Waterford manager Derek McGrath delivered a passionate and heartfelt speech to 15,000 supporters who came to the city's Quays to salute their beaten All-Ireland SHC final heroes on Monday evening.

The Déise were defeated 0-26 to 2-17 by Galway at Croke Park as they failed to end their 58-year wait for Liam MacCarthy.

It was a desperately disappointing day for McGrath and his men, but the manager delivered a rousing, defiant speech to a huge crowd as he praised his own group and the support they've received in his time at the helm.

"It's just so heartening for us," he said.

"The banquet last night gave us a real lift. We're in a quandary in terms of our feelings. We're disappointed at not getting over the line - we're pragmatic enough to know that that's what we went up to do.

"Yet we're heartened and we feel very proud of the absolute totality of the effort. We spoke Sunday morning as a group about how we were refusing to take no for an answer.

"We spoke about perspective, who we were doing it for, our families, loved ones that we've lost, our clubs, our teachers, the wider base of Waterford supporters and we just said to ourselves that living a relaxing, easy life wasn't for us. 

"If a man can go to the limits and stretch his body and mind to the absolute limit, that's what we were asking the lads to do. They've done that for us for the last four years. They've given us absolutely everything they have."

"Like life, it's full of ups and downs and things. You have to react to in a particular way"

McGrath reflected on what's been, at times, a trying period in charge of the Déise.

Their latest heartache is a bitter pill to swallow but he stressed his belief the team - and county - have it in them to bounce back.

"It's been a difficult journey at times. Like life, it's full of ups and downs and things. You have to react to in a particular way.

"Just to reiterate our absolute appreciation for the support we've received this year, the last four years, it's been an incredible journey.

"Waterford people are a mirror image of this team. This team are humble in nature, intelligent in what they do, relentless in trying to nurture and create a spirit for each other, like the Waterford people.

"The Waterford people when they face adversity, they fight back, they say: 'we're not talking no for an answer, we refuse to give, we refuse to yield and we refuse to accept defeat'."