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Hurling fan Dolores gets hands on McCarthy cup

TWO national treasures were united at Shannon airport on New Year's morning.

Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan was delighted she got the chance to hold the Liam McCarthy Cup while travelling through the airport.

The singer was on her way back to Toronto after performing a killer set at Limerick's NYE concert.

At the same time the All-Ireland winning Clare senior hurling team and manager Davy Fitzgerald were getting ready to fly to the Mexican resort of Cancun for their team holiday.

KNOWLEDGE

And according to airport officials, Dolores was delighted she got the chance to lift the cup. "She was thrilled to hold the cup," a spokesperson said.

"She was explaining the history of the cup to her husband Don and recounting old All-Ireland matches. She went as far back as Noel Skehan. Everyone was really impressed with her knowledge of hurling."

Dolores and her family moved back to Ireland when she began working on The Voice of Ireland but have subsequently returned to Toronto. She wasn't the only hurling fan to wish the team bon voyage, as 300 fanatical fans turned up at Shannon to see the Clare champions on their way.

Boss Fitzgerald was the first to arrive at the airport and said the team were looking forward to the break.

"We are so looking forward to this, you could not believe it," he said.

"The lads have put in an absolutely massive year for their county and they so deserve this break.

"They have put smiles on so many people's faces this year and the Clare people have responded brilliantly by helping us to fundraise for this trip.

"We have a long year before us and every other county out there will be looking to take the McCarthy Cup off us so God knows we'll need the rest.

"Hurling fans have just had an incredible year but I think 2014 could be every bit as good. If anything Clare has shown that if you believe in yourself, anything is possible."

hnews@herald.ie