AT THE unveiling of the Mick Mackey statue in Castleconnell a few weeks ago Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh noted that Limerick had won just one All-Ireland since 1940.
“Limerick was always a hurling county, a truly hurling county.
“It is something I cannot understand – there must be no fairness in who ever decides who wins,” said the GAA legend.
Many weren’t born when the men of 1973 triumphed over Kilkenny but their names roll off the tongue of every Limerick hurling fan.
They were recently honoured by JP McManus in Staker Wallace GAA Club and this Friday, June 7, the Friends of Limerick ’73 culminates in Ahern’s Pub, Kilteely.
The idea of John Franklin, Knockane was to get two jerseys and two hurleys signed by every member of the ‘73 team. One of each will be auctioned and raffled this Friday night. The idea caught the public’s imagination and table quizzes, cake sales and a run were organised.
Sean Foley presented them with his 1973 All-Star jersey for their auction and Ed Shanahan from Clarina gave a hurley with a picture of the Limerick 1973 team on it. Another person to support the project is well known photographer Michael Martin. He gave organisers a framed collection of photographs from the ‘73 All-Ireland signed by both teams. This will also be auctioned off on Friday.
All the funds raised will be divided between Daughters of Charity in Lisnagry, MS Limerick and Milford Hospice.
Mr Martin says he has very fond memories off the day.
“I saw the piece in the Leader a couple of months ago and I have all these photos from the final that were never published,” said Mr Martin.
He collated them and the five feet by three feet collection of photos would be treasured by any Limerick hurling fan.
Things were a lot easier going in those days. The young photographer arrived up to Croke Park with no accreditation or affiliation but got on to the pitch.
“I just chanced my arm,” he jokes.
“It lashed rain all day but I shot everything that moved,” said Mr Martin,
Like many, the young photographer stayed up all night but he was one of the few not to celebrate.
“No, I didn’t go drinking. I went straight home to the dark room and printed them all off,” said Mr Martin.
To this day Michael Martin Photography still get orders from all over the world. His 1973 pictures adorn pubs in Australia and America and many points in between.
John Franklin said the framed photographs will be a popular lot on the night.
He expects a bumper crowd and all are welcome to come to Kilteely this Friday night to buy a raffle ticket or bid.
The most enjoyable part of the project for Mr Franklin has been meeting all the players and celebrating the men 40 years on.