Hurlers serve up a homecoming for all to savour

A section of the crowd that turned out to welcome home the Galway hurlers in Pearse Stadium.

A TWENTY-NINE year wait for an All-Ireland senior title ‘hurt us and hurt us bad but now the time had come for everyone to celebrate and enjoy the moment’ . . . the words of Galway Hurling Committee Chairman, Michael Larkin at Pearse Stadium on Monday night as he addressed the masses.

The Galway supporters came in their thousands to Pearse Stadium on Monday night for the welcome home party of their hurling heroes and Michael Larkin gave a commitment over the coming weeks and months to visit schools and parishes all over the county with the Liam McCarthy Cup.

“The disappointments over the years were tough and especially the more recent ones in 2012 and 2015 but now the time has come to enjoy the coming weeks and months. This is ‘yere’ day and ‘yere’ night – enjoy it,” said Michael Larkin.

Galway County Board Chairman, Pat Kearney, said he would keep his speech short on the basis that the Galway team ‘had done their talking on the pitch’. “We are back as a national power in hurling and that’s where we intend to stay,” he said.

Micheál Donoghue, the man who guided Galway to their fifth All-Ireland senior success, said that ‘a night like this, makes it all worthwhile’. He also paid a special tribute to the Galway supporters for driving the team on all year.

Galway captain David Burke said that Sunday’s success had ended a 29-year wait and was the climax of a 41-week training campaign.

“We set out to win every game at the start of the season. To see the crowds once we crossed the Shannon was just special. I just want to say thanks very much for your support,” said David Burke.

A crowd in the region of 25,000 – most of them on the pitch – gave both the senior and minor teams a tumultuous welcome, when they made their way on stage from the Bothar na Trá terrace end of the pitch.

See full coverage of Galway’s All-Ireland triumph and homecoming in this week’s Connacht Tribune.