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Kerry fans ignore the rain to welcome ladies home after epic Croke Park battle

Team arrives into Castleisland, then Killarney on Monday.

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Oisin, Fionn, Adam, Cian and Zach Houlihan from Killorglin, supporters of Kerry player Emma Foley, pictured at the Fitzgerald Stadium on Monday. Photo: Tatyana McGough

Oisin, Fionn, Adam, Cian and Zach Houlihan from Killorglin, supporters of Kerry player Emma Foley, pictured at the Fitzgerald Stadium on Monday. Photo: Tatyana McGough

Faces in the crowd at the Kerry Ladies Homecoming on Monday. Photo: Tatyana McGough

Faces in the crowd at the Kerry Ladies Homecoming on Monday. Photo: Tatyana McGough

l-r Celina Coffey, Ann Holland, Geraldine Murphy, Mary Jo Curran waiting for Kerry Laddies Team to arrive at Fitzgerald Stadium on Monday. Photo: Tatyana McGough

l-r Celina Coffey, Ann Holland, Geraldine Murphy, Mary Jo Curran waiting for Kerry Laddies Team to arrive at Fitzgerald Stadium on Monday. Photo: Tatyana McGough

The Spirit of Kerry: Carmel Quilter-O'Neill, Tralee and Lixnaw was in Castleisland on Monday to welcome home the Kerry ladies team and management. Photo by John Reidy

The Spirit of Kerry: Carmel Quilter-O'Neill, Tralee and Lixnaw was in Castleisland on Monday to welcome home the Kerry ladies team and management. Photo by John Reidy

Kerry player Danielle O’Leary signing jerseys at the Kerry Ladies Homecoming on Monday. Photo: Tatyana McGough

Kerry player Danielle O’Leary signing jerseys at the Kerry Ladies Homecoming on Monday. Photo: Tatyana McGough

Thirty five minutes after the expected arrival time of 5pm the Kerry ladies team bus rounded Hartnett's Corner to a heroic and warm welcome from the huge crowd which waited in the rain for their arrival in Castleisland on Monday evening. Photo by John Reidy

Thirty five minutes after the expected arrival time of 5pm the Kerry ladies team bus rounded Hartnett's Corner to a heroic and warm welcome from the huge crowd which waited in the rain for their arrival in Castleisland on Monday evening. Photo by John Reidy

Kerry supporters waiting for Kerry Ladies to arrive at the Fitzgerald Stadium on Monday, Photo: Tatyana McGough.

Kerry supporters waiting for Kerry Ladies to arrive at the Fitzgerald Stadium on Monday, Photo: Tatyana McGough.

The Kerryman sports writer and Castleisland native, Dan Kearney addressing the rain-soaked crowd which turned out to greet the Kerry ladies team and management in Castleisland on Monday evening. Photo by John Reidy

The Kerryman sports writer and Castleisland native, Dan Kearney addressing the rain-soaked crowd which turned out to greet the Kerry ladies team and management in Castleisland on Monday evening. Photo by John Reidy

Kerry Ladies team supporters from Finuge / St. Senan's, Clodagh Linnane (left) with Áine and Donnacha Quilter in Castleisland on Monday evening. Photo by John Reidy

Kerry Ladies team supporters from Finuge / St. Senan's, Clodagh Linnane (left) with Áine and Donnacha Quilter in Castleisland on Monday evening. Photo by John Reidy

Catheriona Doolan-Browne pictured with her children: Sonny, Jarlath, Bláithín and Sinéad waiting to greet the Kerry ladies team to Castleisland on Monday evening. Photo by John Reidy

Catheriona Doolan-Browne pictured with her children: Sonny, Jarlath, Bláithín and Sinéad waiting to greet the Kerry ladies team to Castleisland on Monday evening. Photo by John Reidy

Selina Looney Kerry Ladies Chairperson (centre) pictured with Kerry players at the Kerry Senior Ladies Homecoming at the Fitzgerald Stadium on Monday. Photo: Tatyana McGough

Selina Looney Kerry Ladies Chairperson (centre) pictured with Kerry players at the Kerry Senior Ladies Homecoming at the Fitzgerald Stadium on Monday. Photo: Tatyana McGough

The crowd gathering around the rig as the Kerry ladies team and co-managers, Darragh Long and Declan Quill witness the levels of appreciation for their efforts in Castleisland on Monday evening. Photo by John Reidy

The crowd gathering around the rig as the Kerry ladies team and co-managers, Darragh Long and Declan Quill witness the levels of appreciation for their efforts in Castleisland on Monday evening. Photo by John Reidy

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Oisin, Fionn, Adam, Cian and Zach Houlihan from Killorglin, supporters of Kerry player Emma Foley, pictured at the Fitzgerald Stadium on Monday. Photo: Tatyana McGough

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A week can be a long time in sport, and while the euphoric celebrations that greeted the Kerry men’s team may have been absent as the ladies were welcomed home on Monday, the same feeling of pride and appreciation certainly wasn’t.

They played their hearts out on Sunday against a Meath side that, in all probability, is at its peak right now.

