I won’t pour salt on the wounds of Cork supporters by further celebrating Kerry’s win in the All Ireland final on 20 September last (a topic already adequately addressed and which continues to appear in the papers).
However, this year’s All Ireland came with an additional thrill thanks to RTÉ’s Up For the Match, broadcast the night before, which featured a performance and dramatic enactment of Dúchas, or The Kingdom’s Green and Gold, a ballad written by my late father Garry, founder of Patrick G. McMahon Solicitors and two-time All Ireland medal winner for Kerry (1959 Kerry 3-7 Galway 1-4; 1962 Kerry 1-12 Roscommon 1-6). You can see Garry score the fatest goal ever scored in an All Ireland final in this Pathé newsreel of the 1962 final (generally said to be around 34 seconds into play but the exact number of seconds appears to vary!).
You say tradition counts for naught when two teams take the field,
I fear you are mistaken, lad, but the years will make you yield,
And when your hair’s as grey as mine, and time has made you old,
Then you’ll invoke the truth I spoke of the Kingdom’s green and gold.
You cannot box or bottle it, nor grasp it in your hand,
But pride of race and love of place inspire a love of land
Time honoured is our birthright, we’ll never break the mould,
It’s deep within the soul of us, who wear the green and gold.
Grey lakes and mountains soaring high, Mount Brandon‘s holy hill,
The little church at Gallarus, our language living still,
The Skellig Rock, stout football stock, they can’t be bought or sold,
For our county’s fame, we play the game in the Kingdom’s green and gold.
And when the battle’s fiercest and the fortunes ebb and flow,
We’re still alive, we can survive, we never will let go,
For the spirit of our fathers and of stories yet untold,
Will lead us on to victory, in the Kingdom’s green and gold.
We savour Kerry victories, we salute a gallant foe
And when we lose, there’s no excuse, we pick up our bags and go,
So raise your glass each lad and lass to our warriors brave and bold,
Who again aspire to the Sam Maguire in the Kingdom’s green and gold.
© Garry McMahon