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Home are the heroes with Sam Maguire in tow

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The victorious Kerry Senior Football teams homecoming to Killarney in the Fitzgerald Stadium. Photo: Tatyana McGough

The victorious Kerry Senior Football teams homecoming to Killarney in the Fitzgerald Stadium. Photo: Tatyana McGough

The victorious Kerry Senior Football teams homecoming to Killarney in the Fitzgerald Stadium. Photo: Tatyana McGough

The victorious Kerry Senior Football teams homecoming to Killarney in the Fitzgerald Stadium. Photo: Tatyana McGough

Kerry Kenmare player Stephen O'Brien pictured at the Fitzgerald Stadium on Monday. Photo: Tatyana McGough

Kerry Kenmare player Stephen O'Brien pictured at the Fitzgerald Stadium on Monday. Photo: Tatyana McGough

Kerry Goalkeeper Shane Murphy with Sam pictured at the Fitzgerald Stadaium on Monday. Photo: Tatyana McGough

Kerry Goalkeeper Shane Murphy with Sam pictured at the Fitzgerald Stadaium on Monday. Photo: Tatyana McGough

Liz and Eilis Tangney, Matthew and Maria Hobbins celebrate at the victorious Kerry Senior Football team's homecoming to Killarney in the Fitzgerald Stadium. Photo: Tatyana McGough

Liz and Eilis Tangney, Matthew and Maria Hobbins celebrate at the victorious Kerry Senior Football team's homecoming to Killarney in the Fitzgerald Stadium. Photo: Tatyana McGough

Dylan, Trevor, Christine and Matthew Dunlea. The victorious Kerry Senior Football teams homecoming to Killarney in the Fitzgerald Stadium. Photo: Tatyana McGough

Dylan, Trevor, Christine and Matthew Dunlea. The victorious Kerry Senior Football teams homecoming to Killarney in the Fitzgerald Stadium. Photo: Tatyana McGough

Fiadh, Hannah, Mary and Jack Joyle waiting for Kerry players with Sam arrive into Fitzgerald Stadium Killarney on Monday. Photo: Tatyana McGough

Fiadh, Hannah, Mary and Jack Joyle waiting for Kerry players with Sam arrive into Fitzgerald Stadium Killarney on Monday. Photo: Tatyana McGough

Kerry Captain Sean O'Shea signing jerseys at the homecoming in the Fitzgerald Stadium on Monday. Photo: Tatyana McGough

Kerry Captain Sean O'Shea signing jerseys at the homecoming in the Fitzgerald Stadium on Monday. Photo: Tatyana McGough

Former Kerry Player Aidan O'Mahony was spotted at the Kerry Senior Football teams homecoming. Photo: Tatyana McGough

Former Kerry Player Aidan O'Mahony was spotted at the Kerry Senior Football teams homecoming. Photo: Tatyana McGough

Maria Brosnan with her children Ben, Charlie and Aidan and Billy Moriarty (right) waiting for Kerry players with Sam arrive into the Fitzgerald Stadium Killarney. Photo: Tatyana McGough

Maria Brosnan with her children Ben, Charlie and Aidan and Billy Moriarty (right) waiting for Kerry players with Sam arrive into the Fitzgerald Stadium Killarney. Photo: Tatyana McGough

The victorious Kerry Senior Football teams homecoming to Killarney in the Fitzgerald Stadium. Photo: Tatyana McGough Photo 11: Kerry Captain Sean O'Shea and Kerry Austin Stack player Joseph O'Connor wit Sam pictured at the Fitzgerald Stadium on Monday. Photo: Tatyana McGough Photo 14: Jack O'Connor Kerry Team Manager pictured at the Fitzgerald Stadium on Monday. The victorious Kerry Senior Football teams homecoming to Killarney in the Fitzgerald Stadium. Photo: Tatyana McGough

The victorious Kerry Senior Football teams homecoming to Killarney in the Fitzgerald Stadium. Photo: Tatyana McGough Photo 11: Kerry Captain Sean O'Shea and Kerry Austin Stack player Joseph O'Connor wit Sam pictured at the Fitzgerald Stadium on Monday. Photo: Tatyana McGough Photo 14: Jack O'Connor Kerry Team Manager pictured at the Fitzgerald Stadium on Monday. The victorious Kerry Senior Football teams homecoming to Killarney in the Fitzgerald Stadium. Photo: Tatyana McGough

The victorious Kerry Senior Football teams homecoming to Killarney in the Fitzgerald Stadium. Photo: Tatyana McGough

The victorious Kerry Senior Football teams homecoming to Killarney in the Fitzgerald Stadium. Photo: Tatyana McGough

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The victorious Kerry Senior Football teams homecoming to Killarney in the Fitzgerald Stadium. Photo: Tatyana McGough

kerryman

The venue was different but the celebrations were still familiar as Killarney welcomed Sam Maguire back after an eight-year hiatus.

While past All-Ireland homecomings stretched long into the night as fans waited for the open top bus to reach the Glebe Car Park, on Monday there was no such wait as the team rolled into town.

This time the venue was Fitzgerald Stadium – for the first time – and as the team disembarked on Dawson’s Avenue, it was a poignant moment as the Weeshie Fogarty Roundabout is just yards away.

And how Weeshie would have loved what was to follow as the team, dressed smartly in blue suits and white shirts made their way out onto the steps of the stand.

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Captains Joe O’Connor and Kenmare’s Seanie O’Shea then ran onto the pitchside holding the trophy aloft as the thousands assembled stretched tall for a vision of GAA’s new kids on the block.

The scenes were colourful... and loud... but there’s no better man than MC Botty O’Callaghan to restore order and he did just that with a quick wit and many a jibe in jest.

The players, back-room staff and management didn’t escape the jibes but the craic was mighty as the celebrations continued.

East Kerry Board’s Ger Galvin was also on microphone duties, as was Kerry GAA Chairman Patrick O’Sullivan.

Jack O’Connor then thanked the huge support on All-Ireland Sunday and on the night, while local heroes Seanie O’Shea and David Clifford praised the supporters from the Kingdom.

Then it was time to parade the tropy on the Fitzgerald Stadium turf as the team got up close to supporters before moving on to The Gleneagle – another time-honoured tradition.


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