This young Limerick side have never appeared as a side burdened by history as they continue to break through barriers.
The fact that they hadn’t lifted the Liam MacCarthy Cup in 45 years was of no consequence to the squad who took to the field in Croke Park on August 19, nor did history matter when they won their first Allianz League title in 22 years last month.
It’s not an ignorance towards the past, rather an acceptance that it can have no impact on present matters. As Aaron Gillane says, the current Limerick side are aiming to create their own history.
“There’s always a lot of talk about teams in the past. Coming up to the All-Ireland final and league final, everyone kept saying Limerick hadn’t won an All-Ireland, hadn’t been in an All-Ireland final since 2007, hadn’t won a league in 22 years.
“I just keep saying, ‘I’ve no interest in Limerick teams that have gone before us’. We’ve our own team and we’re just looking to create our own history.”
The 23-year-old, along with his teammates, has managed the title of ‘reigning All Ireland champions’ with surprising ease but he maintains that their attitude is more a reflection of the Limerick management than themselves.
“That’s just testament to the management team that they didn’t let nothing get to their head. If we went away and thought we were brilliant after winning one All-Ireland, we could be waiting another 45 years to win something again and, hopefully, that isn’t the case. We’ll stay grounded and we’re obviously hungry to win more again.
“That’s a sign of the character that we have in the team. I don’t see the need for it to change anyone. We’ve been normal up along and I think that’s why we did win it, I don’t see why we’d change what we do because it might result in us not winning it again.”
Gillane was Limerick’s top scorer throughout the championship last year but his form has improved even more in 2019 if his league performances are anything to go by.
— The GAA (@officialgaa) March 31, 2019
The Mary Immaculate College student scored a sublime flicked goal in their 1-24 to 0-19 win over Waterford in the final. Given that goal scoring proved to be his Achilles heel in 2018, it was a special score for the Patrickswell man and one that has earned him comparisons to the great Jimmy Barry-Murphy.
“I still don’t know what I was doing to be honest”, Gillane admits.
“I barely flicked it, it was just pure luck I’d say. Sure you’re not going to know if you can do these things unless you try it and no better place to try it than in Croke Park.
“I’ve seen a few clips of his goal across Twitter alright but I’d say his one just pips mine now.”
Limerick hurler Aaron Gillane joined Mayo footballer Lee Keegan, Mayo ladies footballer Niamh Kelly and Kilkenny camogie player Anna Farrell in Croke Park to launch the 2019 John West National Féile and to announce that John West will renew its sponsorship of the National Féile for a further four years until 2022.