Little did Walter ‘Wally’ Walsh (pictured) know when this hurling year started that he would be central to one of the most amazing All-Ireland wins one could wish to encounter, writes Barrie Henriques.
In truth, young ‘Wally’s’ horizons in all probability would have been ring fenced by the progress of the Kilkenny under-21 team’s to an All-Ireland final. He registered a few impressive shifts on that portfolio, and he would have been well pleased.
His performance in the All-Ireland semi-final win over Galway in Thurles was a defining moment for the lad. He had been a part of the extended senior panel under manager, Brian Cody, but his progress from way back in the field to being handed the number 15 jersey for an All Ireland final replay against Galway, his debut championship debut, by the way, was quite stunning.
The rest, as they say, is history. He scored 1-3 in the final.
On Friday afternoon, when the national school in Rosbercon officially opens a new extension, there will be enormous elation when one of their former pupils, ‘Wally’ Walsh arrives to do the necessary. It will be much more impressive when that former pupil arrives with the Liam McCarthy Cup in his arms.
‘Wally’ will obviously linger with the pupils, performing the traditional demands of an All Ireland winner - pictures, autographs and so on - and he will love it.
I would nearly suggest that he will get a greater sense of enjoyment, pride and celebration than the teachers or students.
‘Wally’ will then go on a tour of the other schools in the parish, and you know, he might even take McCarthy across the river into New Ross. Stranger things have happened.
On Saturday, the Tullogher Rosbercon club will host a reception for their favourite son at their club grounds at Brownstown, where everyone will be made welcome to meet, greet and celebrate the achievement of the first Tullogher player to bring home an All-Ireland senior medal to the parish as a Tullogher Rosbercon player.
The tour will finish in some style in Ryan’s hostelry in Listerlyn on Saturday night.
All are welcome.