Sunday 17 December 2017

Captain David Burke pays tribute to Galway's nine unsung heroes after 'unbelievable' party in Citywest

  • Galway win All-Ireland hurling final after 29-year famine
  • Emotions 'high' as team celebrate
  • West readying itself for 'heavy celebrations'
  • Team visit Crumlin Children's Hospital this morning before hitting the road home
Galway Captain David Burke with Eight Month old Dara Kearns from Moycullen at the City West Hotel this morning
Galway Captain David Burke with Eight Month old Dara Kearns from Moycullen at the City West Hotel this morning

Ryan O'Rourke

Galway skipper David Burke has illustrated his leadership qualities and class on and off the field after Galway's 29-year All-Ireland famine ended yesterday.

He was named man of the match for yesterday's clash after bagging four points from play in a tireless performance and was hailed for his eight-minute speech as he lifted Liam MacCarthy in the Hogan Stand.

Speaking outside the Citywest hotel this morning, the star midfielder remembered nine men who were pivotal in their success, the nine players who failed to make the bench for yesterday's game.

GAA regulations mean that Michéal Donoghue could only name 26 players for his matchday squad but the other players who have trained with the squad were given number 27 jersey's in tribute to their dedication.

Burke believes Galway's wait for Liam MacCarthy would have entered a fourth decade had it not been for these men.

"One of the lads sent me a picture of me lifting the cup on the big screen and it's hard to believe.

Galway captain David Burke lifts the Liam MacCarthy cup after the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Galway and Waterford at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Galway captain David Burke lifts the Liam MacCarthy cup after the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Galway and Waterford at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Waterford manager Derek McGrath dejected after the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Galway and Waterford at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Galway manager Micheál Donoghue after the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Galway and Waterford at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
David Burke of Galway lifts the Liam MacCarthy Cup after the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Galway and Waterford at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Galway captain David Burke lifts the Liam MacCarthy Cup surrounded by delighted supporters. Photo: Sportsfile
Galway's Gearóid McInerney, left, and Jason Flynn celebrate
A Waterford supporter shows her anguish. Photo: Sportsfile
Kevin Moran scores Waterford’s first goal. Photo: Sportsfile
Kieran Bennett can only look on as David Burke tries to gather the ball despite losing his hurley. Photo: Sportsfile
Conor Cooney gets away Darragh Fives to set up a Galway. Photo: Sportsfile
Galway manager Micheál Donoghue celebrates with Jason Flynn. Photo: Sportsfile
Nial Burke (left) and Conor Whelan get the better of Noel Connors. Photo: Sportsfile
Joe Canning (right) and captain David Burke alongside Margaret Keady, wife of the late, great Tony. Photo: Sportsfile
Galway’s Aidan Harte blocks the path of Waterford’s Tommy Ryan. Photo: Sportsfile
Austin Gleeson shows the pain of defeat. Photo: Sportsfile
Austin Gleeson (right) in an aerial duel with Galway’s Aidan Harte (left) and team-mates Kevin Moran and Pauric Mahony. Photo: Sportsfile
Tom Brennan, from Clarinbridge, and his fellow Galway supporters celebrate with the Liam MacCarthy Cup. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Joe Canning of Galway celebrates with his mother Josephine. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Tadhg de Búrca of Waterford is consoled by Cathal Mannion of Galway. Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile
Galway captain David Burke raises the Liam MacCarthy Cup to huge cheers as the Tribesmen ended a 29-year wait for hurling glory at Croke Park. Photo: Sportsfile
Kevin Moran of Waterford on his way to scoring his side’s first goal. Photo: Sportsfile
Thousands attend a big screen viewing of the final in Eyre Square, Galway. Photo: Andrew Downes

"The emotion is relief more than anything for myself and just delighted to be a part of something special.

"They've put in the same effort all year. They'll have the same medal as everyone else from one to 35 and it was them really who won us the trophy and no one will realise it really because different players are out of the limelight," he said.

"It was them who made us work so hard at training.

"Everyone says that when you win but when you do win you realise how important it is to get the at intensity and competition for places and I think that's really what helped us get over the line

"You always remain positive and believe that it was going to be our day no matter what was thrown at us

"That's the challenge we wanted to stand up to and they're the days we want to be remembered for. You've proved to yourself you can do it.

"The emotion here at Citywest last night was unreal and I just can't wait to get it (Liam MacCarthy) back home to Galway."

Galway manager Donoghue expects a week of 'heavy celebrations' as his side head west of the Shannon later today.

"The scenes when we came back last night were just unbelievable. Today, the attention turns to bringing it home and that's what it's all about," he said

"It was a euphoric occasion and there will be heavy celebrations this week. It will be an exciting day."

The atmosphere was ecstactic as fans, young and old waiting to greet the team at outside the Citywest hotel.

Even overseas tourists seem to know there was something special going on.

Fans flocked to take photos, with the players happily obliging before their team bus was given a garda escort to Crumlin Children's Hospital where they will greet the patients with Liam MacCarthy in tow.

One woman could be heard saying to her infant sons, 'cherish this moment boys, it's been a long time coming. as they held the cup aloft.

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