Five Reasons We Hate Going To Cork For ‘The Big One’

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Pairc Ui Chaoimh…overdue a revamp.

SO Kerry are to play their last game at the old Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Sunday.

Ah, the battles over the years, the stamina needed, the ability to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles and the elation of success…and that’s just the emotions felt by Kerry supporters when they finally get to the ground!

Yes, it’s safe to say that no Kerry fan likes going to the old Páirc for games against the old enemy.

Cork city we like, but that walk and the charmless, Communist-era concrete block of a stadium, puts more dread into the hearts of Kerry fans than any Rebel full-forward line over the years.

Dermot Crean picks his pet hates about going to Cork for the big matches…

1. The Drive.

I know it’s only 80 miles (well, 160 round trip), but there’s the bendy road between Ballyvourney and Macroom, where you’ll then be stuck in traffic for an age, before going on to find parking in the city.

You’re then met by ‘Smug Bastard Kerry Fan™’ outside The Imperial who chastises you for taking said route:

“Whatcha go that way for? I left Tralee at half four this morning, went through Nadd and was eating breakfast in Cork by five.”


2. The Walk.

Let’s face it, we all park up somewhere around the city centre and make our way along the quays, until we reach the long road that eventually…eventually, leads to the stadium.

Even Cork fans will admit to hating it. You’ll need supplies for the trek of course – water, sandwiches, sleeping bag, tent, satellite phone, flares…

3. When it rains.

Anyone out there remember 1999? I’m surprised there wasn’t anyone drowned! It was, without doubt, the most miserable day ever for Kerry fans in a jam-packed Pairc Ui Chaoimh (and yes I’m including 1990!).

Kerry were crap, Maurice Fitz was blackguarded and a determined Cork went on a second half rampage to win 2-10 to 2-4. I think I got Trenchfoot that day.

(Notable exception: 1996 when even the monsoon rain towards the end of the match couldn’t dampen Kerry’s first Munster final win in Cork since 1985.)


Kerry fans rushing out of Páirc Uí Chaoimh back in 1999.

4. When we lose.

Ugh! Despite the Cork wit being sharper than Suarez’s molars, walking back to the car isn’t a barrel of laughs for Kerry folk who’ve just seen their team beaten.

After you’ve run the gauntlet of taunts on the way to your car, you still have to go endure the static traffic in Macroom where there’s always a welcoming middle finger and a jeer from the ‘comedians’ celebrating outside the pubs.

Spare a thought and a prayer for those Kerry people living along the border during those difficult times.

5. It’s just not Killarney.

The stadium is almost in the town. There’s always a great atmosphere. Cork people outnumber us there anyway. It’s closer and easier for many of them to get there. I could go on…

Why can’t we just play the match there every year? Why, God Why?!

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