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Dublin: 2 °C Saturday 23 February, 2019

Pen to paper for Galway's All-Ireland winning hurling speech with the help of his mother

Galway’s winning captain has appreciated the victory.

David Burke lifts the Liam McCarthy cup Galway's successful captain David Burke. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

WHEN GALWAY BOOKED their place in this year’s All-Ireland senior hurling final, David Burke was keen to get one task quickly completed before the September showdown.

He had delivered speeches after league and Leinster successes in 2017 but the magnitude of the biggest day on the hurling calendar was not lost on him.

So in the aftermath of their semi-final success over Tipperary, Burke settled down to put pen to paper and then trained his focus on delivering a winning performance.

PwC GAA / GPA All-Stars 2017 nominations announcement David Burke was speaking at the launch of the PWC All-Stars awards. Source: Brendan Moran/SPORTSFILE

“I wrote it three days after the Tipp game. Well I got help from my mother. Sure I had one done for the Leinster final and the league final and just kind of put everything together, added in a few more bits.

“Just bullet points really and gave it to kitman Tex (Callaghan) and one to my mother as well just on the day.

“That was it, I didn’t see it again for three weeks before the game because you’d always be kind of thinking did I leave that fella out or this fella out. It was great to get your mind off it and just focus on the game then after that.”

David Burke celebrates with his mother Paula David Burke celebrates with his mother Paula. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Amidst all the praise that Burke apportioned in his speech, it was notable that he signalled out those not around to see Galway’s long-awaited success.

He remembered Tony Keady, who passed away after the victory against Tipperary in August, and Niall Donoghue, Burke’s former team-mate who took his own life four years ago. The Galway captain referenced the importance of mental health issues on the steps of the Hogan Stand.

Margaret Keady congratulates David Burke Margaret Keady, wife of former Galway player, congratulates winning captain David Burke. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

“We’ve worked closely with The Charity Chariot, with Pieta House this year and they’ve gone to every game. In fairness, we have to give them a shout out. Obviously, I would have been good old friends with Niall, growing up he’d be the same age as me. We played U14, U16, minor.

“It was just an ideal opportunity to get 30 seconds in there and mention it. Obviously, Kilbeacanty club, I’d have close connections there. My godmother would have owned the pub up there.

“They’re a great club and it was just great to bring the cup back there. I was mindful to hit every kind of aspect, if I could; try to mention everyone in a small way at a certain time.

“Everyone was happy. I got plenty of lads saying thanks for the mention. When you’re talking to such an audience, you forget what you said. When you meet them down the street and then they thank you, that was great.”

Niall Donoghue chased by Colin Fennelly The late Niall Donoghue in action in the 2012 All-Ireland final Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Neither did Burke forget those who had been involved during Galway’s pursuit of Liam MacCarthy Cup glory since 1988.

“Look sure last year really alone, the lads, David Collins, Andy Smith, Iarla Tannian, Fergal Moore and all them lads (were gone). Just they were there last year. It’s more frustration really.

“They’d be delighted for us that we won and everyone else would be in fairness. But you could sit here for the day and put a list together of all the players you think should have deserved an All-Ireland for Galway in the last 29 years, you could be here for a while.

“(I was) just mindful of the fact they’ve all been connected to it at the time. It was for them to get a piece of it as well.”

It’s been a special time for the teacher in St Brigid’s in Loughrea as he finally landed the honour he craved.

David Burke and Joe Canning David Burke and Joe Canning after the All-Ireland final. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

“The last few years you’d be seeing lads and watching things after the game, you’d always see lads saying that they’d rarely enjoyed it.

“I think Jackie Tyrrell said in his book, he didn’t enjoy being captain after the game, he missed a lot but I just said I’d take it all in if I could, sit back and enjoy it and I have definitely.

“There’s a smile on my face going into work every morning so it’s great.”

Source: The42 Podcasts/SoundCloud

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Fintan O'Toole

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