‘The Jacks Are Back’ – The Dubs in the 1970s

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Jacks are back'The Jacks are back,
The Jacks are back,
Let the Railway End go barmy,
For Hill 16 has never seen,
The likes of Heffo’s Army.'

Dublin Terrace Chant, 1970s

View The Jacks Are Back Image Gallery.

On 26 May 1974 Dublin played Wexford in the first round of the Leinster Championship as the undercard to the replay of the National League Final between Kerry and Roscommon. The quality of the football that day was such that the Kerry and Roscommon fans started laughing in the Hogan Stand. Five months later the Dublin Captain Sean Doherty lifted the Sam Maguire. The Dubs had arrived and Gaelic Football was changed forever.

Dublin contested six All-Ireland Finals in a row between 1974 and 1979. This feat was matched by Wexford (1913-1918) and Kerry in the past decade (2004-2009) but, unlike the recent Kerry team, Dublin did not have the cushion of the ‘back-door’ on the road to Croker. They also had to contend with Mick O’Dwyer’s Kerry - arguably the greatest football team of all time.

The success of the Dubs made Gaelic Football the most popular sport in the city and the Dublin football team remains one of the best-supported teams in Europe. 'The Dubs' and 'Hill 16' have become as emblematic of the capital city as Molly Malone, James Joyce, and the Ha'penny Bridge.

This image gallery consists of images taken at Civic Receptions for the players between 1974 and 1979. They show the rapport between the team and supporters. ‘Heffo’s Army’ became famous nationwide for their passionate and vocal support. 

'The Jacks Are Back' celebrates the greatest sports team this city has produced. Up da Dubs!


The Digital Projects Section of Dublin City Public Libraries would like to thank Norman Barnard, Christy 'Buster' Leaney and Bernard Donovan for their invaluable assistance in creating this gallery.

About the Photographs

These images were taken from the Dublin City Council Photographic Collection.

Match Programmes

The Reading Room has an extensive collection of GAA match programmes. The images taken from contemporary programmes featured in this gallery are copyright of Cumann Lúthchleas Gael/Gaelic Athletic Association.

Further Resources

In addition to these photographs, Dublin City Public Libraries also has further sources on the sporting heritage of Dublin, some of which are available online and some through the Dublin City Public Libraries network. The Reading Room, Dublin City Library and Archive, Pearse Street, holds a wealth of material on the history of sport in Dublin, including books, programmes, and newspapers.

The following online resources can be accessed free of charge at your local library (access links via our Netvibes-based portal on library computers). Ask library staff for information and assistance.

  • Libraries and Archives Digital Repository: Digital records relating to Dublin, including photographs, postcards, letters, maps and ephemeral material. Highlights of the collection include the Fáilte Ireland Photographic Collection, Wide Street Commission Map Collection (1757-1851), the Irish Theatre Archive and the Birth of the Republic Collection, which comprises material from the period of the foundation of the Irish state.
  • Irish Times Digital Archive: This online archive service gives access to contemporary editions of the Irish Times from the mid-nineteenth century until the present.
  • Irish Newspaper Archive: This online archive service gives access to contemporary editions of the Irish Independent and a range of other newspapers.
  • The Ireland-JSTOR Collection: This online archive of academic articles can also be accessed free of charge at your local library.

For further reading, consult the Library Catalogue.

View The Jacks Are Back Image Gallery

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I'm looking to download this song does anyone know where I could get that?


You can listen to 'The Likes of Heffo's Army' by The Memories on http://youtu.be/qNzBiW8CGOw

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