On this All-Ireland Football Final week, we are taking a look back at some of the personal favourite pictures of our photographers from finals past. Now it’s the turn of Brendan Moran.
Will Mayo’s day ever come? Having waited so long and been in a number of finals in the last two decades, we probably all thought this would be their year against a Donegal squad appearing in their first final in 20 years.
But it was not to be and as Donegal were lifting the Sam Maguire to keep their 100% record in finals, my brief after the match was to keep an eye on the defeated team and see if it made a photograph.
With every major event now having the compulsory razzmatazz before and after matches, fireworks and streamers were set off in Croke Park to signal the lifting of the Sam Maguire by the new Champions.
As I was wandering around the pitch as the cup was lifted, the evening sunlight streaming through the roof of Croke Park and the smoke residue caught my eye as it hung in the air for the after match celebrations.
I figured there might be a picture in it somehow – finding it was the challenge. As the sunlight beamed down on the Mayo players, their body language indicated their disappointment, and it just all came together at the right time. It only lasted a second or two, as the players moved, the smoke dissipated and it was all gone as quick as it appeared.
If it proved only one thing, is that photography is a very powerful and important medium, it captures split seconds of time before they’re gone forever. For that I am proud to have taken it, but I do hope these Mayo players finally have their day of glory in Croke Park soon and that I have the pleasure of recording those moments for history too!