Celebrations 1955

The Homecoming

Players who have been through it will never forget that feeling of waking up on the Monday morning after the final, knowing its not just a dream, but that your county is now All-Ireland Champions - and you are part of it. Down in the foyer, groups are huddled about the morning papers. It's only natural the desire to look and see if you got a mention. And the journey home! All cars, especially the lead car flag-bedecked, with the captain holding the cup aloft through the window, horns blowing. It's a memory a player will not forget, even if he lives to his nineties... Travelling back with the cup brings the crowds out in every village and town, even in other counties, as the cavalcade passes on its victorious return journey.

Going through Ashford, all the customers in Synnott's wonderful hostelry of the time, came out lining the road, full of admiration and good sentiment at the achievement. One old lad held aloft his bottle of Guinness. "Up Wexford," he shouted. At that moment it was snatched from his hand by a rather liquid Wexford fan hanging out through the window of the passing car in which I was travelling.

Finally the massive cavalcade reached the county boundary. Photos from that era highlight the fact that ninety-five percent of the motor cars were black and predominantly Morris Minors. A euphoric scene greeted us at Gorey. With bands, loudspeakers and platforms, as the cup was triumphantly carried aloft, in the midst of the ecstatic crowd. The huge cavalcade swelling even further for a similar reception at Enniscorthy and eventually the following Wednesday night to Wexford, where the volume of welcoming fans had jammed the entrance to the town. A mobile platform in the shape of an open lorry was waiting. All aboard, complete with cup, players and officials jostled for floor space. It was tight, but it was tighter still amongst the crowd in front, as the lorry made slow progress, which ended when it came to a complete halt in Redmond Square at just the opening of the Main Street.

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

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