Kilcar thronged for the return of the team as county champions
Shortly after 10 o’clock last night, the rain ceased as the Kilcar Pipe Band led the jubilant Kilcar senior team down the main street to the special podium at the factory.
Then to the strains of “We are the Champions” and a fireworks display, the team were given a rapturous reception with the whole parish and beyond turning out - the biggest crowd ever witnessed on the streets of Kilcar.
It was a well organised event and club chairman, John Carr, led the chorus of congratulations to all involved.
He thanked all the sponsors individually for their support; the management team under Barry Doherty and the panel of players for making up for the disappointment of 2016 and bringing the cup back to Kilcar once more.
“I got a ‘phone call last night from the chairman of another club in the county. He said he had nothing against Naomh Conaill, but he wanted Kilcar to win the final for one man, who he said was a credit to the club and the county. And that man was Mickey Hegarty.”
And just as happened at the presentation in MacCumhaill Park earlier when Michael lifted the cup, he was again given a rousing reception - obviously holding a special place in the hearts of the supporters.
Manager, Barry Doherty (despite some interruptions from some of his former playing colleagues at the back of the crowd) was again very modest about his contribution. He thanked his backroom team and said it was all down to the players in the end. “They did everything that was asked of them and they were easy to work with.”
Captain Patrick McBrearty thanked all who had helped make the day work out including the sponsors and supporters. He thanked all of the backroom staff individually and brought Ronan Brennan forward to the front of the group for special mention. He also remembered all the work done by coaches since he came to the parish from Dublin as a 10 or 11 year-old, and singled out Neilly Byrne and John McNulty for special mention for their work with the group of players who had now achieved the greatest success.
“Myself and Mark (McHugh) had the pleasure of bringing the Sam Maguire Cup down the town in 2012, but bringing this cup down tonight for me is a much greater honour,” said Patrick to huge applause.
He thanked manager, Barry Doherty, for his efforts this year and for making him captain. “Myself and Barry have been on the ‘phone a lot since last February . . . pause . . . talking football and sometimes a wee bit of politics,” said Patrick.
Chairman John Carr completed the formal part of the celebrations by reminding the players that there was a double league fixture in Dungloe next weekend. “Even though we had great success in the 1980s, the club has never done the double, so hopefully we can achieve that next weekend,” said Carr.
After that the players and supporters went to the local hostelries to mingle and savour the success - a first for all the players involved.