“We’re a family” | Cian Lynch’s powerful All-Ireland speech hits the right notes

Lynch lifted the Liam MacCarthy cup in the absence of captain Declan Hannon, who missed out through injury.

Limerick put on a brilliant second half display to overcome Kilkenny in the All-Ireland final on Sunday, but unlike previous years it would not be Declan Hannon receiving the Liam MacCarthy Cup, but Cian Lynch.

Lynch became the first man from Patrickswell to receive the cup, and he gave a powerful speech following the victory.

Hannon would not be left out of the celebration, with the Adare man joining Lynch to hoist Liam MacCarthy, reversing the roles of 2022, when the four-time winning captain invited the then injured Patrickswell native up the steps of the Hogan Stand.

23 July 2023; Cian Lynch of Limerick celebrates with the Liam MacCarthy cup after the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship final match between Kilkenny and Limerick at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Lynch began the speech by speaking highly of the “honesty” of his teammates, and calling them “family.”

The Patrickswell man then acknowledged those who were unable to be part of the game on the big day, most notably Hannon and Sean Finn.

“From the outside in we may look like a team, but we’re a family, we stand by each other.”

“I want to pay a special tribute to some of our men who were unfortunate to miss out; Jimmy Quilty, Sean Finn, Richie English, Mark Quinlan, and of course our captain Declan Hannon.”

Lynch went on to thank a number of Limerick backroom team members, who have all been pivotal in the success of the Shannonsiders in recent years, but the biggest cheer of all was reserved for John Kiely, who Limerick’s captain described as a “leader.”

In an extensive backroom team, from stats to nutrition, Kiely is the mastermind behind it all, and the standing he has among the players was evident in Lynch’s words.

“Behind every team, there’s a leader, and our leader is a spiritual guide, a spiritual leader, a person who has given us all opportunities over the last number of years, a man we look to for great guide and support week in week out, so John Kiely, thanks a million!”

The final thanks was to, in Lynch’s words, “the best supporters in the world,” who were rapturous in reply.

The supporters have been vital in driving the team over the line in recent years, with their hunger not seeming to wane any bit despite the unprecedented success during Kiely’s reign.

“Last but not least, to the best supporters in the world! Ye stand by us through thick and thin, down through the years. Lets go and paint Limerick green, Luimneach abu!”

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