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23rd Jul 2023

“Are you blaming me for that?!” – Diarmaid Byrnes in rare form after Limerick win

Patrick McCarry

Diarmaid Byrnes

“Unbelievable. Jesus Christ!”

Diarmaid Byrnes delivered the goods for Limerick as they won their fourth straight All-Ireland Hurling Final, then stepped up to the microphone and did the same.

Byrnes and his Limerick teammates were in a hole, on a couple of occasions, against Kilkenny but produced a striking masterclass in the second half to end up as comfortable winners.

Asked by RTÉ what was going through his mind when Paddy Deegan blasted home Kilkenny’s second goal, Byrnes placed his face in his hands. When he removed them, he took in the “unbelievable” scenes around him.

“Look,” he began, “Kilkenny brought exactly what we expected – just pure intensity. Honesty. We always speak about the Kilkenny teams of the past but they are a real replica, they have inherited that. That’s just in their DNA to work hard and them lads died in their boots.

“There were big moments to step up and we did across the field. Small bits, here and there. We had a big talk at half time to get us going for the second half and we saw the response. The lads were just immense there.”

Asked about that Paddy Deegan goal by Damian Lawlor, for a second time, that got the attention of Diarmaid Byrnes.

“Are you blaming me for that?!” he remarked.

When Lawlor said he was ‘not brave enough for that’, Byrnes flashed his hurl and joked, “You’ll get one of them!”

“No, that’s the [Kilkenny] relentlessness we talk about. We knew they would not go away. Look, we got lucky with a couple of scores in the second half. We enforced our game-plan and what we we were trying to do, and we got a lot more scores.”

With that, the 29-year-old was free to go and join his Limerick teammates as they celebrated another big win.

Diarmaid Byrnes left our TV screens, beaming to high heaven, and was off to soak in another Liam Mac Carthy triumph.

GAA HOUR: All-Ireland senior hurling chat and Conor Whelan interview:

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