CLARE’s victorious hurlers, who are due to receive a hero’s welcome when they return to Ennis this evening, first made a detour to a children’s hospital where they showed off the Liam McCarthy cup.
Manager Davy Fitzgerald described the visit to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin in Dublin as “emotional” as he met seriously ill children from around the county.
The All-Ireland winners were given a hero’s welcome by patients, parents and staff as they toured the hospital meeting and greeting young fans.
Among those who posed for photographs with the manager and players was Aoife Bolton (7) from Kilrush, Co Clare.
The youngster, who is recovering from heart surgery, watched the nail-biting match against Cork with her mother Caroline in her hospital bedroom.
“We were watching it in here, but were a little groggy,” said mum Caroline.
“She just had her operation on Friday and today is the first time she’s up and out of bed so it’s great to have this excitement,” she added.
The hurlers, including captain Pat Donnellan, Patrick O’Connor, Colin Ryan, Padraig Collins, David McInerney and Brendan Bugler, spent almost two hours walking around the wards before they were whisked away with a garda escort to rejoin the rest of the team as they headed home to Clare.
By Breda Heffernan