“It’s a special time, unbelievable” – Crowds throng the streets to welcome Kerry’s heroes home

One of the Kingdom’s longest runs without All-Ireland has come to an end and Denny Street in Tralee last night had all the signs of it.

he aristocrats of Gaelic football had waited eight years to claim Sam Maguire, with much heartache between wins, before finally managing to get over the line in a head-to-head with Galway at Croke Park
On Sunday.

If the people of Kerry had a habit of downplaying their excitement at past All Ireland victories, they’ve ditched that habit for now as the celebrations for their record 38th All Ireland title were in full swing.

This time there were no “yerras” as the newest champions came home; The county celebrates and doesn’t care, who knows.

The Kerry flags had been draped over Tralee’s most famous street well before Sunday’s decider, but thousands of fans flocked to the thoroughfare last night
the green and gold theme for the top gear.

Children slapped “22-KY-SAM” license plates against barriers and could already feel the tension. Others swung braided green and gold ribbons above their heads.

A young man sat in a tree in Pearse Park to get a better view of the platform set up in front of Ashe Memorial Hall; another climbed the railings of the same park and kept his balance by holding on to a lamppost.

And all this long before the open bus arrived with the players who wanted to see them.

Some walked by simpler means to gain a clearer perspective, sitting on their parents’ shoulders.

Dónal Ó Muircheartaigh, of Clochán in West Kerry, held up his two sons simultaneously while their sister Róisín was strengthened by mother Mary.

“It’s her first homecoming,” Dónal said Irish Independent.

“Conor (7) and Róisín were also in the match yesterday, Jack (3) is still a bit too young,” he said. “But it’s fantastic to be here tonight.”

If the trio’s favorite player – David Clifford, of course – and his teammates carry on as before, Jack might not have to wait too long.

DJ Big Jim kept reassuring us the team was on their way from Castleisland, but after eight years of waiting, a few more minutes wouldn’t hurt.

His eclectic playlist – jumps off country roads and The Wolfe Tones too Crazy 2000 and Opus – and the energy on stage in the meantime was certainly enough to keep things moving.

And then the bus arrived, with Sam Maguire in suits and boots from the Kerry set dangling over the side of the bus, causing thousands of unbridled cheers.

It could have been even louder than the cheers for David Clifford as the players were introduced one by one after climbing onto the platform.

“It’s a special time and to be here today and see the crowd is amazing,” said co-captain Seán O’Shea. “It’s very special to be a part of it.”

“It’s a privilege to be here,” said his co-captain and hometown boy Joe O’Connor. “We (Austin Stacks GAA Club) had a great year last year and I got nominated (for the captaincy). I’m really proud of my club for nominating me and proud of these guys.”

Tralee Mayor Cllr Mikey Sheehy said he had never seen such a crowd in the city.

His father and namesake, one of the game’s all-time greats, might be a better judge of that, but somehow it’s hard to doubt Mikey Junior.

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/its-a-special-time-unbelievable-crowds-throng-the-streets-to-welcome-home-kerrys-heroes-41866612.html “It’s a special time, unbelievable” – Crowds throng the streets to welcome Kerry’s heroes home

Fry Electronics Team

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