Co. Waterford ABC is a feature here on Social Bridge where I am identifying my highlights of this diverse county in Ireland where I was born and which has been ‘home’ for the last 26 years. There will be just 26 posts ~ one for each letter of the alphabet and I hope you will join me in discussing your views about the places, people, events, things that I select. Would you have chosen differently? In a county with such natural beauty and diversity in terms of history and heritage, one could quite easily identify 26+ highlights for each letter!
See all previous posts in this series
Championship Hurling is arguably the most unifying force in Co. Waterford and it evokes extraordinary pride, passion and sense of ‘belonging.’
I grew up hearing all about the great Waterford Teams of 1948 and 1959 from my father who was working in Waterford City at that time. These were the years when Waterford won the All-Ireland Championship and the legendary John Keane is the name that is very much associated with that golden era. It is so fitting that Walsh Park in Waterford, which is the main hurling ground in the county, is situated on Keane’s Road.
The next golden era in Co. Waterford hurling started in 2002, the year that I happened to introduce my young son of 7 to the game here in Tramore. So many great names and players including, Paul Flynn, Ken McGrath, John Mullane Eoin Kelly, Tony Browne …..
The Waterford Team, under the management of Davy Fitzgerald, reached the final of the All-Ireland Championship in 2008. The whole county was in a frenzy of excitement as our hurling heroes squared up to the might of neighbouring Kilkenny. Even though Waterford lost, the homecoming for the team in Waterford was a night that will live long in the collective memory with Don’t Stop Believin’ echoing right along the Quay as the open top bus made its way through the thousands of supporters who turned out for the momentous occasion.
Hopes are again running very high in Co. Waterford at as our Minor Team is getting ready to play in the All-Ireland Final in Croke Park this coming Sunday.