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How 'I Love Me County' became Waterford's unofficial motto

We got the scoop from John Mullane.

THERE ARE SOME words and phrases that are synonymous with Waterford. Blaa, shellykabookie, haboo — you get the picture.

Over the past few years, a new phrase has entered the Waterford lexicon and become the ultimate expression of Waterford identity. It’s inspired countless tweets, hashtags and even a banner in the city centre.

We are, of course, talking about “I love me county.”

It might seem like a fairly run-of-the-mill declaration of county pride on the surface, but it’s fast becoming Waterford’s unofficial motto. 

For instance, the #lovesmecounty hashtag on Instagram is full of photos of Waterford and blue-and-white jerseys.

waterford Source: Instagram

While the phrase itself is basically shorthand for, “Yeah, I’m from Waterford.”

So, what’s the origin of this phrase and how did it become so ubiquitous?

Enter hurling legend John Mullane.

Back in 2004, Waterford won the Munster Senior Hurling Championship. Mullane was sent off during the match — much to his own personal disappointment — and afterwards, he gave one of the greatest post-match interviews of all-time.

Surrounded by his legion of fans (let’s just call them ‘Mullanimals’), he apologised for leaving the people of Waterford down and dropped the immortal phrase…

insta Source: Conor Ryan/YouTube

And just like that, the people of Waterford found its new motto.

So what does the originator of the phrase make of it all?

John Mullane tells DailyEdge.ie that the interview itself is a bit of a blur as 12 years have passed and “emotions were running high” that day.

It’s 12 years ago now, so you know, I can’t recall it. Emotions were running high and I was a relieved man — relieved for the lads. Once Tony O’Donoghue is there, you’re dragged into doing these interviews. What you saw was raw emotion.

The hurler admitted that he sometimes cringes watching the clip now and gave a shout out to the other star of the clip — the man who roars, “And we love John Mullane!”

It just so happens that one of my good friends was there and I suppose he kind of made the clip into what it became.

Mullane explained that, as he’s not on social media, he’s not aware of how the phrase has taken off on the likes of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. However, he did acknowledge its place in the county lexicon.

When it comes to the summer and championship season, it is huge in Waterford slang.

He also confirmed that he was consulted and gave permission for the phrase to be used on a banner in Waterford.

If ever there’s a sign you’ve made it, eh?

So, does he still love his county?

That goes without saying. Going into summer, you get that tingling feeling whenever Waterford are playing. We’ve got a big game next week, so we’ll all be behind the lads.

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About the author:

Amy O'Connor

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