It is no secret that I have a Love/Hate relationship with Kerry. Love stemming from the day I first looked into the blue eyes of a Kerry farmer, hate from the day a Kerry relative refused me jelly and icecream. It was the Munster Final day Cork stopped Kerry from getting the ‘four in a row’ and I love jelly. A couple of years later, I remember giants in red jerseys coming to my school hall as us young things got our first taste of the majestic on seeing these giants in red lift the Sam Maguire cup to our roars. Corcaigh Abu we screamed to the honey pot.
This week, Kerry is alive with green and gold and I’m having to suppress the hate bit. There is a five year old Kerry boy (who has to be surgically removed from his Kerry jersey) at my skirt tails in the kitchen asking me questions about the Kerry team. Until now, I’ve made it my business not to take that much of an interest so I’m stuck. A poster is lifted up to me; ‘Who’s that fella?’ ‘Oh he must be the Gooch?’ ‘No mom, he’s the fella with the orange hair’ ‘And who’s that fella?’ ‘Oh, that’s grouchy.’ ‘No mom, that’s the Star!’ ‘And who’s that fella?’ ‘Harpo? Go ask your Dad!’
I overhear the Kerryman recite the rollcall of Kerrymen to his excited son; their green and gold giants. And as I contemplate how to layer Green jelly on Gold, I think I need these Kerry Giants to try their hardest to bring some majesty to my little boy’s life in the form of the same Sam McGuire cup. Just try your hardest we tell our Kerry boys, just like the Kerry team. The hate seems to be disolving in the pouring of the jelly.