After we passed the Killeany bouy on our ferry trip, on the Queen of Aran, (click the link to see this posting) from the harbor of Inis Mor to Doolin, the ship made four, yes four, dockings.
A few days prior the Gaeltacht held the annual Irish football championship the weekend of May 21 through June 1 in Moycullen, County Galway. It was the Three Aran Islands (Oileaín Árann) team who won the 2014 championship. Sunday, June 1, the weekend of their victory, the cup was presented to Inis Mór, the largest Aran island and the one furthest into Galway Bay.
The team on Monday, June 2, the day of our trip, was on Inis Meáin, in celebration mode. Some of them were waiting for the ferry when we pulled into the Inis Meáin, the second largest Aran island between the other two, dock.
The first of the previous three photographs is of the waiting team members who boarded and we left for Inisheer Island, the smallest of the three and the closest to Galway City. The Queen of Aran was well out of the harbor when I imagine the radio in the pilot house said, “Come back, there are more team members on the dock.” So we turned around, docked and several more came on board.
In way once again, well away from the harbor, the ferry turned around for a second time for a third landing at the Inis Meáin dock. With the full compliment of champions on board the ferry turned out of the harbor a third and final time for the last leg of with Silver Cup’s tour of the islands.
The population of Inisheer is about 250 souls. It seemed all were waiting to greet the team.
A large bon fire blazed as the Queen of Aran approached.
People lined the dock from beginning to end.
Calling out, waving their arms.
Standing and smiling. Here is a flock of fans, from Galway apparently, very pleased at the sight.
The team was on the upper ferry deck. I turned around and was lucky enough to capture the team captain (Not sure, but who else would it be?) holding the silver cup for all to admire. Theirs for a year.
The crowd welcomed their own back home.
Surrounded the team and walked them grandly to town.