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Thu 30-Aug-2007 23:59
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Fintan Ryan's 'Prayer for Limerick'
Fintan Ryan *
Oh Lord of all that’s great and good we come with our heads bowed,
To offer you some homage and a prayer, if that’s allowed.
We thank you for our blessings Lord, our good land and our crops
And we might even get them saved if you held back on a few drops.
We thank you for our sporting greats of them we’re very proud.
We recall their deeds in awe each time we’re in a crowd.
Of Mackey, Carey, Hartigan; Oh, the memories they won’t dull
Sometimes, too, we mention Paul O’Connell and “The Bull”.
We pray a special pardon for any times we may have sinned,
For cursing, swearing, missing Mass and even passing wind.
We also beg forgiveness for times we’ve roared at referees.
Can you do anything about their sight, Lord, as we are on, I beg you please?
We are sorry too for the many times we seemed to leave the path,
For the times we followed Charlton and ‘ooh-aahed’ Paul McGrath.
For the times we went to Thomond Park and looked at oval ball
Sang the “Isle” and “Athenry” and answered “Ireland’s Call”.
For these and all our other sins we are too embarrassed to recall
As a penance we offer up to you, our past failures, one and all.
From seventy-four to zero six each and every year we’ve tried.
We could sometimes almost touch the Grail but always were denied.
Four times we’ve made the final spot and every time we’d lose.
Lord, let me put it to you this way: I think we’ve paid our dues.
So, now we have another chance, a September date is beckoning
And this time we are praying that we will have the reckoning.
Kilkenny’s Cats again stand between us and final glory.
It’s not as if they need it Lord, Jesus. Look, you know yourself the story.
We give them all the sunshine and we think that’s fair exchange
But if you buy a drink in Langton’s Pub you’d get a medal back in change.
They’ve been up here many times. I think they’ve won their share.
We're asking just for number eight. That’s hardly being unfair.
We pray that Murray’s eyes are keen, his puck outs long and straight.
Our full back line is tight and hard, to date they’ve been just great.
Our halfbacks we pray can keep their form and are ready for the rumble.
And, if Shefflin has an off day, Lord, you won’t hear us grumble.
We pray O’Grady and O’Brien again will play their part
As they cover every blade of grass. We pray for strength of heart.
For our forwards Lord, especially, we pray a fruitful day,
That their shooting may be accurate with very few astray.
That as chances fall they play their part and avoid all serious knocks
And of course we pray a special prayer, on bended knee, for Shaughs.
We think back just twelve short months and how we felt then leaving Ennis.
Yes - you’ve guessed it Lord - we pray for Richie Bennis.
May he make the right decisions and leave Cody in a state.
To see Richie lead the crowd on the pitch, now that would be just great.
And a quick prayer for our sponsor Lord, he always backs to win.
We hope that he’ll be naming horses after winners soon again.
For we pray that, in September, with your blessings raining down,
We make the journey up to “Croker” and bring McCarthy back to town.
* Fintan played senior football with Limerick from 1979 to 1992 and starred in the famous Munster final of 1991 against Kerry. He scored a point in that game, when Kerry squeaked home by a margin of 0 – 23 to 3 -12.
Fintan won two McGrath Cup medals with the county and his other GAA honours include a Munster Junior hurling medal from 1986. Fintan played hurling and football for many years with his native Askeaton, in county Limerick. For the past four years, he has been living in the Kerry hurling stronghold of Kilmoyley and he is Manager of Tralee Credit Union. He is a senior selector with Kilmoyley and coached their Under 21s last year to a sweet county final win over near neighbours Ardfert.
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