By David Raleigh in Limerick
The Liam MacCarthy Cup is on a train bound for Limerick, forty five years since it was last brought back to Shannonside.
Limerick GAA County Secretary Mike O’Riordan tweeted a teaser video of the historic trophy placed in the front of the train, carrying the newly crowned All Ireland hurling champions, as it whizzes along the tracks towards the Treaty City.
Crowds are building at Colbert Station where the heroic hurlers will disembark the train at approximately 5.40pm.
After they’re greeted by local dignitaries the team (and Liam) will make their way through the city on an open top bus towards the home of Limerick hurling Pairc na nGael.
The team bus will travel along Mallow Street, O’Connell Street, Sarsfield Street, crossing Sarsfield Bridge and along the Ennis Road before reaching the Gaelic Grounds.
A “spectacular” welcome home for the newly crowned All-Ireland Hurling Champions Limerick is promised for later this evening.
The heroic team of hurling Treatymen will arrive into Colbert Station, Limerick, on the 5.40pm Dublin train to be greeted by thousands of adoring supporters.
From there they will travel through the city on an open-top bus with the Liam MacCarthy Cup, as they make their way to a homecoming ceremony at the home of Limerick hurling, Pairc na nGael.
The ticket-only event gets underway at Gaelic Grounds from 4pm and has completely sold out.
Organisers have advised people not to arrive at the Ennis Road GAA sports ground if they do not have a ticket.
45,000 tickets have been snapped up after being released for free through www.eventbrite.ie.
Organiser, Joe Clarke, of event management company CWB said: “The homecoming celebrations at the Gaelic grounds is entirely sold out. The 40,000 tickets are gone.”
"The entertainment kicks off at 4pm and we’ll go on until its late.”
Local music legend Denis Allen is to appear on a specially built concert stage with the newly crowned champions to sing what will be a rousing version of his 1979 Number 1 hit 'Limerick, You're A Lady'.
Shortly after it’s release, the tribal song became a hurling anthem on Shannonside and can finally be sung with deserved gusto to welcome Liam MacCarthy back to Limerick after a 45-year hiatus.
Other “special guests” are to appear on stage later tonight at what organisers have promised will be a “massive party” atmosphere,” added Clarke.
“Limerick City and County Council and Limerick GAA are encouraging supporters to get to the stadium as early as possible to soak up the atmosphere,” added a Council spokesman.
“Gates will open at 4pm with entertainment beginning shortly afterwards. It is extremely important that you get there early to soak up the atmosphere.”
“Once the stadium is at full capacity, no others will be admitted,” they added.
Award winning Irish group Beoga, fronted by Limerick woman Niamh Dunne, will get the party started before The Blizzards continue the entertainment, while DJ Mark McCabe will have no problems keeping the spirits high as Limerick celebrates its first All-Ireland Senior Hurling title in 45 years.
“In the interests of health and safety the last admittance to the Gaelic Grounds for supporters will be 6.30pm.”
The All-Ireland hurling champions are expected to arrive at the stadium between 7pm-7.30pm approximately.
“There will be widespread traffic restrictions around the Gaelic Grounds. Supporters planning on going to the homecoming are urged to use public transport or park in the city centre and walk the short distance to the Gaelic Grounds.”
“There is no parking available at the grounds,” the spokesman added
Bus Éireann is to provide additional frequency on the city’s route network to cater for the expected crowd.