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Dublin: 4°C Tuesday 26 January 2021

Limerick's Declan Hannon on post Leaving Cert debut and 1973 All-Ireland win

The Adare club man is named to start at full-forward in the Gaelic Grounds next Sunday against Tipperary.

Limerick's Declan Hannon
Limerick's Declan Hannon
Image: INPHO/James Crombie

6. The challenge of Tipperary

“I think we’re a bit off them (Tipperary) in terms of consistency. They’re there year-in, year-out getting to All-Ireland semi-finals whereas we are scraping the barrel hoping for as win.

“I’m quietly confident we’ll have a right rattle at them, yeah. Even coming up under-age, we always seemed to have good battles with Tipp and more often we came out on top in the U14 and U16 competitions.

“We lost in the minor and the U21′s but there’s not that big a gulf in class. If we take our chances and do our best we’ll be right there at the end of it.”

5. The 2007 Munster trilogy against Tipperary

“I was on the terrace, was 14 at the time. The whole of Limerick was buzzing for the weeks up to it and after. They got to the All-Ireland final that year as well. We’ll be hoping for a win and hope it kickstarts a good season.”

4. Debut under Donal O’Grady in 2011

“Donal O’Grady introduced me to it (senior level) when I was doing the Leaving Cert and I played two league games. I thought Donal was excellent because he left me off to do the Leaving Cert whereas other managers might say ‘you’ve an exam on the Monday and you can play on the Sunday’.

“He said, ‘go off and do the Leaving Cert and come back when you’re ready then’. I remember my debut was against Wexford and it was a roasting hot day.

“The match had to be put back 20 minutes because of the crowd. Once when on the field that day, I knew it was something I would love to do every day.”

3. Frustrations in 2012

“We probably should have beaten Tipperary last year in the first round of the senior. We fell away in the last 15 minutes. We regrouped and got through the qualifiers and then went wrong against Kilkenny. We performed well enough for 45/50 minutes and then once again fell away.

“It was tough last year because I missed all the League with a groin injury. I was four or five months not training. That’s the highs and lows of sport. The diagnosis was from wear and tear the last few years.

“A lot of us had played a lot with Ard Scoil Ris, the secondary school in Limerick up along and the Limerick seniors and under-21′s and club seniors and under-21′s. But it’s fine now, no problems.

Declan Hannon will be in opposition to Paul Curran on Sunday.
Pic: INPHO/Lorraine O’Sullivan

2. 40 years since Limerick’s last All-Ireland win

“A lot of people are talking about it this year. I’m only new to the scene still and I’m learning from all the more experienced lads. They don’t even talk back to the ’73 team or whatever.

“We were over in Martinstown two weeks ago playing Kilkenny in a challenge and JP McManus was talking about how he needs new heroes to look up to, how his idols were the ’73 team. I think everyone in Limerick is the same – they’re kinda sick of talking about the ’73 team.

“They just want some new face rather than the Eamonn Cregan’s and they’ve been great. He was with Mary I this year as well and he’s done great work. But I think it’s about time some new faces were there.”

1. Limerick deserving a break

“It’s a waste of time feeling sorry for yourself. There’s nobody going to say, ‘ah, poor Limerick. We’ll give this or that game’. It doesn’t work like that. Neutrals, I suppose, would say Limerick deserve a small break here and there. We won the league final two years ago and then the system was changed. That’s just what happened.

“We’ve to perform on the field and we haven’t been doing that the past few years. It’s about time we knuckled down and put performances back to back. It would be great for the county.”

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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