Irish fans get emotional in their local bar

Summer life on Long Beach Island is busier this weekend than the last.

Perhaps the tail end of the oppressive heat wave and the predicted thunderstorms kept folks away last week. The buzz about the place is better now but still not like a July weekend before Sandy Storm. We’re getting there though.

Lovely as this perfect summer Saturday afternoon at the Shore is, part of me was wishing to be with the lads up at The Blackthorn in Kenilworth watching the GAA football qualifiers.

They give out to me about not being around when Mayo isn’t playing. There may be some truth there. Last weekend at the Shore was cut short by an early morning drive back north to watch Mayo roll over London. Then we got to watch the far better Monaghan match against Donegal.

There are only a handful of spots that show the Gaelic games in New Jersey and only one near a beach and that beach isn’t mine.

With all the marvels of the internet and technology and you still can’t watch a GAA game on the computer outside Ireland. Or I can’t simply find it.

The RTE website today was helpful and it wasn’t.

Ireland’s national broadcaster did share live audio of the games but it was in Irish. No good to me.

Their live blog of the games was much better; a one sentence blow-by-blow every few minutes.

A fellow named Paul Byrne wrote to the blog via email: "Greetings from Cabanas, Portugal, tough luck on Galway, Mayo left to fly the flag for Connaught! Hoping this will be our year. Thank god for RTE's online service."

I am sure Cork is giving prayers of thanks after besting Galway by only a point.

The RTE live blog turned out to be quite entertaining. Typing at the moment as Tyrone plays Meath and I see this tweet in the thread of things:

“Din dins over watching @RTEgaa for Tyrone v Meath, interesting contest shaping up, Meath ahead but early days. Donegal, Cork & Cavan thru #GAA”

It was posted with a twitter icon under: “Martin McGuinness has finished his dinner.”

A picture of the Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland was next to @M_McGuinness_SF.

So I was in good company with the Mayo lad in Portugal and the others supporters spread about the globe quietly following the Gaelic football today on the RTE feed.

And it is comforting to know Martin McGuinness had his supper today.

I’ll bet the Derryman didn’t have seafood paella. That’s the dish I’m off now to cook on an outdoor grill on the Jersey Shore knowing Donegal, Cavan and Cork are already through to the next round.

Just now I see Tyrone won, probably pleasing one Ulsterman with a full belly.