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Good news of Croke Park win spreads fast thanks to internet!


LIVE AND RAW Ballinrobe GAA club’s internet radio team of Padraic Costello Snr, Liam Horan and Tom Carney broadcast the local Community School’s recent All-Ireland final from Croke Park.

Mike Finnerty

BY booking some holidays at the beginning of the year, there was no doubt that this roving reporter was going to miss a few matches and markings by being out of the country on the first couple of weekends in April.
The Connacht under 21 football championship game between Mayo and (probably) Galway was definitely going to be one casualty, followed 24-hours later by Mayo’s final National League match of their Division 1 campaign against Donegal in Castlebar.
Back in January, missing those games felt like a fair enough trade for a holiday in the sun.
In this job, you’re always going to miss something when you book time off.
But shortly before our departure, it became clear that Ballinrobe Community School’s All-Ireland Post-Primary Schools Senior ‘B’ Final at Croke Park was also fixed for that particular weekend. As a past pupil of the school that was, shall we say, ‘disappointing’.
‘The savage loves his native shore’ and all that jazz.
There was nothing else for it, we would have to find a way to see or hear the Ballinrobe lads do their thing on that famous Saturday at Croke Park. This was a once-in-a-lifetime thing.
The thought of missing out on it completely didn’t even bear thinking about!
And that’s where the lads at BallinrobeGAAclub.com came in; as Liam Horan, Padraic Costello Snr and Tom Carney proceeded to paint the pictures from Croker with their colourful online commentary. It was live, raw, internet radio, coming through loud and clear from the seventh floor of the Hogan Stand. And it was absolutely brilliant.
If ever there was an example of how small the world has become, and how important something like a local commentary of a local school’s biggest day could be, then this was it.
Picture the scene; two proud past pupils, sitting in the blazing sunshine, thousands of miles away, absolutely captivated by the words, banter and pure unscripted craic that was streaming out of the laptop speakers on the table in front of us.
It was almost as good as being there, almost. But as the ad says, ‘Nothing beats being there’.
Especially on the day that your neighbours, clubmen, and local lads from eight different clubs around the South Mayo/North Galway area win an All-Ireland at Croke Park. In style.
After extra-time. Against the Ulster champions.
But for all those past-pupils who have been scattered to the four corners of the world over the years, Ballinrobe GAA club’s broadcast was a really special way to feel connected to home for a few hours. The after-match interviews, not to mention the unbroken broadcasting that went from the press box to the pitch to the dressing-room (via the lift!) had to be heard to be believed. And all from a mobile phone App!
Credit where it’s due, and hopefully other clubs will follow Ballinrobe GAA’s lead.
PS: The homecoming coverage that was broadcast later that night wasn’t bad either!


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