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Kerry player Danielle O’Leary signing jerseys at the Kerry Ladies Homecoming on Monday. Photo: Tatyana McGough

Kerry player Danielle O’Leary signing jerseys at the Kerry Ladies Homecoming on Monday. Photo: Tatyana McGough

Kerry player Danielle O’Leary signing jerseys at the Kerry Ladies Homecoming on Monday. Photo: Tatyana McGough

The blistering start to the game by Kerry is a measure of their capability, and that wonder goal by Louise Ní Mhuireachtaigh was worth the attendance fee on its own.

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Joint managers Declan Quill and Darragh Long, including the backroom team, have put their heart and soul into this team over the last few years. They have started something that is far from finished. They know this.

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The Spirit of Kerry: Carmel Quilter-O'Neill, Tralee and Lixnaw was in Castleisland on Monday to welcome home the Kerry ladies team and management. Photo by John Reidy

The Spirit of Kerry: Carmel Quilter-O'Neill, Tralee and Lixnaw was in Castleisland on Monday to welcome home the Kerry ladies team and management. Photo by John Reidy

The Spirit of Kerry: Carmel Quilter-O'Neill, Tralee and Lixnaw was in Castleisland on Monday to welcome home the Kerry ladies team and management. Photo by John Reidy

Declan tweeted prior to the homecoming: “Hope to see you all later on. These girls are an amazing bunch and brilliant ambassadors for our county.

"We’ll come back stronger but we need your support tonight. Mná na Ríochta abu.’

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Kerry Ladies team supporters from Finuge / St. Senan's, Clodagh Linnane (left) with Áine and Donnacha Quilter in Castleisland on Monday evening. Photo by John Reidy

Kerry Ladies team supporters from Finuge / St. Senan's, Clodagh Linnane (left) with Áine and Donnacha Quilter in Castleisland on Monday evening. Photo by John Reidy

Kerry Ladies team supporters from Finuge / St. Senan's, Clodagh Linnane (left) with Áine and Donnacha Quilter in Castleisland on Monday evening. Photo by John Reidy

The Kerry ladies can learn from the experience. If they consolidate feelings of disappointment and hurt, to use it as motivation, then it’s sky’s the limit for this hugely talented team going forward.

Monday evening’s weather may have matched the mood as the team gathered for the homecoming in Castleisland and Killarney. But such was the scale of the welcome, it soon brightened things up.

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Catheriona Doolan-Browne pictured with her children: Sonny, Jarlath, Bláithín and Sinéad waiting to greet the Kerry ladies team to Castleisland on Monday evening. Photo by John Reidy

Catheriona Doolan-Browne pictured with her children: Sonny, Jarlath, Bláithín and Sinéad waiting to greet the Kerry ladies team to Castleisland on Monday evening. Photo by John Reidy

Catheriona Doolan-Browne pictured with her children: Sonny, Jarlath, Bláithín and Sinéad waiting to greet the Kerry ladies team to Castleisland on Monday evening. Photo by John Reidy

Castleisland had given the team a great send-off on Saturday so it seemed only fitting that they should return there first.

Cllr Bobby O’Connell told the crowd that he was as proud of the Kerry ladies as he was of the men a week earlier. “Ye were absolutely tremendous,” he told them.

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l-r Celina Coffey, Ann Holland, Geraldine Murphy, Mary Jo Curran waiting for Kerry Laddies Team to arrive at Fitzgerald Stadium on Monday. Photo: Tatyana McGough

l-r Celina Coffey, Ann Holland, Geraldine Murphy, Mary Jo Curran waiting for Kerry Laddies Team to arrive at Fitzgerald Stadium on Monday. Photo: Tatyana McGough

l-r Celina Coffey, Ann Holland, Geraldine Murphy, Mary Jo Curran waiting for Kerry Laddies Team to arrive at Fitzgerald Stadium on Monday. Photo: Tatyana McGough

In Killarney, Minister for Education Norma Foley told the team their efforts were appreciated by everyone.

“They are terrific role models to all the young girls that are here [tonight]. There was such a great turnout [in Croke Park] it was a real family day,” she said.

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Kerry supporters waiting for Kerry Ladies to arrive at the Fitzgerald Stadium on Monday, Photo: Tatyana McGough.

Kerry supporters waiting for Kerry Ladies to arrive at the Fitzgerald Stadium on Monday, Photo: Tatyana McGough.

Kerry supporters waiting for Kerry Ladies to arrive at the Fitzgerald Stadium on Monday, Photo: Tatyana McGough.

“We are honoured that the girls and the management team, who are leading us and showing the way. Sunday just didn’t work out as we would have wanted, but there will be other days and we will be with them,” she said.

So say all of us. 

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Faces in the crowd at the Kerry Ladies Homecoming on Monday. Photo: Tatyana McGough

Faces in the crowd at the Kerry Ladies Homecoming on Monday. Photo: Tatyana McGough

Faces in the crowd at the Kerry Ladies Homecoming on Monday. Photo: Tatyana McGough

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Selina Looney Kerry Ladies Chairperson (centre) pictured with Kerry players at the Kerry Senior Ladies Homecoming at the Fitzgerald Stadium on Monday. Photo: Tatyana McGough

Selina Looney Kerry Ladies Chairperson (centre) pictured with Kerry players at the Kerry Senior Ladies Homecoming at the Fitzgerald Stadium on Monday. Photo: Tatyana McGough

Selina Looney Kerry Ladies Chairperson (centre) pictured with Kerry players at the Kerry Senior Ladies Homecoming at the Fitzgerald Stadium on Monday. Photo: Tatyana McGough


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