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16/10/2021

‘If Limerick win you won’t see me in town for a week!’

‘If Limerick win you won’t see me in town for a week!’

Green and red apples don’t fall far from the tree in The Orchard development in Charleville | PICTURES: Brendan Gleeson

THE TECTONIC plates under Charleville are shifting ahead of a volcanic eruption of excitement at 3.30pm on Sunday.

The town is firmly situated in North Cork but Limerick people have been invading it for years for work, education, shopping and socialising. Martin O’Connor is firmly on the red and white side of the border.

“There is right craic around the town. We all grew up together, we all went to school together. If Limerick win you won’t see me out in town for a week. I’ll be inside in the house peering out the window. But if Cork win I’ll be going up to the pub at about five past five and again you won’t see me for a week!” laughed Martin, of Charleville GAA Club.

Down through the years Cork have more often than not been favourites against Limerick but not this time.

“This Limerick team is probably better than anything we have ever seen. I think we'll have to be at it for 70 minutes, which we haven't done yet. We are going there more in hope than expectation.

“Limerick went through their own tough years. In 2018, we found out what it’s like to be on the receiving end of what ye got,” said Martin, who is hoping for a big performance from local star Darragh Fitzgibbon.

The red tide is rising with Cork cleaning up at minor and U-20 level and the Charleville man can foresee Limerick and Cork going toe-to-toe for the next few years.

Martin’s neighbour in The Orchard development, Aisling Lenihan isn’t afraid to step on Martin’s toes.

“Limerick will win definitely – without a doubt!,” said Aisling, who is from Newcastle West but living in Charleville for the last 15 years.

Husband, Thomas James grew up in the first house on the Limerick side of the county bounds in Creggane.

“He'd bleed green if you cut him!” said Aisling, who is loving the atmosphere and buzz in the town.

“People are smiling as you are going past them. The shops are decorated with flags. You can hear the chit chat in the background about the match and tickets. It’s a lovely atmosphere to walk up town. It actually gives you goosebumps. It’s a bit of normality and everybody needs that,” said Aisling.

Let’s hope she is the one strutting up town on Sunday evening while Martin is confined to his sitting room!

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