This current team have now surpassed that of the 1930s team that claimed a first ever four-in-a-row of provincial titles for the county.
Limerick completed their first ever Munster championship five in a row on Sunday, as they defeated Clare by one point in a thriller on the Ennis Road.
It was a 24th title for Limerick, as they took down the Banner in a repeat of the 2022 final, and also got revenge for the loss they suffered in April.
It was also history for four of John Kiely’s current squad who have now won six Munster titles with Declan Hannon, Nickie Quaid, Graeme Mulcahy and David Reidy adding the five in a row to the 2013 title. It makes the quartet the first ever Limerick men to win six Munster titles.
On Sunday, the current crop surpassed that of the 1930s team that claimed a first ever four-in-a-row for the county, winning the titles from ’33-’36. A number of players from those teams were also present when they reclaimed the title in 1940.
Five Limerick men started each of the Munster championship successes during that time. They are Paddy Scanlon, Timmy Ryan, Jim Roche and the Mackey brothers John and Mick, with the current Munster title named after the latter. Until Sunday they held the distinguishing alongside Hannon, Quaid, Mulcahy and Reidy as Limerick’s most decorated provincial winners.
But with the Adare native lifting the Mick Mackey Cup in the stand named after the Limerick great, those four men etched their name into the history books.
Hannon and Quaid have started in every single one of their finals, with Mulcahy named from the start in all but last year’s decider. Reidy started his second final on Sunday with the 2013 edition the only decider he didn’t feature in.
As he did in Croke Park last summer, Declan Hannon made more history as a captain, becoming the first man to lift the Munster title on five different occasions.
Hannon was a prodigious talent from an early age and made his Limerick debut a couple of months shy of his Leaving Cert after guiding Ardscoil Rís to their second ever Harty Cup title with Hannon a key cog in both sides.
A Munster U21 winner in 2011, Hannon was Limerick’s scoring star en route to senior provincial honours in 2013.
However, it wasn’t until John Kiely’s arrival that Hannon truly began to flourish with the manager switching the Adare native back to centre-back, a position he starred in at school, while also handing him the captains duty.
Twelve months later and Kiely’s trust was repaid as Hannon climbed the steps of the Hogan Stand to accept Limerick’s first All-Ireland title in 45-year with the captain also earning All-Star honours.
Since then, he has captained Limerick to three more Liam MacCarthy titles as well as the five in a row in Munster.
He became only the third ever Limerick player to breach 50 appearances last year in the round robin tie with Clare, and is only behind Quaid and Mulcahy in the all-time appearances.
Hannon is joined by Nickie Quaid as the only men to start in each of the six victorious finals in 2013 and 2019-’23.
Hailing from a lineage of goalkeepers including his father Tommy who won an All-Star in the position, grandfather Jack who was a Munster champion himself in 1955 and cousin Joe who won a pair of All-Stars in the 1990s, Nickie was always destined for the sticks.
But he got his start in a Limerick jersey at midfield in the infamous 2010 season where Limerick lost each of their competitive games under Justin McCarthy.
John Allen took over in 2011 and installed Quaid into goals and he hasn’t looked back since, holding the position in every championship game since, barring one in 2015 where he missed out through injury.
He kept a clean sheet in the 2013 Munster final as Limerick bridged a 17-year gap between provincial honours.
It is one of the great injustices that the Limerick netminder only has two All-Stars to his name (2020 and 2022) with 2018 and 2021 in particular sticking out as glaring omissions.
Nonetheless, the Effin man holds six Munster medals to go with his four All-Ireland titles as well as county and Munster honours with his club.
He is also Limerick’s record holder in championship appearances as he shows no sign of slowing down making his 62nd championship start on Sunday.
In his seventh Munster final, Graeme Mulcahy was a last hour starter, playing his part in the victorious five in a row effort. The Kilmallock man is the longest serving member of the squad but was crucial in getting to the final with his cameo against Tipperary helping Limerick back to the decider after a sluggish start to the season.
Mulcahy is the only survivor from the 2009 team that suffered a heavy defeat to Tipperary in the All-Ireland semi-final that prompted John Kiely to first take action.
He was a key cog in the U21 team from 2011 with Kiely as coach, bagging a goal in the Munster final victory against Cork.
In Limerick’s Munster final win over Cork ten years ago, Mulcahy hit a brace of scores from play while scoring three the following year in the defeat to the Rebels.
Mulcahy has been a wonderful servant for Limerick with his brightest moments coming in the 2018 All-Ireland final run as he was arguably the player of the championship.
The Kilmallock man hit over 3-16 from play during the Liam MacCarthy run, including Limerick’s final score in the one-point final.
He was rewarded with an All-Star award and currently sits in the top 100 of the All-Time scoring charts despite never taking a free.
David Reidy also deserves a mention with the Dromin Athlacca also collecting his sixth Munster medal at the weekend. As a 19-year-old he was part of the 2013 squad but didn’t make the matchday panel for the final.
His first taste of Munster final action came in 2019 as he was introduced late on in the win over Tipperary. He started the final against Waterford in October 2020 while he has played his part from the bench in the next two deciders.
He was back amongst the starters at the weekend and clipped in with three vital scores in the second half as the Shannonsiders made history.
Granted, there are a high number of players in the current set up with five medals already and with time on their side, will hope to not only match their total but also surpass it.
Nonetheless, you cannot take away from what Hannon, Quaid, Mulcahy and Reidy have achieved with Limerick at a low ebb around the time of their arrivals.
Each have played a significant part in Limerick’s revival as they now stand alone at the pinnacle.
But none will be taking much time to savour the achievement with a place in the All-Ireland semi-final already secured, more history could be on the horizon as they seek to match Kilkenny and Cork as the only sides to win four on the trot.
You wouldn’t bet against the history makes doing it again.
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