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In Pictures: Serious excitement in Durrow and Cullohill as The Harps get set for hurling final appearance

There’s nothing like a county final to create a bit of stir.

And that’s exactly the vibe in Durrow and Cullohill this week as the two communities prepare for the latest county final bid from The Harps hurling team.

Twelve months on from their disappointing Laois SHC ‘A’ final loss to Portlaoise, they are back in the decider again and will play Rosenallis in O’Moore Park on Sunday.

Ahead of the game we visited the two local primary schools where excitement was at fever pitch ahead of the big game.

The red and yellow colours are visible everywhere – on flags, bunting, banners, jerseys and hats.

Our first stop was to Our Lady’s school in Durrow where we warmly welcomed by principal Helen Coe and the staff and left in no doubt as to who the students there will be shouting for at the weekend!

It was then on to Cullohill where it was equally colourful and noisy! And there was additional cause for excitement as not only were the school raising their Green Flag for their healthy school initiative, there was also a visit from Laois hurler Ross King with the Joe McDonagh Cup. Ross, from nearby Rathdowney, has his own county final to look forward.

Also paying a visit to the school was past pupil Louise Mahony, a multiple All Ireland club camogie champion with The Harps and one of the greatest Laois camogie players of all time.

Principal Philip O Rian was running the show in Cullohill while The Harps GAA chairman Joe Deegan, who has coached hurling in the school for years, also addressed the gathering.

Joe’s brother Fintan is The Harps manager and the Deegan family have a long association with the school.

The Harps are an amalgamation of Durrow and Cullohill and have been together since 1984. They reached a senior final that same year and again in 1997 and 1998 – but have never won a championship with their first team.

They were relegated to the Senior ‘A’ grade in 2016 and were beaten in the semi-final in 2017 and final in 2018. They’ll be hoping to make it third time lucky on Sunday.

And we can only imagine the excitement if they do get their hands on the silverware.

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