Cork City clubs receive heroes’ welcome from thousands of fans

Celebrations in full swing after Cork City FC win historic double and ladies’ side clinch cup

Thousands of soccer fans thronged the Grand Parade in Cork on Monday night to celebrate Cork City FC sealing the city's first league and cup double for more than 60 years.

Less than a decade after going into examinership, the club won the FAI Cup on Sunday when they saw off their rivals Dundalk in a penalty shootout at the Aviva Stadium.

The victory came came hot on the heels of their capture of the Airtricity League of Ireland Championship last month.

The party got started on Leeside with a reception for the Cork City Ladies side. Captain Ciara McNamara showed off the FAI Women's Cup, which was claimed after a 1-0 victory over UCD Waves thanks to a goal from local striker Clare Shine.

The joint captains of the men's team, John Dunleavy and Alan Bennett, and their manager John Caulfied, later received a rousing reception when they arrived on stage.

Caulfield’s side are only the third Cork club after Cork United in 1940/41 and Cork Athletic in 1950/51 to claim a double.

“It was an incredible feeling to lift the trophy – we can’t thank enough the fans who came along to the Aviva yesterday to support us and we’re delighted to be bringing the FAI Cup back to Cork; it’s an amazing feeling,” said Bennett.

Goalkeeper Mark McNulty, who put controversy over comments made about Dundalk ahead of the game behind him to superbly save a spot kick in the penalty shootout, praised the bravery of Kieran Sadlier, who put away the winning penalty.

Caulfield ,who has just been selected as Cork Person of the Month for November, said it was a fantastic time for the players and the clubs.

“We’re a community club so to see so many fans here tonight, this is what it’s all about,” he said.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times