MAYOR Francis Foley led the tributes to Limerick’s three-in-a-row All-Ireland hurling champions after they held off a second-half charge from Kilkenny to record a 1-31 to 2-26 victory in a pulsating final at a sun-drenched Croke Park this afternoon.
“This is such a great time to be a Limerick person. There’s a pride and confidence in the county and so much of it is owed to our hurlers,” Mayor Foley said.
“They filled our hearts with joy in 2018 and little did we think four years later they would be bringing the Liam McCarthy Cup back for the fourth time.
“It’s an incredible achievement and speaks volumes about the preparation and application of an incredible bunch of young men and an amazing and dedicated backroom team led by manager John Kiely.
“This is a team that has given us so much joy, including through two COVID years when we were privileged in Limerick to have our hurlers lift the mood in the way they did. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to celebrate the victories with homecomings for those last two years so I anticipate that tomorrow evening in Limerick will be one incredible party.”
Limerick GAA chairman John Cregan said it had been a magnificent few years for the county, more than anyone could have imagined.
Today was one of the sweetest days in that journey as we took on and defeated the might of Kilkenny. This is the golden era for Limerick hurling so it is, indeed, time to celebrate.”
Mr Cregan said that the three-in-a-row was been a massive team effort involving many more than the heroic players themselves.
“I want to thank all who came together to make this happen: the players themselves; our manager John Kiely and his management and backroom teams, our team sponsor Adare Manor and JP and Noreen Mc Manus, our additional sponsors, my fellow officers and staff of Limerick County Board.
“I want also to single out the great collective – our Limerick supporters, here in Dublin today, at home and scattered around the world. We are as one today in incredible joy.”
He added: “I also want to thank our Homecoming hosts Limerick City and County Council, An Garda Síochána and all other civic authorities for their input into tomorrow’s event and indeed today’s arrangements at TUS Gaelic Ground for those fans who could not get tickets in Croke Park.
“Ar son Coiste Luiminigh go raibh míle maith agaibh go léir agus míle míle buíochas do gach éinne.”