By Ger McCarthy
All-Ireland winning captain Declan Hannon spoke from the heart and gave credit to every Limerick player, backroom team member, sponsor and supporter in an emotional speech.
“To all the past Limerick management, Limerick players, ye are the guys who drove us and inspired us when we were young. So hopefully ye will enjoy this as much as we have.
“To the 36-man panel of the Limerick senior hurling team of 2018; when you ask for honesty, dedication, commitment and loyalty they have it in absolute spades. I think they showed that throughout the year.
"From the 30th of September in Mallow until the 19th of August in Croke Park, they constantly showed on the training and match day field. From the bottom of my heart, I am so, so proud of ye, and ye can be very proud of yourselves.
“To our management team, our hurling coach Paul Kinnerk. I don’t what I can say about Paul, he has every last detail covered. So Paul, the amount of things that you have taught us over the last few years, it is unbelievable so thank you very much.
Declan Hannon went on to list the entire Limerick backroom team but reserved special praise for a group of individuals that has soldiered with the county for many years.
“Our entire backroom team, the amount of hours these guys put in off the field is second to none,” the Limerick captain commented.
“To our kit-man, he’s been with Limerick for many, many years. He has soldiered with us through good days and bad; from Palace Green, Ger O’Connell.
“There is one man who has to gel all of this together, .has to put together a panel of players, has to put together a management team, a backroom team. Our leader, John Kiely.
“To our sponsors, JP McManus, Noreen and the McManus family. What can we say about them for Limerick city and county in general. For Limerick GAA, they are absolutely phenomenal. The amount of work JP does, is second to none. To JP, for your continued support, thank you very much.
“To the Limerick County Board, lads, all we asked for this year, ye gave it to us. We couldn’t ask for anymore. We really appreciate everything ye have done for us, thank you very much.
“To all our families, wives partners and girlfriends. They have seen the good and bad when we bring training home. They are they for us every single night and there to pick us up. So for all the love and support ye have shown us over the last number of years, we really, really appreciate it.
“To Galway, the amount of respect we have for ye is just second to none. The last 10 minutes was a real onslaught. It just goes to show the character that ye have in that team. I have no doubt we will meet ye again in the coming years. So three cheers for Galway.
“And finally, to all the Limerick supporters here today. To those at home, far and wide tuning in on the radio or TV. Lads ye are phenomenal, don’t want for anything and turn out day in, day out for the last number of years.