experience and a really bizarre story. If I was told it I would hardly believe it myself.”
The corporate box was mixed with both Mayo and Donegal fans, and despite ‘finding’ his ticket, Conor is still curious to know who the ticket originally belonged to.
“I contacted Croke Park with the details but they have not got back to me, I would love to know who lost the ticket. It was really crinkled and looked like it had been in someone’s pocket. I’d say they took their phone or wallet out and the ticket came with it. It would have been very unfortunate for the person who lost it, even if it was fortunate for me … The one thing I hope is that he did not pay big money for it.”
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