Up Donegal! Watching the Game in Philly
s=”size-full wp-image-7594″ title=”whoo hoo” src=”http://irishphiladelphia.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/whoo-hoo.jpg” alt=”" width=”380″ height=”380″ />
John Kildea was supposed to be getting ready for a christening, but, he confessed, he “sneaked out” wearing his Donegal shirt to catch the Donegal-Mayo match for the coveted Sam Maguire Cup, broadcasting live from Dublin’s Croke Park on six screens at the Commodore Barry Club “The Irish Center” in Mt. Airy.
“I have to be back by half 12,” he said. Kildea lives in Delaware County and could have gone to Paddy Rooney’s Pub. But he said, laughing, “it’s more of a Mayo bar. Win or lose we could get hammered.”
Now, we’ve seen photos of the crowd at Paddy Rooney’s in Havertown, and it was looking mighty green and gold to us. And that was the prevailing color at the Irish Center as well though the red and green of Mayo was well represented in hats, shirts, socks, and in a few cases, faces and hair.
More than 300 people saw the game at the center, where they could also enjoy a full Irish breakfast. Well, at least some of them could. Tyrone-born Geraldine Quigg, who helped prepare the meal, said they sold 180 breakfasts. “Then we ran out of food.”
That sounds bad, but it’s a good thing. It was also a good thing that there was barely room at the bar to breathe and that just about every seat in the place was taken. No one was complaining.
“This is the way it was when we were kids,” said Muireann McGill McFeeters, who is Philly-born and bred but whose father, Jim McGill, is one of the earliest members of the Irish Center. “We would wear our jerseys and paint our faces.”
Another infrequent visitor said it reminded him of Sundays when he was a kid. “Nothing’s changed,” he said, over the din at the bar. “It’s the same bar and the same nice people.”