For another year, Liam MacCarthy will be taking up residence in Limerick following Kilkenny’s All-Ireland final defeat to the now four-in-a-row champions.
Leading by six points at one stage in the first half of Sunday’s decider in Croke Park, the Cats went into the break three points to the good but a second-half barrage from Limerick saw them score 21 of the 30-point haul to see John Kiely’s side run out 0-31 to 2-15 victors.
While there won’t be an All-Ireland trophy coming back to Kilkenny, there will be a homecoming celebration in UPMC Nowlan Park this evening with gates open from 4pm. Along with a replay of the match, the event organised by Kilkenny County Council will also see live performances from Sean Carroll, Burnchurch and The Kilkennys before the arrival of the Kilkenny senior hurling team.
Kilkenny were Allianz Hurling League Division 1 finalists this year, also losing out to Limerick, before going on to claim this year’s Leinster senior hurling championship at the expense of Galway.
Divisional Roads Policing Inspector Paul Donohoe told KCLR that there will be some temporary traffic restrictions in place for this afternoon’s gathering.
“The team will be leaving from the Castle on the open-top bus, down to The Parade and coming up against the traffic on Rose Inn Street, so that road will be closed for a short period just to allow the open-top bus to go through. Rose Inn Street and the top of John Street will be closed for a short period while we let the bus up so there’ll be short disruption to motorists in Kilkenny.”
“I would ask people to go to Nowlan Park if they can at all, that’s the main hub of activity and that’s where we’re asking people to meet as opposed to the Castle where you might only see the team for minutes as they pass but you’ll have a great view of everything if you go to Nowlan Park”, he added.
That open-top bus is expected to depart Kilkenny Castle at 7pm with players due to arrive to the stage at 7.30pm. It is anticipated that this evening’s event will run until 8.30pm.