Tipperary's U-21 hurling heroes receive a great welcome in Clogheen

Tipp U-21 hurlers in Clogheen

Tipp U-21 hurling captain Colin English holds the James Nowlan Cup, with County Board chairman John Devane (left) and County PRO Joe Bracken

A large attendance was present at the official homecoming for the victorious Tipperary under 21 hurlers in Fr. Sheehy Park, Clogheen on Sunday night. 

Loose Cannons warmed up the crowd before the bus arrived with the players, who were led by Colin English, the Fr. Sheehy's, Burncourt/Clogheen clubman who captained Tipperary to the All-Ireland U-21 Hurling Championship Final win over Cork.

County PRO Joe Bracken introduced the players, while the MC was Fr Sheehy's chairman and player Liam O’Connor.

Colin English made a great speech, thanking all the players' clubs, their parents, the Fr. Sheehy's committee for organising the event and the local community who volunteered. 

Colin singled out club president Bertie Sweeney, who has looked after the grounds for over 60 years and continues to do so. 

He also thanked the Tipperary management team and acknowledged the huge commitments they made for the squad.

Above - From left - Liam O'Connor, Fr. Sheehy's club chairman; Tipp U-21 manager Liam Cahill; County GAA Board secretary Tim Floyd; County GAA Board chairman John Devane; Mike Norris, Fr. Sheehy's club secretary and County Football Board chairman Barry O'Brien at the homecoming in Clogheen for the Tipp U-21 hurlers

Liam O’Connor said it was a huge honour for Fr. Sheehy's to host the event. 

He praised Colin English’s dedication and in the week after the All-Ireland win, Colin lined out with the Fr. Sheehy's footballers on the Tuesday and the hurlers on Saturday. 

Colin was man of the match in the All-Ireland minor final in 2016 and Liam said that leading Tipperary to this victory was an even greater achievement.

John Devane, County Chairman praised the team for their great victory and spoke of his admiration for the facilities in Clogheen. 

He hoped the large number of children in attendance would be inspired by the team. He said that bringing an All-Ireland cup back to your club was a massive honour and for Colin English to do it as captain was very special.

Manager Liam Cahill highlighted the honesty of the players. He also pointed out that the county panels are not confined to big clubs and that they found a diamond in Fr. Sheehy's with Colin English. He encouraged youngsters to listen, be coachable and to work hard. 

To rousing cheers, he said he hoped that this group of players would lift the Liam McCarthy cup very soon. 

Above - Tipp U-21 captain Colin English's grandmother Kitty English and her granddaughter Rebecca English (Colin's first cousin) enjoyed the homecoming in Clogheen

Selector John Sheedy said he had never been so far south in Tipperary and he finished off proceedings with a great rendition of 'Happy Are We All Together'. 

This was the song recorded in the victorious Tipp dressing room in Limerick after the All-Ireland Final, and that, when posted online, went viral the following week.