All-Ireland Win 1955

Wexford is a county that can boast of just moderate success at the game of hurling, nonetheless the deprivation of notable trophies down the years has never eroded interest in the game. When I was once asked to give a talk to a Wexford hurling team, I remember saying "There are no fifteen men in County Wexford, no matter what the code, or under what banner they exist, who will carry with them the hopes, backing and affectionate support that you fifteen will have. From the lighthouse of Hook in the very south, to Tara Hill in the north, they will come out of the valleys and from the hills to be with you, let it be victory or defeat".

"What is it about the game of hurling that makes it touch the very soul of Irishmen?" I once asked a well-known gaelic footballer, Louis Rafter, who holds seven county titles. "I would trade three football medals for one hurling title," was his reply. When a county reaches Croke Park for the All-Ireland final day, after a big lapse of years, the impact has a shuddering effect on people in all walks of life;... parish and county pride is slowly awakened. T.J. Maher, one of Tipperary's greatest sons, once said that the economy of a county is improved upon winning an All-Ireland title. Without question, in all of us, there are strong tribal feelings and urges, and one of the main release valves is through sporting achievement, when your parish or county win out in a team competition. These suppressed instincts lie dormant in a county that for years has been locked in a spiral of failure. Sporting success, be it individual, or of a team nature, can quickly light up the soul of such a county.

Prior to the All-Ireland final against Galway in 1955, the county was saturated with a strong belief that the flood gates of All-Ireland success were about to burst open. The unattainable dream was at hand. Gathered over the years, the rust of frustrating defeat and disappointment would quickly dissipate, mentally polished away by a gleaming All-Ireland victory. And so it happened.

Extract from Billy Rackard's No Hurling at the Dairy Door.

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