SAM Maguire took pride of place in this year’s Dunmanway’s St Patrick’s Day parade to mark the 90th anniversary of the iconic cup being presented to the All-Ireland football winners.
All the leading organisations in the town have united to celebrate this very special occasion with a series of events being held over the next eight months.
This calendar of events was launched at the parade by guest of honour, Uactaráin Chumann Luthchleas Gael John Horan, who said he was delighted to be associated with such an initiative, and pledged his full support.
An tUactaráin as well as Tracey Kennedy, chairperson of the Cork County GAA Board, were given a tour of all the locations associated with Sam Maguire, starting with a visit to Mallabracka, his homestead, followed by a special service at St Mary’s Church and a visit to the grave of Sam Maguire in St Mary’s churchyard.
Rev Cliff Jeffers, Rector of St Mary’s, gave a detailed account and demonstration of the ringing of the newly-installed Sam Maguire Community Bells high on the tower of St Mary’s Church.
The pupils of the Model School, where Sam Maguire spent his early school years, sang some hymns during the service, while Dunmanway Historical Association put on a special display of Sam Maguire memorabilia at their centre at Atkins’ Hall.
Chairman of the Community Council, Joe Higgins, commended everyone who participated in making the event a really enjoyable occasion for all the community.
He was especially grateful to Andrew Healy of SuperValu, who were the main sponsors of the event, and who provided free face-painting at their premises and treats for all the children who took part in the parade.
Seamus O’Sullivan of Siopa Tar Isteach sponsored the prizes for the special awards.