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Tommy Walsh's opening address...
Hurling

Tommy Walsh's opening address on the strange atmosphere in Munster championship

Ciaran Bradley
Ciaran Bradley

15:44 25 Oct 2020

As the Munster senior hurling championship gets underway between Clare and Limerick in Thurles, we heard from Tommy Walsh on the atmosphere.

Limerick were 1-27 to 1-19 winners back on January 5, ahead of three wins in a row that saw the Munster League title won with a final victory over Cork.

Limerick maintained that form and five straight wins in the Allianz League propelled them into a semi-final after a tie with Waterford.

"It is so different. I usually come two or three hours early; driving through Thurles, the atmosphere is usually electric with people outside of Hayes' Hotel queueing to get in, there are burgers, hats, flags and bands.

"There are lads out smoking, you get a great sense of what an occasion the Munster championship is. It is [usually] absolutely electric.

"Today, the leaves are on the streets, there are no shops open and no-one outside the pubs. Usually, you come up to the Garda, trying to come up and park close to the main stand, and I'd usually forget the pass and you'd have to talk your way through."

Tommy Walsh

Would his medals get him through the gate?

"Not here, anyway - they'd turf you home! The Tipp lads would be looking at you and laughing at you - 'We're not letting you through today! You're a dirty so-and-so..!' None of that - the auld banter that we all love."

Tommy believes the pitch is 'immaculate' ahead of the match.

"I'll have to draw on my inner Peter Pan - you're over in Neverland, trying to imagine the place full over in the far stand, waiting for the teams to come out.

"But we're delighted - it is a distraction."

Tommy has even taken it a stage further in conjuring his own dreamscape - by bringing his own crowd noise.

"I did, but we're having technical difficulties at the moment! I got it from YouTube - one that lasts ten minutes and one that lasts an hour!"

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Clare Hurling Limerick Munster Tommy Walsh

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