Galway hurlers warmly received back home despite final defeat

Triumphant minor side praised as county chairman predicts ‘many more days in sun’

It was a far cry from last September but thousands still took to the streets in Galway on Monday evening to welcome home the county’s hurlers after they failed to retain the Liam MacCarthy Cup.

Last year there were scenes of unconfined joy as Galway ended a 29-year wait for the All-Ireland senior hurling championship, but this time those celebrations took place 100km south, in Limerick, who ended a 45-year drought of their own on Sunday.

However, there was an All-Ireland minor hurling title to celebrate, the county’s third success at that grade in four years. Pat Kearney, chairman of the Galway GAA County Committee, said the latest under-age success was a testament to the work being carried out at all levels of hurling in the county.

“We are disappointed not to hold on to our senior crown but this team gave everything they had, not just yesterday but throughout the year and they have given wonderful entertainment,” he said.


“The success again at minor level shows the future is bright for Galway, and I have no doubt we will be back again and that our wonderful supporters will have many more days in the sun.”


The minor and senior teams were afforded a civic reception, hosted by Galway County Council, in Ballinasloe. Council chairman Seán Ó Tuairisg thanked the hurlers for all their efforts during the year.

There was a special welcome for Ballinasloe native Shane Jennings, who was man of the match in the minor final, in which Galway defeated Kilkenny by 0-21 to 0-14. The top scorer in that win, Salthill native Donal O’Shea – son of former Tipperary manager Eamon O’Shea – was given a huge welcome when the two squads arrived at Pearse Stadium in Salthill, Galway GAA’s headquarters.

Senior captain David Burke thanked the fans not just for the welcome home but also their support throughout the year.

“It’s easy to come out when we win but it’s testament to the great support we have that so many turned out to welcome us home,” he said. “This team is going nowhere. We will be back again stronger than ever next year.”

Galway city mayor Neil McNeilus said Galway had contributed hugely to this year’s senior hurling championship, which he described as one of the best ever. “They have given so much over the past few years and have been such great ambassadors for the city and county. They are a great group and we are already looking forward to next year.”