'We sometimes wouldn't see each other from one week to the next' - Limerick captain Declan Hannon on making his relationship work
Limerick hurling captain Declan Hannon proclaimed his pride at bringing home to the Liam McCarthy cup as it painted the city in "nothing but a good light".
The 25-year-old said he has been "on cloud nine" since Limerick won the All-Ireland Hurling Final last month and described their own 'Beatles moment' when they were welcomed by hordes of thousands of fans outside Colbert train station, cup in hand.
"Everyone is just on cloud nine. I'll never get over the buzz about the place. I think coming out of the train station, back from Dublin - there was a couple of people lined up on either side when we got off, but then we walked out to the front platform and the place was thronged with people, it was bananas," he told VIP Magazine.
"It was just so great for Limerick. The whole thing was such a boost for the city and county, because it gets a bad name sometimes, but this has just painted it in nothing but a good light."
Hannon, who works full-time as a recruitment consultant in addition to his captaincy duties, said he's looking forward to spending more time with his family now that the excitement has died down a bit, and also to catch up with his teenage sweetheart Louise Cantillon, who has been by his side since the beginning of his GAA journey.
"My mam, dad and two younger brothers, sure they're just over the moon. I haven't even seen them much since the game because I've been so busy. But dad would be just bursting going around the place and he'd be only mad to talk to everyone about it," he explained.
"It's great for all our families and those close to us because they're the ones who are there when things aren't going so well. And y'know, they're still there when you're in bad form. It's all rosy when you're winning but it's a different story when you come in after losing and they're there through it all."
Louise, who works as a radio presenter with Spin Southwest and Classic Hits 4FM, said her other half is "inspirational" in his devotion to the sport.
"Declan is so hard working and his determination over the past seven or eight years has been inspirational to watch, and it's been very emotional seeing all this happen," she told the magazine.
"We knew each other since school, but we started going out at 18 when we were going to college. I was in Cork and Declan in Limerick, so we'd only really see each other for a few hours at a time and we'd have to really plan ahead if we wanted to go somewhere! But it's always worked so well because we've always supported each other in what we do."
Similarly, Hannon was filled with pride at his girlfriend's own success in broadcasting, saying: "She's been flying it since getting work in Dublin - she's gotten a lot of brilliant work, MCing gigs and things like that, but as Louise says it's hectic, we sometimes wouldn't see each other from one end of the week to the next. Then you spend a few days together and nearly kill each other."
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