Heaven ‘n’ hurl | 

Hurling-mad priest and nun look for divine intervention to bring Cup back to the county

The Limerick hurlers get some powerful support as nun prays for three in a row

Sister Patricia Coughlan and Fr Micahel O’Shea

Brendan O’Regan and Luke O’Leary, playing Hurling in Bruff ahead of the big game

Lynne KelleherSunday World

A hurling-mad priest and nun are looking for divine intervention from Our Lady of Limerick to bring the Liam McCarthy Cup back to the county for the third year in a row.

For the past few years, the green and white altars created by Sister Patricia Coughlan – who was a camogie goalkeeper – have gone viral.

The Ardpatrick Sister, who can lay claim to the title of the Treaty team’s most devoted supporter, is hoping for her parish’s prayers will help the team get through their sweltering test against Kilkenny today.

This year, the altar is strewn with Limerick flags and slogans like ‘Thank You For The Liam along with ‘Welcome Liam’ and ‘Pray It Will Be Done’.

She said decided to centre this year’s altar around a picture of an Our Lady of Limerick statue she found in the attic earlier in the year.

Brendan O’Regan and Luke O’Leary, playing Hurling in Bruff ahead of the big game

“It was up there for years and years and we got the picture restored and I put it in front of the altar and said: ‘Our Lady of Limerick Thank You’, so hopefully it will be a thank you”, she said.

Our Lady of Limerick is a statue gifted to the Dominican Church in the city in 1640.

“It is very fitting, we need her this weekend. I’m (nervous).

“You never know what Kilkenny have up their sleeves but we hope they don’t what we have up our sleeves either.”

Parishioners flocked to Our Lady’s Well in the O’Brien farm in Kilfinane on Friday night to pray for the hurlers.

“We had a great crowd and we asked Our Lady for help.”

The Sister said she had no plan for her All-Ireland altars until she starts working on them.

“I love doing it. I’ve been doing it for the last six or seven years. I’ve no plan and think of ideas as I go along.”

At a Mass last night, Sister Coughlan and Fr Michael O’Shea wore their Limerick jerseys.

“We set off at 8.30 in the morning and we’re back in time for the Sunday game.”

Fr O’Shea said the whole parish waits every year to what kind of hurling altar will be created by the Limerick sister.

The Limerick priest said he has been struck by the effect of the hurling success of his native county.

“It’s all the Limerick hurlers. It has really opened people up to the gift of sport and opened up the young people to be proud of their native county.”

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