Joe Biden Wins Over Ireland by Shouting "Mayo for Sam!" — What Does It Mean?

During his four-day tour of Ireland, U.S. President Joe Biden delivered a speech and shouted, "Mayo for Sam!" What does that mean?

Allison DeGrushe - Author

Apr. 17 2023, Published 2:58 p.m. ET

U.S. President Joe Biden addresses a crowd in Ireland
Source: Getty Imagrs

Since moving his political affairs into the oval office, U.S. president Joe Biden has had his fair share of public speaking blunders (but who hasn't, right?). From getting his words mixed up to stuttering his way through speeches, it appears he's having trouble addressing the public — once again, who doesn't have this issue? It's a scary thing!

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Many think the POTUS went off the rails again, this time during his four-day tour of Ireland. While speaking to a crowd during a celebration event at St Muredach's Cathedral on April 14, Joe shouted, "Mayo for Sam!" which drew plenty of cheers and applause. The phrase has left Americans confused — what does it mean? Keep reading to find out.

US President Joe Biden speaks to the crowd during a celebration event at St. Muredach's Cathedral
Source: Getty Imagrs

President Biden speaks to the crowd at St. Muredach's Cathedral in Ireland

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What does "Mayo for Sam" mean?

According to the Galway Beo, "Mayo for Sam" is a wildly popular reference to the Gaelic football team Mayo, which hasn't won the All-Ireland championship since 1951. The three-word chant urges the team to bring home the "biggest prize" in Gaelic football: the Sam Maguire Cup.

The outlet later touched on a curse supposedly placed on the Mayo team — when traveling back home after winning the Sam Maguire Cup, the team passed a funeral and reportedly failed to properly pay their respects.

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As a result, the priest leading the service was furious; he cursed the team, saying they wouldn't win another All-Ireland for as long as they lived. The last surviving member of the 1951 squad, Mick Loftus, is 93 years old.

In September 2021, Mick spoke with BBC and suggested the team's curse was simply a myth: "There was no funeral. I don't remember any one… let it go boy," he said. "I often think that's a bit of hullabaloo."

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