Eddie Walsh gives thumbs up to trip to Cork
Donegal footballers are on the road again this weekend when they make the long trip to the banks of the Lee to play Cork in the National Football League.
So too are Eddie Walsh and his band of Donegal supporters who travel the length and breadth of the land following their sporting heros.
Already in 2019, they have been to Ennis in Clare for Donegal’s first round win over Clare and to Thurles in Tipperary for Donegal’s meeting with Premier county. Donegal may have lost that game, but Eddie and his gang are not deterred and come 6am on Saturday morning Marley’s Coach will pull out of Ballybofey, doing picks ups in Donegal town, Ballyshannon, Bundoran and Sligo.
By the time Edward Molloy and Brendan O’Reilly hop (well not too much of the hop) on the bus in Rathcormack outside Sligo, the full signs will be up on the 50 seater luxury Marley Coach for the first leg of the 600 mile round trip.
“We have been doing it for years,” said Sean MacCumhaills club man Eddie Walsh.
“The most of us were members of the old Donegal Supporters Club and when the Supporters Club finished up a number of years ago a group of us continued on.
“We are all very good friends and we never miss away game. We have been to all parts of the country.
“There are roughly 50 of us and they are from all corners of the county. We have regulars from north, south, east and west of the county, all parts really. We have regulars from Inishowen, Carrigart, Downings, Gaoth Dobhair, Dungloe, Ballybofey, Castlefin, Lifford and from around the south west, Donegal Town, Ballyshannon, Bundoran and Sligo.”
The group normally do an overnight for the longer trips like to Kerry, Cork and Tipperary.
But this time, they are doing the Cork trip in the one day.
“We would normally stay in Cork, but because it is St Patrick’s weekend accommodation was a problem so we decided to do it all in the one day.
“When you stop for a bite to eat you are looking at something like a 14 hour round trip. We are leaving Ballybofey at 6 am and after doing the usual pick ups we are stopping for breakfast in Ballindine in Mayo.
“We hope to be in Cork around 1 o’clock in plenty of time for the game and time to maybe get a bite of lunch.”
It will be back on the bus after the game and back up the road and another pit stop in Ballindine and hopefully be home before midnight.
“Hopefully, we will get the win because the journey can be a lot shorter and the craic and banter much better after a win than when we lose. It can be a very quiet bus when we lose.”
But win, lose or draw Eddie and his gang will stay loyal and they will be taking to the highway for the next big away game. Hopefully a Division Two league final in Croke Park on the last Sunday of the month.