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Sydney hit with Green and Red fever

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Mayo fans Down Under
SHOWING THEIR COLOURS
They may be thousands of miles away from home but this group of Mayo fans Down Under were creating their own Green and Red day in the Shadow of the Sydney Opera House last Friday. From left : Derek Munnelly, Belmullet; Colin Kilbane, Achill; Ciarán Needham, Achill; Stephen Joyce, Achill; Padraic Patten, Achill; Seán McLoughlin, Charlestown; Dennis Patten, Achill; Brian Patten, Achill. ?Pic courtesy of Darren Moran

Sydney hit with Green and Red fever


Anton McNulty

Sydney has become home for a number of young Mayo people over the last number of years and despite being miles away from home, All-Ireland fever has not escaped them.
With Mayo gone green and red crazy over the last two weeks a group of Mayo men working in Australia’s largest city are determined not to let the moment pass them by and plan to create a little bit of Mayo by Botany Bay.
After buying a red 1993 Ford Festiva 1.3 Glx in Queensland and travelling 2,384km in 28 hours straight to Sydney, Achill man, Brian Patten and co-owner Charlestown man Seán McLoughlin decided to pimp it up and the only way to improve it was to add some green to it.
Aided by a number of other Achill men, Ciarán Needham and Colin Kilbane they ‘expertly’ painted the green to the top and the bottom of the car leaving the traditional red hoop in the middle. The job was done just in time for ‘Green and Red’ day on Friday and the boys took to the streets of Sydney much to the delight of the Sydney-siders - even if it was for mixed reasons.
“We were expecting a few strange looks but a load of people were cheering us on as we drove through Sydney,” Ciarán Needham told The Mayo News from his Sydney home. “But in fairness I don’t think they were Mayo fans and more likely to be fans of local Rugby League team the Rabbitohs who are in the NRL semi-final this weekend. They are a popular club in Sydney owned by the actor Russell Crowe and their colours are also green and red but it was a bit of craic.”
A large number of Mayo people are working in Sydney and Ciarán explained that the excitement ahead of the match was building up nicely.
“After the Dublin game there was not much talk about it but as the game approaches it is the first and last thing on the mind of every Mayo person here. Every day you will go on Facebook and other websites to keep up to date with the latest news from home. It was great to hear Donegal fighting over homecomings, hopefully all the hype will affect them on the day. We might be miles away from Mayo but fellas are still getting in contact with home asking if there is any chance of getting the ticket and searching the web for cheap flights home.”
While the majority of Mayo people will have to do with heading to the nearest Irish bar, the Mayo boys are confident they will be celebrating in the early hours of Monday morning.
“On the day of the game, we will probably have a pre-game barbie and game of footie on Coogee beach before heading into Sydney for the game. The way the team played against Dublin gives me great confidence they will win and if they do I don’t think Sydney will know what hits it.”