Imagine the scene: It’s 2012 and Pa Walsh, Mike Lynch, Willie Reidy and John Lenihan sit by the summit cross on Carrauntohill.
Flurries of snow drift past in the chilling wind and all around it’s a cold bleak and barren landscape as far as the eye can see. Yet for all of this there’s a magical winter wonderland about the scene.
“It’s the type of wonderland that any Kerry man with red blood in his veins would be proud to show off to his neighbours from across the Shannon,” said John Lenihan – setting the scene.
“Beside us Davy Fitzgerald and Joe O’Connor talk enthusiastically to a group of young lads. They talk about winning an All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship title.”
In a dip in the conversation by the cross, John Lenihan quips: “When ye win the Liam McCarthy Cup I want ye to bring it to Glanageenty Walkways.”
“A nervous laugh followed from the young lads and it showed that to them it wasn’t a joke. They believed that they could do it, Well, in September 2013, those boys became men when they lifted the Liam McCarthy Cup,” said John.
On Monday morning last their promise was delivered when the Clare team Strength and Conditioning Coach, Joe O’Connor arrived with the precious cup at the Glanageenty Walkways in Balllymacelligott and there was a delighted reception committee of friends and neighbours there to greet it and its bearer.
What started as a joke on a cold snowy day on the summit of Carrauntohill bore fruit in the sweltering arena of Croke Park on the last weekend of September and the final paragraph of that particular chapter was played out before the cameras at Glanageenty on the May Bank Holiday Monday morning.