Galway supporters urged to welcome defeated finalists home
Reception at Pearse Stadium will also celebrate minor team’s victory
Dejected Galway players after the defeat to Limerick in the senior championship final at Croke Park. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill
Galway city’s mayor has appealed to hurling fans to turn out in force and give the defeated All-Ireland hurling finalists a huge welcome home.
Galway City Council will host a reception for Micheál Donoghue’s squad and the victorious Galway minor team at the county’s GAA headquarters at Pearse Stadium in Salthill on Monday evening at 6.30pm.
Mayor Niall McNeilus said the hurlers had given it everything to hold on to their crown and he hopes fans will show their appreciation.
“They have been great ambassadors for the city and county all year and have given so much enjoyment, not just this season but over the years.
“Last year’s win was great and of course it is disappointing they came up short but they deserve a big welcome back to Galway and, of course, our victorious minor team.”
He attended the match with his nine-year-old son Ross, who was at his first final, with the mayor having cut short a visit to Chicago to come back for the match.
Galway’s hopes of a sixth All-Ireland title were dashed by Limerick but there was some consolation when the minors retained their title to claim the crown for the 12th time.
The two Galway teams will be afforded a civic reception by Galway County Council in Ballinasloe on Monday afternoon with council chairman Seán Ó Tuairisg welcoming the teams at the Fairgreen.
The senior squad and the victorious minor team will then travel to the city where a reception will be held at Pearse Stadium.
They will be hoping for similar good weather that was enjoyed by over 5,000 who watched the games on a big screen in Eyre Square in Galway.
There was a carnival atmosphere as thousands of people who didn’t get tickets gathered to cheer on their heroes.
There was also a large group of fans in Athenry where two screens were erected so that those attending the annual heritage week celebrations were able to follow proceedings from Croke Park.
Galway’s victory over Kilkenny in the minor final, their third triumph in that grade in four years, was a good omen as they retained the trophy they won last September against Cork.
But that was as good as it got for Galway fans as Limerick held on to claim the title for the first time in 45 years.