First the homecoming, now the tour
THE O'Duffy Cup is set to go on tour after Wexford's camogie team retained the most coveted trophy in their sport on Sunday.
The nail-biting win over Galway means that the silverware remains in the Model County. The side – along with their intermediate colleagues – made a tumultuous return home on Monday evening, arriving on Wexford Quays in an open-topped bus before stepping onstage to greet a large local crowd.
The cup will be on display tonight (Wednesday) at the Hope Challenge charity match in New Ross's O'Kennedy Park 6.30 p.m. where the two All Ireland winning teams will face each other to help the street children of India.
Meanwhile county camogie secretary Mary O'Reilly is opening an O'Duffy Cup diary and she is waiting to take bookings from schools, clubs and good causes wanting to have the trophy present in their midst. Mary's number is 087 7537873.
She is becoming used to dealing with such matters after Wexford have been tops in camogie three times in the past five seasons, and they will be bidding for three in a row in 2012. THE QUAYS were hopping on Monday night as the twice victorious Wexford camogie squad rolled into Wexford on their open-topped bus. The intermediates and the double winning seniors were at the heart of much good humoured adulation as they dismounted to walk the final few steps of their journey from Dublin across Custom House Quay to the Borough Council's stand.
The formality of a civic reception was lost in the sheer joy of the occasion as broadcaster Alan Corcoran acted as MC. He called on captains, and Oulart/The Ballagh club mates Ursula Jacob and Colleen Atkinson to make their happy speeches, though Ursula was understandably hoarse after leading more than 24 hours of non-stop celebration.
The two captains received presentations from Mayor Davy Hynes, while manager JJ Doyle was also called up to be honoured on a night of high excitement and delight. The squads even had the pleasure of being serenaded by Cllr. George Lawlor, who burst into a very tuneful version of 'Boolavogue'.
'They are great girls altogether,' concluded Mayor Hynes who had no doubt about the magnitude of the sporting achievements recorded in Croke Park on Sunday. 'They are up there with the hurling teams of the fifties and sixties.'
The presence of thousands of camogie fans beside the railway line was not allowed to interfere with the schedule of the Rosslare Harbour express, with Gardaí, council staff and Civil Defence making sure that the train made it through the milling crowds without mishap.