Long wait for glory ends in Galway as thousands hail victorious camogie teams
All-Ireland senior and intermediate victories celebrated as teams return home
Galway centre half back Therese Maher with the O’Duffy Cup in Ballinasloe. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho
GAA fans turned out in their thousands to welcome home the victorious Galway senior and intermediate camogie All-Ireland champions last night.
Tony Ward’s side ended a 17-year wait for their second senior crown in Croke Park on Sunday with a comprehensive victory over Kilkenny.
Bonfires dotted the countryside as the victorious teams paraded the cups through the parishes of east Galway, with fans celebrating long into the night.
The days’ activities began with a visit to Our Lady’s children’s hospital in Crumlin, Dublin, but the festivities really kicked off with the traditional crossing of the Shannon with the cup at 5.30pm in Athlone. Hundreds of supporters waited to welcome the O’Duffy and McGrath cups back into Connacht.
After a short ceremony on the Galway side of the bridge the triumphant teams carried on to St Michael’s Square in Ballinasloe, where hundreds more supporters gathered to cheer the teams.
After a meal at nearby Hayden’s Hotel, they embarked on a tour of local clubs and towns, visiting Loughrea, Cappataggle and Ballyfa, before ending last night’s celebrations at Raford.
“Sunday was a glorious day for GAA in Galway. Our double success will be a boost for camogie in the county for years to come,” said Ward.
“We have suffered disappointments in the past and that is what makes these victories all the sweeter,” Ward, who also managed Galway to their only other senior success in 1996, added.