Prominent with a megaphone at Stacks’ county and Munster championship games last year, Sheehan has helped organise the members’ “16th man” show of strength in his adopted county. The march commences at 3pm at O’Loughlin’s Hotel in Portlaoise, owned by Mick O’Dwyer’s former Laois selector Declan O’Loughlin.
The sight of the black and amber backing arriving en masse at big games has been a common occurrence going back to the early Nineties.
“Billy comes to all our games and would be very much part and parcel of all the razzmatazz,” said club secretary Elma Nix. “He’s been telling us the best places in town and so on.”
Six buses are booked for the trip on the day while several hotels have been booked around the Portlaoise and Carlow area for the night before.
“I’ve spoken to people who haven’t played for the clubs since U12 but are going to the match,” added Nix. “I’m finding anybody with an allegiance is travelling. People are making a special effort.”
In an open letter last week, manager Stephen Stack called on all supporters to attend the game.
He wrote: “I am aware in these challenging economic times that it is not always easy to travel with families with the cost involved but I know the club have previously and continue to be very supportive in this regard.
“We feel our unique Rock supporters can give us a huge advantage and I am making a special ask on behalf of the squad that you might make every effort possible to attend the game and support the team.”
Stacks are also hoping that Ardfert and Brosna supporters may stop off on their way home to support them after their respective club finals in Croke Park on Saturday.