Photo: Edward Gielty

Join Meitheal Acla in Maigh Eo battle cry

MEITHEAL Acla are leading the battle cry ‘Maigh Eo’ for this Saturday’s All-Ireland football championship qualifying clash against Fermanagh in MacHale Park.

Plans to have a drum roll to signal fans to start the chant in support of the county team have come unstuck. Instead, a blast of a horn or bugle will now be the cue.

Ditch the ‘Mayo’ and sing out ‘Maigh Eo’ is the call from Achill’s John McNamara, the man behind the initiative. When chanting, there should be less of an emphasis on ‘Maigh’, with more urgency on chanting the ‘Eo’ part.

It had been hoped to bring a drum into the football grounds to give a signal to fans to start the chant. However, GAA authorities ruled against allowing a drum into the grounds at Mayo’s meeting with Galway last month.

Plan B comes from an old Achill and coastal tradition - the sounding of a horn to alert villagers when the storms had thrown up seaweed, which was then gathered as fertiliser for the crops.

Since the last match, John has been rallying sports clubs and other development organisations in Achill and ‘Meitheal Acla’, he said, are behind the initiative.

Maigh Eo. This is the only cupla focal we are trying to promote,” said John, adding that Meitheal Acla are going to MacHale Park and they want everyone to know what the signal is.

A horn was sounded in a late switch of signalling tactics at Mayo’s last outing and John said he has heard no objections from the GAA.

And he made the point: “We are promoting the language, for which the GAA was set up.”

John brought the battle cry to the attention of Gaelic commentary legend Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh (with whom he is is pictured below) in Castlebar when he launched the Oscail an Doras initiative and he was very taken with the idea.

So listen out for the blast of a horn and then deliver a simple yet powerful message: ‘Maigh Eo’.