Last year when Mayo met Donegal in the 2012 All Ireland football final, hopes were once again raised throughout the county. Mayo people around the world also held their breath, barely daring to believe that they could bring the Sam Maguire Cup home after a gap of over 60 years. Two goals and a point for Donegal in the first 12 minutes put paid to those hopes. In pubs all over the county ‘Mayo, God help us’ was uttered. There were mutterings that the 'curse' had once again dashed Mayo’s hopes.
The legendary curse dated from 1951, the last time Mayo won the All-Ireland. The story goes that while passing through Foxford on their victorious journey home the triumphant team neglected to pay proper respect to a funeral. Enraged, a local priest cursed the team and the county, predicting that Mayo would not win an All-Ireland senior football title while any member of the victorious team of ’51 was still alive.
Sixty two years on……and Mayo has yet to regain the Sam Maguire Cup and only a handful of the team of '51 remain. Curse or coincidence? The question is even more topical as Mayo has again won through to the 2013 All-Ireland final on September 22. Mayo God Help Us explores the legend of the curse and looks at Mayo football from ’51 to 2013, focusing particularly on this year's campaign and looking forward to the upcoming final against Dublin.
Turn on TG4 next Sunday, September 15 at 8pm. Repeated Sunday, October 27 9.30pm.