My God, the scenes at Páirc Uí Chaoimh would make you so proud to be Irish
It took a while getting there but it was definitely worth the wait.
Páirc Uí Chaoimh looks absolutely glorious today as it plays host to the All-Ireland Hurling quarter final between Tipperary and Clare.
The Leeside ground in Cork has undergone a massive series of redevelopments and improvements and is a shining example of so many great aspects of Irish life.
GAA in Cork was caught napping for a while but has come roaring into the 21st century, and not a minute too soon.
— Páirc Uí Chaoimh (@PaircUiCha0imh) July 19, 2017
There had been traffic warnings and travel advice sent out as early as Thursday as Cork braced itself for an influx of hurling diehards and hopefuls.
RTE's Darragh Maloney arrived in plenty of time but Google Maps was a bit more frazzled by the whole affair.
Fans got along to the ground early with many supporters of Tipperary and Clare's senior sides getting along early to see the Minor quarter final between Galway and The Banner.
RTE had a massive panel out for the occasion. Michael Lyster recounted driving mates down to the game, decades back, and having to stop off at several pubs along the way.
Ger Loughnane was in his element and remarked that the most crucial aspect of the new-look grounds is that the Páirc has retained its' atmosphere. "You'd love to get your boots and get out on the field," remarked Kilkenny star Eddie Brennan.
The Tipp squad were out early enough for a puck around and the crowd were starting to fill in nicely.
That new main stand looks the part, and then some.
Tipperary warm up. 15 mins to throw in! pic.twitter.com/NE12aELveJ
— Tipperary GAA (@TipperaryGAA) July 22, 2017
Loughnane warned Tipp to get their defence in order but few were confidently backing Clare to get the job done despite all the talk of them 'going to war'.
Amhrán na bhFiann never sounded better as both sides lined up and both sets of fans bellowed the words.
Handshakes exchanged and it was game on!
Tipp hit the front early but Clare were giving them nothing cheap and Aaron Cunningham's well taken goal gave the Banner faithful hope. Then, 60 seconds later, he got another one.
Aaron Cunningham with two goals in 60 seconds
2-3 to 0-9 now!
— GAA JOE (@GAA__JOE) July 22, 2017
A memorable day for all involved, no matter the final score. And we've still got Wexford vs. Waterford to go, on Sunday.
Golden days indeed.
As if that is not enough, the RTE retrospective will bring a tear to the eye and/or a goosepimple to the skin.
What a day.