Radio programme to revisit Limerick’s All Ireland win in 1973

Colm Ward

Reporter:

Colm Ward

All-Ireland winning Limerick captain Eamonn Grimes lifts the Liam MacCarthy Cup in 1973. Picture credit: Connolly Collection / SPORTSFILE
A radio documentary about the All Ireland-winning Limerick hurling team of 1973 will be broadcast on West Limerick 102FM this St Stephen’s Day.

A radio documentary about the All Ireland-winning Limerick hurling team of 1973 will be broadcast on West Limerick 102FM this St Stephen’s Day.

Entitled Four Sundays To Liam, the programme follows the team’s extraordinary journey to Croke Park that year. It was produced by Connie Broderick and Joe McGill of Keeshla Communications Ltd.

“This achievement is quite possibly under-explored and this radio programme will embark on a journey to tell this story through the eyes of the players, their recollections forming the narrative,” said Connie Broderick. The four key contributors to the documentary are Bernie Hartigan, Eamon Grimes, Ned Rea and Eamon Cregan, each of whom tell the story from their own perspective. Their narratives will be interspersed with audio recordings from that successful campaign throughout, featuring the distinctive voice of GAA broadcaster and sports commentator Michael O’Hehir who spoke so eloquently of great players like Richie Bennis, Eamon Cregan and Eamon Grimes to name a few.

“The documentary will allow us to step back in time, drawing on the memories of these epic games over four memorable Sundays during that summer,” added Mr Broderick.

The story is a fascinating one.

In September 1973 the Limerick hurlers took to the field to take on reigning All-Ireland Hurling champions Kilkenny. This was the team that had gone into the 1971 championship as the experts’ pick only to lose a big lead against Tipperary in the Munster final, the same team that were talked up in 1972 only to fall at the first hurdle against an unfancied Clare outfit and the same group that had had the good fortune to meet London in the semi-final in 1973 and then took all day to beat them.

However, on that evening in 1973, Limerick emerged from Croke Park as All-Ireland Champions for the seventh time in their history. Last year marked the fortieth anniversary of that famous day. The winning team included well-known names such as Eamon Grimes, Richie Bennis, Mossie Dowling, Eamonn Cregan and Pat Hartigan – rightly regarded as some of the best players in the country at the time. With an average age of 25.8 years the future appeared bright, laden with silverware.

Sadly, it is a feat that has not been repeated by any Limerick team since.

“The documentary will allow us to step back in time drawing on the memories of these epic games over four memorable Sundays during that summer,” added Mr Broderick. ‘Four Sunday’s to Liam’ is to be broadcast on West Limerick 102fm on St Stephen’s Day from 3pm to 4pm and repeated New Year’s day from 3-4pm.