Liam MacCarthy Cup may not be brought home after All-Ireland final

Liam MacCarthy Cup may not be brought home after All-Ireland final

SOCIALLY DISTANCED: A Limerick supporter on Hill 16 celebrates their 2018 All-Ireland SHC final win from behind a perspex screen. There is a strong possibility the Liam MacCarthy Cup may not return to the winning county until a later date.

Figures from the Limerick and Waterford camps are to be requested to feature in a public campaign asking people not to congregate for the All-Ireland final on Sunday week.

The GAA are mindful of the need to remind supporters about personal responsibility following the lack of social distancing among teams and supporters after county finals in late September and early October.

There is a strong possibility the Liam MacCarthy Cup may not return to the winning county until a later date and there are not expected to be any official homecomings. 

As a Covid measure, provincial councils have been retaining cups following recent finals. In 2018, Limerick insisted the cup not be brought to any public house or nightclub in the county.

Any All-Ireland title is cause for celebration but particularly with this unique final pairing as Waterford have not claimed the Liam MacCarthy Cup since 1959 while Limerick’s fanbase is now one of the strongest in the country.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly stressed there cannot be a repeat of the scenes following some club finals. “It needs to not happen,” he said on Sunday. 

“The GAA, I think, is taking this very seriously, and measures have already been put in place.” 

As they are asked to assist in spreading the message, Limerick and Waterford are lobbying hard for their extended panel members to be allowed to attend the final on December 13. At present, only the matchday 26 are permitted while backroom team members have also missed out as the limit is capped at 11.

Going back to before the Munster final earlier this month, Limerick’s John Kiely has been vocal about the need to ease the restrictions. 

“If they don't leave the players come for the final, that would be a real travesty, an absolute travesty,” he said on Sunday. 

“That would be a massive mistake. It would be an unforgivable mistake if they don't leave the players come to the final, unforgivable, unforgivable.

“But I hope they will cause Level 5 restrictions are finished on Tuesday so I would hope that they will, for both counties' sakes and for the players' sakes on both sides, that's really important and I hope they do.” 

Waterford manager Liam Cahill expressed similar sentiments last week. 

“Having 10 players at home again and I know John Kiely touched on it last weekend after the Munster final. It really is difficult and I know we’re in tough times. The GAA has got so much right, they absolutely have and they have to be commended on what they’ve done to date.

“At the moment it just seems ludicrous to have 10 players that are inside with me, pushing them guys on the field every night, and they can’t come down to see their team-mates playing.” ”

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