Just the ticket: Fans race to get ready for historic final

NOT surprisingly, it’s the hottest mobile number in Limerick.

But, for much of yesterday, Jimmy Hartigan’s voicemail greeting responded: “The Vodafone customer you are calling is inaccessible at the moment.”

And until mid-afternoon on September 2, the number is expected to be constantly engaged — around the clock.

Mr Hartigan will be in huge demand with all kinds of requests for gold dust tickets for the All-Ireland senior hurling final between Limerick and Kilkenny.

As secretary of the Limerick County GAA board, Jimmy will be guardian to the Limerick allocation.

And, bearing in mind that the county has not played host to the MacCarthy Cup since 1973, success-starved Limerick fans are already gearing up for the mother of all battles.

One man who has already a major plan in place for match day is Fr Pat Hogan, parish priest of Southill.

He revealed: “The first thing I did this morning was make two phone calls. One for a ticket and the other for a priest to fill in for me on the Saturday and Sunday of the All-Ireland.”

And both calls yielded results for Fr Pat.

“I will have a ticket I’d say, and Fr Johnny Walsh who is chaplain at the prison will fill in for me.”

And, over the next few weeks, local sports shops will be stocking up with huge numbers of Limerick jerseys as the Munster red will give way to Limerick green.

Pallaskenry flag maker DJ Daly has brought in extra staff to turn out thousands of flags in the county colours.

DJ has the official GAA franchise for flags but he started out making hurleys.

“I was up in Croke Park at a Limerick game years ago and the thought struck me that there were only 30 players using hurleys but there were tens of thousands of fans who could do with flags. So I hit on the idea of making well-designed flags and it took off from there. I make flags for all 32 counties but it’s great to be working now turning out my own county colours.”

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