Historic Munster SHC Final in Limerick

Limerick’s Séamus Flannagan gaining ground on Clare in the 2022 Munster Final in Semple Stadium, Thurles. Photo: Brendan Moran.

FOR THE first time in almost 70 years, the Gaelic Grounds will host a Limerick/Clare Munster Senior Hurling Championship Final as the next-door neighbours clash at the Ennis Road venue this Sunday (throw in 1.45pm). 

In the only previous deciding clash between the pair at the venue, Limerick – inspired by a contribution of 1-12 from Claughaun legend Dermot Kelly – belied their outsiders tag to lift the cup (nowadays named in honour of hurling great Mick Mackey) way back in 1955. 

It was a surprise to many that the Gaelic Grounds is host to the finale of what has been a riveting 2023 Championship.  

It was reported that Limerick’s first choice was Cork while Clare would have preferred Thurles. However, anticipating a vote in favour of Páirc Uí Chaoimh, the Banner quickly agreed to the Ennis Road venue, the scene of their famous championship win over Limerick just a little while back.  

In a show of gratitude, Munster GAA will allow Clare a low percentage of the gate receipts.  Limerick, as host venue, will earn the lion’s share of the revenue, while the city is also set for a predicted windfall of €2.3 million spread across bars, restaurants, and hospitality.  

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So far in 2023, over 265,000 supporters have filed through the turnstiles to watch their teams compete across the province, and this will swell to a record 310,000 by weekend’s end. 

In financial terms, this equates to in the region of a record €5 million, much of which will be given out to clubs across Munster in various grant form later in the year.  

Limerick are chasing a record-equalling fifth Munster Championship on the trot, which would bring the county’s overall haul to 24, while Clare are seeking only a seventh title and a first since 1998, the Ger Loughnane/Anthony Daly golden days for the county draped in saffron and blue.