Home We Are Laois WATCH: Spine-tingling footage of 1996 All-Ireland Minor homecoming resurfaces

WATCH: Spine-tingling footage of 1996 All-Ireland Minor homecoming resurfaces

This is absolutely class.

20,000 people turned out in Portlaoise, a famine was ended, while Ciaran Mullooly and Jack Nolan looked extremely fresh faced!

On September 15 1996, the Laois minor footballers ended the county’s 81 year wait for an All-Ireland title.

They defeated Kerry 2-11 to 1-11 in the decider that year and it sparked a remarkable period in Laois football.

Another All-Ireland minor title followed the year after while a number of Leinster minor and U-21 crowns were won before they won their first senior Leinster title in 56 years in 2003.

But back to that historic night when an estimated crowd of 20,000 people descended upon Laois County Hall to welcome their heroes home.

RTE dispatched reporter Ciaran Mullooly to Portlaoise to capture the events and the pictures are simply iconic.

Manager Gabriel Lawlor is interviewed while so too is team captain Martin Delaney who is completely ecstatic on the open top bus.

Midlands 103’s Jack Nolan was on the platform with the team that night as he introduced the team.

Speaking 23 years later, Jack revealed that this is actually the first time he has ever seen the footage.

He said: “I often thought about the clip from the news and wondered could it be retrieved.

“I was told I was on 9 o’clock news but of course never saw it as I was immersed in the celebrations until it was sent it to me out of the blue last night.

“It was main news because Meath and Mayo drew the senior and they had no homecoming. Such a great time.”

Check out the footage below:

SEE ALSO – In Pictures: Joyous scenes as Park-Ratheniska/Timahoe celebrate historic first triumph

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.