Paddy Power will stage an elaborate ‘funeral’ to give Mayo GAA the opportunity to reverse the curse that has haunted the county football team for 68 years near Croke Park today.
As the team get set to take on a goliath of GAA in the form of Dublin this evening – a team chasing an iconic five-in-a-row – we are willing to go to extraordinary lengths to help Mayo rid themselves of the hoodoo that has haunted them for decades.
With a carriage, drawn by four stunning black horses complete with cortege, our #ReverseTheCurse ‘funeral’ procession will be on hand today to give the current Mayo side a chance to halt their hex and turn their fate around.
“The Mayo Curse of ‘51 is as infamous as ‘hang sanguages’ and flasks of tae in GAA circles. Even with the help of some of the best players the county has ever produced, the curse has been blamed for coming between Mayo and Sam Maguire in the All-Ireland decider on a staggering nine occasions since their last triumph. And Lord knows if they ever needed the help they need it now, against the Dubs,” a spokesperson for Paddy Power said.
Back in 1951, the Mayo team won a second consecutive All-Ireland title when they beat Meath. But on their trip home, they came upon a funeral in Foxford and instead of pausing to show their respects, they continued on.
Myth has it, that a priest or a mourner (depending on which version you believe) attending the funeral was so disgusted by their undignified behaviour, they placed a curse on the team to never win another All-Ireland while all remaining members were alive.
Today, just one surviving member of the team that played in that faithful 1951 final remains.
In the interim, two attempts at divine intervention were reportedly made. In 2012, then Taoiseach Enda Kenny met with Pope Bendict XVI the day before the final against Donegal and appealed to him for help.
And last year, during a visit to Knock by Pope Francis, a Mayo fan managed to get him to sign a jersey in the hope that he could help them take home Sam Maguire, to no avail.
With the boys in blue currently long odds-on as 1/5 favourites to win, it’s do or die for Mayo this evening as fans wait to see if they can cast a spell on their rivals.
However, according to Paddy Power, even if they do topple the GAA giants, the curse seems very likely to strike again before the Championship ends, as they remain at a price of 9/1 to beat Dublin and lose the All-Ireland final.
1/5 – Dublin
5/1 – Mayo
9/1 – Mayo to beat Dublin and lose All Ireland Final