Jubilant scenes at the Gaelic Grounds on Sunday PICTURE: BRENDAN GLEESON
FOLLOWING AN historic victory at Croke Park, the people of Limerick will mark another momentous day in the city's history when thousands welcome home Liam MacCarthy at the Gaelic Grounds for the first time in 45 years.
The boys in green will arrive at the Ennis Road grounds this Monday evening, followed by the biggest bash of the year. For those you who will be lucky enough to attend the festivities, the Limerick Leader is offering a few tips to help you prepare for the madness.
When and where is this taking place?
The homecoming party will start at 4pm and end at 9pm, at the Gaelic Grounds on the Ennis Road.
When should people be arriving?
The gates open at 4pm, so the sooner, the better. It's important to soak up as much of the atmosphere as possible. The gates will close at 6.30pm, in the interest of public health and safety.
Is it a free event?
It sure is, and how can you turn down a free party? Regrettably, if you're reading this now and you haven't scooped your tickets, then it's too late. Unless, of course, someone has a few spares going.
How many people are we expecting at the party?
We could be seeing around 40,000 people at the Gaelic Grounds, easily.
So, if there's that many people, will there traffic restrictions?
There is going to be widespread traffic restrictions in order to facilitate the homecoming. The whole stretch on the Ennis Road, from Sarsfield Bridge to Ivan's Cross, will be closed to traffic and parking from 3.30pm to 9pm this Monday. Local diversions will be in place.
The council website states: "Residential access to Mayorstone, Coolrane Estate and Merval Park will be subject to road closures from 1.00pm with residential access only permitted. Motorists are advised that Limerick city centre will be subject to significant traffic diversions from 5.30pm until 7.30pm and traffic delays are expected."
A homecoming celebration takes place in Limerick City today 20th August 2018 to celebrate the All-Ireland Hurling Champions returning to the city.— An Garda Síochána (@GardaTraffic) August 20, 2018
For the full traffic management plan please see: https://t.co/m85ay8q3dg pic.twitter.com/XLj23TqHMP
How should I travel to the Gaelic Grounds?
If you are to drive directly to the event, you could face significant delays and disruptions along the way, and may not get a desirable parking spot. However, Limerick City and County Council is urging the attendants to avail of public transport, or park in the city and stroll to the venue.
What kind of public transport will be available?
Bus Eireann is providing additional frequency in the city centre to cater for the expected large crowds.
What about parking at the grounds?
What time are the new champions arriving at the Gaelic Grounds?
Our boys in green will be arriving at the stadium at 7pm to show off the Liam MacCarthy Cup. Before that, they will arrive at Colbert Station via train at 5.40pm, before taking to the steps to be welcomed by Mayor of Limerick City and County, Cllr James Collins. They will then jump aboard the open-top bus en route to the Gaelic Grounds.
The bus will travel down Mallow Street, O’Connell Street, Sarsfield Street, over Sarsfield Bridge and out the Ennis Road to the Gaelic Grounds. There will be rolling road closures in the city centre from 5.30pm until 7.30pm as the team makes its way to the home of Limerick GAA.
Will there be music at this party?
You can't have a party without music, and there will be plenty of it. Irish group Beoga, fronted by Limerick woman Niamh Dunne, will kick it off before The Blizzards take the stage. Then "Maniac 2000" man, DJ Mark McCabe, will continue the buzz.
Hold on... DJ Mark McCabe?! This is going to be UNREAL!! Yurt https://t.co/V8Ezw7T8l2— Beoga (@beogamusic) August 19, 2018
What about the weather, should we bring the brolly?
According to Met Eireann, Limerick city won't be getting rainfall this evening. It's meant to be milling at around 2pm, but all overcast thereafter. However, just in case, it would be wise to come prepared. But rain or no rain, nothing will dampen this party.
Temperatures will range between 16 and 19 degrees, and it expected to be a rather humid spell.
What about children attending?
The kids can party, too! The council states that this a fun, free, family-friendly event.
Is it just Limerick people who are allowed to attend?
Not at all. If you have a ticket, you're welcome to attend. It's a great way to see what it's like to win an All-Ireland hurling championship. So, Galwegians are more than welcome to pop by.