While it’s a wet start to the morning, plenty of activities are happening between today (Tuesday) and Friday in the buildup to this weekend’s All-Ireland senior hurling championship final between Kilkenny and Limerick.
Already underway this morning is the Supporters’ Club’s Golf Classic at Kilkenny’s Gowran Park with a full timesheet running since 8am this morning.
“We’re delighted to be hosting the Kilkenny GAA senior hurler’s golf classic today, of course, a big fundraiser for the Kilkenny senior hurling team ahead of Sunday’s All-Ireland final”, Gowran Park manager Eddie Scally told KCLR on Tuesday morning.”
“Conditions are tough out here this morning with a lot of rain around but it hasn’t dampened spirits. I’m delighted for Kilkenny GAA, there’s a huge crowd out here golfing today, a full timesheet running from 8am this morning right through to 6pm this evening. There’s lots of good golf to be played and great fun, and the most important thing is lots of funds will raised for the senior hurlers ahead of Sunday’s All-Ireland final and we’re delighted to be having it out in Gowran Park again this year.”
The condensed calendar for the GAA’s intercounty action means this year again sees just a two-week turnaround for Limerick and Kilkenny between their semi-final wins over Galway and Clare and the return trip to Croke Park.
Speaking to KCLR on the build-up and the events of last week and this week, Kilkenny GAA chairperson PJ Kenny gave us an outline of more of the activities scheduled for this week.
“It’s been a challenging and exciting time”, Kenny told KCLR when asked of getting to experience the All-Ireland final journey in his first term as county chair.
“There’s a load to be done and a lot of events. There’s the golf classic Tuesday in Gowran Park (as mentioned above). We have our corporate night in Langton’s on Wednesday night and on Friday we have a fun run that can be done in the MW Hire Training Centre in Dunmore or virtually between 4pm and 8pm. All support on those three events is vital.
“I would encourage all supporters to come out and support this team. They’ve been outstanding and get your flags, banners and come out and support the team.”
While last Tuesday night saw in the region of 4,000 adults and youngsters attend the players’ open training session in UPMC Nowlan Park, this week will see a lot of support from the business community.
“It’s a very big operation getting this together. Before, you would have had three of four weeks. Now, everything is condensed with the new split season into two weeks, so getting tickets ready, the corporate night, the golf, it’s a big rush. Trying to look after players is a bigger rush.”
Wednesday night this week will see a lot of the business community in Kilkenny turn out with a packed ballroom expected at Langton House Hotel for the All-Ireland corporate night.
“We have huge support from the business sector in Kilkenny, huge, and it’s great to have”, says Kenny.
“Willie Mullins is lined up as the guest speaker. Tables are available (those that are left) through our treasurer Barry Hickey, a table of ten is €1500. Our thanks to all the businesses, they really come up trumps every time. Thankfully, for Kilkenny it’s 19 All-Irelands in 25 years and for lads to keep supporting year in year out, it’s been brilliant.”
Mullins will be interviewed on the night by Gowran Park manager Eddie Scally while, as has become customary, Kilkenny senior hurling manager Derek Lyng will be interviewed by Pat Treacy during Wednesday’s meal.
Then on Friday it’s time to don the shorts and runners and make for the MW Hire Training Centre in Dunmore, or virtually, with The Fun4KKCats fundraising event taking place between 4pm and 8pm with the option to donate online here. Entry fee is €20 but among the prizes on offer include two All-Ireland stand tickets, 20 family breakfasts and a tour of UPMC Nowlan Park, a signed Kilkenny jersey, a signed hurler, vouchers for Castlecomer Discovery Park, Kbowl, and more.
For more details, check KilkennyGAA.ie and keep an ear to our Black and Amber news running daily across KCLR.