We hold these truths to be self-evident: that Cork are Cork, endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of....Corkness.
Cork hurling could have done with putting that on a post-it note recently.
Across the last two years, Cork hurling has been an exercise in despair, and as with most things, it was at its most eloquent and passionate with Donal Óg.
Cork limped back home in 2015 with bodies bruised and egos battered after a 12-point hammering to Galway in the All-Ireland quarter-finals. Donal Óg was tasked with tracing the chalk outline on The Sunday Game that night. He went further and began the prosecution.
Prior to invoking the sleeping habits of the Ayatollah, he likened JBM to a school-teacher in an under-privileged school, gallantly pushing a rock up a hill as a result of a county board and a group of clubs that were fiddling while Rome burned.
The great indictment was not Donal Óg's diagnosis, but the graphic he flashed up on screen:
Donal Óg admitted that passion and desire was not a problem at any level, but with the structures unfit for purpose, victories and trophies were seeping away into nothingness. Or worse: Tipperary.
Were that table extended up to yesterday morning, Cork would continue to lag badly behind: Tipp have picked up five competitions since, with Waterford taking a couple of Under-21 titles last year, while Limerick and Clare have won at Harty Cup and club level respectively.
By tea-time, however, all had changed. Cork sealed Munster minor and senior titles before a Semple Stadium daubed with red, an occasion eons from the portents of Donal Óg's appearance on TV, or last year's defeat to Wexford.
So what has changed? While the structural problems accentuated by Donal Óg may still be wobbling, Cork yesterday proved that the ties that bind are non-negotiable.
Tradition is a vague and evasive concept, and eternally strays toward lapsing into cliché, but it is vital, and it is the primary reason that there are two Munster titles on Leeside today.
Cork's restoration has come from ending their holding these truths in abeyance, having dabbled in the alchemy of others last year. On a practical level, Kingston has been disabused of these notions having experimented with a sweeper against Tipperary last year. They scored just 15 points, trailing by 11 points at one stage. This year, Cork have believed in the primacy of their hurlers, and have been largely happy to go man-to-man. This has worked: Damien Cahalane, for example, kept Seamus Callanan to 0-04 from play in May, a superior style of parsimony to what was on offer with a sweeper sitting in front the year before.
It's not a case of Kingston not coaching his side whatsoever: their half-forwards rarely sit on that line, but away from the machinations and intricacies of A System, Cork's hurlers have been allowed do what they do best: hurl. It rests on a certain arrogance, for sure, to back your hurlers as superior to the opposition. But it's what Cork ultimately do best.
And in the stark period which Donal Óg gave voice to, perhaps that self-belief has been lost. But this year, Cork have rediscovered that tradition. That doesn't come from the present, but from the past, from the standards set by the likes of Donal Óg and Diarmuid O'Sullivan and countless others who have contributed to the gilding of past ages.
Ingeniously, Cork gleaned another dose of that tradition before kick-off: their victorious minor hurlers formed a guard of honour as the seniors took to the field.
— Cork's RedFM Sport (@BigRedBench) July 9, 2017
A nice fillip, and a timely reminder that the present becomes showered in glory when the past and the future elide under a common theme. Tradition needs to be maintained as much as it must be fulfilled. It's what Donal Óg asked for on The Sunday Game, and it is what he and myriad Cork hurlers have done so in the past. That guard of honour reminded the seniors that they carry the keys to future success, too. The fact the minor side were the first on the field to celebrate the senior success added symbolism.
The bitter irony is that Donal Óg was on the other side.His time with his homeland will come, and if Cork continue to remember what sets them apart, as they have done this year, he will return to find them very much alive.