BLARNEY is bursting with pride as locals prepare to watch two of their own in Croke Park, with every inch of the village engulfed in a sea of red and white.
The excitement in Blarney Village ahead of Sunday’s All-Ireland senior hurling final has been described as “phenomenal”.
Mark Coleman and Shane Barrett will be representing their club on the big day and with two Blarney boys in Croke Park for the first time ever, it will be an All-Ireland like no other for locals.
Like the rest of the village, Blarney GAA club has been decked out in red and white.
In what is another first, Blarney Castle is also sporting a Cork flag, ensuring the village's pride can be seen for miles.
Club Chairman Jim McCarthy said the Blarney Castle flag created “a great buzz” for locals who soon followed suit.
Mr McCarthy gave a special thanks to the coaches who have worked with the Blarney boys over the years.
Club stalwart Martin Lynch, who has been actively involved in the club all his life, said the atmosphere in the village “is unreal”.
“There is such a good buzz about the place,” he said.
Mr Lynch said that every child in the village has a hurely in their hand, describing the excitement as “unbelievable” for every generation.
As one of the first clubs to join the GAA in 1884, Mr Lynch noted the immense sense of pride to have two players in an All-Ireland.
“It’s after giving ferocious joy not alone to the children but particularly for the older generations.”
Club PRO Shane Jordan also spoke of an “incredible” atmosphere.
With every match, the people of Blarney have their eyes peeled for their own.
“It’s phenomenal – the sense of pride and you want to be almost shouting louder at the matches for the two lads because you want the people around you to know they’re from my club.”
“You shout that bit louder to get your sense of pride out there.”