Behind every good man is a great woman with the exception of the Cork Senior Ladies Football team where the remarkable achievements of 15 great women are largely down to one phenomenal man.
So said the welcoming committee at last night’s homecoming where the most successful GAA team of its generation held the Brendan Martin Cup aloft Leeside for the 10th time in 11 years and for the fifth year in a row.
Manager Eamon Ryan got an extra special Rebel yell when he took to the stage on South Mall.
Hoarse from his sideline exhortations and overnight celebrations, he paid tribute to his management team and to the 36 players in the squad.
“We’ve been blessed over the past 12 years to be working not so much with great footballers as brilliant people, genuine, hardworking,” he said.
Even though some were now “rattling around with the weight of all the medals in their pockets”, they remained humble about their achievements, he said.
Those with the loudest rattle were Briege Corkery and Rena Buckley who enter the history books as the most decorated All-Ireland winners of all time, their senior All-Ireland camogie and football wins taking their medal tally to 16.
In the crowd to welcome them home was Mary Murphy, mother of former Cork senior footballer Juliet Murphy and Mary’s granddaughter, Maria Murphy.
All three travelled from Donoughmore to Croke Park on Sunday for the match that saw Cork beat Dublin for the second year in a row.
Ann Mullins from Albert Road was there too with her daughter Elaine.
the homecoming of the victorious Cork Ladies Senior Football team
“They’re great ladies, we follow them all of the time. We follow the camogie too. It’s just an awful pity they don’t get a bigger crowd for the homecoming,” Ann said.
Rose and Michael O’Riordan, from Silverheights, Cork City were of the same opinion.
“It’s a disgrace. The Cork hurlers should be here to welcome them and the camogie team. They’ve achieved more than any other team and the turnout is disgraceful,” Michael said.
Mairéad Barry, her young son Cian Barry, her mother Chrissie Murphy and sister Nollaig Murphy were there too. The match was terrific, they said, but for the homecoming, the girls deserved more.
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