The authors present and Mayor Mitchell present a copy of the book to All-Ireland winning captain Eamonn Grimes and a boquet of flowers to his wife Helen

The dream was certainly alive at the Woodlands Hotel Adare on Sunday November 5th for the launch of the eagerly awaited launch of the 1973 ‘Keeping the Dream Alive’ by three authors James Lundon, Liam O’Brien and Niall Deegan. A large and enthusiastic crowd was in attendance 90 minutes before the launch to buy their books, get them signed by the authors and members of the 1973 team. People were greeting and mingling with each other and recalling nuggets of incidents from the historic year that saw Limerick regain the Liam MacCarthy cup after a lapse of 33 years.
The 528-page book tells the story of Limerick’s historic All-Ireland hurling success 50 years on from September 2nd, 1973. The book is dedicated to all the players, selectors supporters’ officers, and officials who kept the dream alive for Limerick hurling in that momentous year of 1973. The book is a researcher’s dream from a moment in time that Limerick Gaeldom will never forget. It contains so many facts, figures, information, photographs reprints, articles in black and white and colour that will keep readers interest well into the winter months.
The excitement heightened as Liam O’ Brien approac-hed the podium to give the opening address. He welcomed all and said it was their second publication working on and he praised the work of the private Facebook group Cuimhnigh Ar Luimneach which was set up in March 2020. Paul Foley was the next speaker representing the Limerick GAA Board.  He stated it was hard work for no gain for the three authors as the proceeds were going to charity. Ger Mitchell Mayor of Limerick thanked the team as role models and ambassadors for the county.  He paid tribute to Mick Lipper a former mayor and bus driver for the successful Limerick team that year. He was honoured to launch the book.
James Lundon, a proud Cappamore man domiciled for 30 years in Galway gave a 7-minute address. It was Liam O’Brien’s idea to do the book and it was mainly his research.  He said that their wives had no idea what they were doing as the book progressed from a WhatsApp message on January 9th. 2023 to a gigantic volume covering 19 games and all associated with the year. Niall Deegan spent 1,600 hours working on the book as the designer. It included designing and layout work, photo cleaning and restoration which enhanced the publication.
Paul Foley acted as MC for the book presentations to the 1973 panel of players. The presentations were made by Mayor Ger Mitchell and the three authors to the following who were present and to the others (not present) to be done at a later date.  Seamus Horgan, Willie Moore, Pat Hartigan, Jim O’Brien RIP (daughter), Phil Bennis had left, Eamon Cregan, Seán Foley, Richie Bennis Liam Ó Donoghue, Mossie Dowling, Bernie Hartigan, Frankie Nolan, Ned Rea, Rip (daughter), Joe McKenna missing, Jim O’Donnell, Tom Ryan, Jim Allis, Paudie Fitzmaurice missing, Andy Dunworth RIP, Jim Hogan Rip, and Mick Graham. Éamonn Grimes the captain was the last man up to be presented with his book. To mark their upcoming 50th wedding anniversary, his wife Helen Grimes was presented with a bouquet of flowers.
The years have been kind to the players, and they all looked fit and active as they collected their own generated stories from 50 years ago. Liam O’Brien wrapped the proceedings up after approximately 45 minutes. The cameras kept clicking for the much-valued photographs and it was another hour before the crowd dispersed. An event will be held on Saturday December 2nd at the Hunt Cafe Limerick at 10am, to further promote the book and some cups will be on display.

The book contains 14 chapters with chapter 1 titled 1972 and before (Prologue).  Chapter 2 covers the 1972-73 National Hurling League matches played before Christmas against Clare, Kilkenny, Galway and Offaly. Chapter 3 continues with the matches against Tipperary, Cork and Wexford after Christmas. Chapter 4 concentrates on the knockout matches against Tipperary twice and Wexford in the final which they lost.
Chapter 5 features 6 challenge matches played Limerick A against Limerick B, Offaly, Cork, Kilkenny, Cork and Waterford. Chapter 6 reports on the Munster hurling semi-final v Clare. Chapter 7 recalls the Munster hurling final V Tipperary played at Semple Stadium Thurles on Sunday July 29th, which Limerick edged by a point with Richie Bennis scoring from a 70.
Chapter 8: the All -Ireland semi-final win over London when the Rea brothers marked each other. Chapter 9 covers the 1973 All-Ireland Hurling Final Pre-Match. Chapter 10 covers the 1973 All-Ireland Hurling Final. Chapter 11 covers the 1973 All-Ireland Hurling Final Post-Match.  Chapter 12 deals with the Aftermath. Chapter 13 looks at 1974 and beyond (Epilogue). Chapter 14 gives us the 1972-73 Facts and Figures.
Throughout the book many of the match pro-grammes from hurling, Dr Harty Cup, Sigerson Cup, Shinty internationals, Féile Na nGael 1973, are reproduced in black and white and colour. The newspaper match reports from the journalists of the time can be read again. There are reprints of the covers of Gaelic Sport and other magazines during that time, plus the All-Ireland tickets.  The front and back of the medals awarded to the Limerick players who won the 1971 National Hurling League and the 1973 Munster and All Ireland titles are shown.
The Carrolls GAA All Stars sponsored page is reproduced and will recall many great memories of teams from years gone by.  The 1973 hurling and football teams are shown in full colour. Limerick had five players Pat Hartigan, Jim O’Brien, Sean Foley, Richie Bennis and Eamonn Grimes on the team. The Texaco Sport Star that year in hurling was awarded to Eamonn Grimes.
There is an advertisement for the Oyster Ballroom in Dromkeen showing two dance dates from early 1973. Playing there on Sunday January 30th, was Butch Moore and the Capital Showband and Brendan Bowyer and the Royal on Thursday February 3rd. Dancing was from 8-Midnight, Admission 7/6, with the usual Bus Service operating.
There are several verses relating to the successes of Limerick hurlers and Dermot Kelly composed a song Limerick 73 and released it. Michael Martin the man behind the camera is remembered for his fabulous photos of that period. Sean O’Connor who was the referee for the 1969 All-Ireland senior final and the 1973 Minor final is shown with his umpires. Some original memorabilia from the All-Ireland is pictured and reminiscences from the year by other writers are nostalgic reads.
The net profits from the book are going to the Children’s Ark in University Hospital Limerick and to the Limerick chapter of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. The book is available at the usual outlets around the city and county. Apart from its main aim the book is also a social history of that time and a wonderful publication. James, Liam and Niall take a bow and thanks for recalling all those great memories.