Clare were crowned Electric Ireland All-Ireland minor hurling champions last week as they strode to a five-point victory over a well-fancied Galway team in Semple Stadium. As the minor hurlers once again brought silverware back to Ennis, the welcomes were rapturous with Brian O'Connell's homecoming speech the epitome of what it means to win an All-Ireland.
Speaking to an explosive Cusack Park after Clare's win last Sunday, manager Brian O'Connell told the crowds just how impactful the support for his side was. From bonfires on the bus route to laps of honour with folks lining the roads and pipers escorting the team, The Clare Minor hurlers must have felt like kings returning.
We we stopped at Broadford, Eoghan's [Gunning, team captain] club on the way over and it was really special just to see people on the side of the road as we came in and there's a bonfire that was probably lit half an hour early it was nearly quenched by the time we got there!Then when we came from Broadford, through Tulla and obviously over to here just to see the people with their flags and their children young and old on the side of the road it was it was massive for us and it's going to create such massive memories for us for years to come and for these lads.I'd just like to thank everybody for that and thank all of you that are here right now and for making this such a special occasion for us and to the pipers that brought us over here we did a lap of the lap of Ennis, pretty much and it's such a special occasion I don't think we should underestimate how important it is.
Anyone that I've talked to I've tried to say that hopefully this isn't another big long gap before there's another Munster or All-Ireland in Clare, I think this is going to be the start of something and a lot of that has to do with all those people that are working behind the scenes.