Limerick hurlers thanked for ‘a fantastic summer’

Aine Fitzgerald


Aine Fitzgerald

The long road home: Limerick supporters make their way to the exit at the end of the All-Ireland semi-final in Croke Park. Picture: Sportsfile
“THANKS for all the messages and well wishes, best supporters in the country #absolutelyheartbroken”.

“THANKS for all the messages and well wishes, best supporters in the country #absolutelyheartbroken”.

“Worst feeling ever, but one of the greatest experiences of my life. Hawk-Eye did us no favours but there is always next year #LuimneachAbu”.

The two tweets by senior hurler Tom Condon and minor hurler Barry Nash said it all.

Limerick’s long, hot summer of hurling was over. The players were crestfallen. So too the thousands of fans who made the trip to Croker on Sunday.

“We hadn’t won a senior Munster title since 1996 and we hadn’t won an Under 18 since 1984. From the base from which we came from, the year was a huge achievement,” said Limerick County Board chairman, Oliver Mann this week, striking a positive note following Sunday’s bitterly disappointing defeat at the hands of Clare.

“The profile of Limerick GAA has undoubtedly risen over the past couple of months and that was evident from the support we got - so many who went to the Munster final went again to Dublin on Sunday and followed the minors down to Thurles for the replay.”

After the game Mayor Kathleen Leddin said the people of Limerick are “very proud of their hurlers for the great summer they have given us”. The crowd in Croke Park on Sunday was 62,962, which was 870 more than the attendance at the first semi-final between Cork and Dublin, (62,092). Limerick supporters well outnumbered their Clare neighbours with between 30,000 and 35,000 travelling to Dublin.

“We appreciate that,” continued Oliver Mann. “The message to the supporters is a big thank you and also thanks to the players and the management for the fantastic summer they have given us. Hopefully, with a few tweaks here and there that come 2014 we will be able to consolidate and build on what we achieved.”

Munster final day, July 14, when Limerick beat Cork in the Gaelic Grounds “was a special day” he said, “one that will be etched in our minds for a long, long time. “The way the crowd descended from all corners of the field when the final whistle blew, I think it will stand in a lot of people’s memory for years to come.”

Editorial: page 16