TO mark the 90th anniversary of the presentation of the Sam Maguire Cup for the first time in 1928, the recent monthly meeting of the South West Junior Board was held at the homestead of Sam Maguire, Mallabracka, Dunmanway, on Wednesday, August 22nd.
Delegates from the 26 clubs in the division were present at this unique gathering. At the start of the meeting Tom Lyons, vice-chairman, gave a talk on the life of Sam Maguire and the Sam Maguire Cup itself.
He expressed the hope that many heroes of the War of Independence, like Sam Maguire, who have been almost forgotten, would be remembered, especially in their native places, when the ceremonies are held to mark the centenary of the War of Independence.
Sam Maguire would probably have been forgotten were it not for the presentation of the now-famous cup to the GAA and Lyons hoped other forgotten heroes would be honoured in a similar and dignified way.
Sam Maguire was a staunch GAA man while in London from 1897 to 1923 and apart from captaining London-Irish in three All-Ireland football finals, he had held various officer positions in his own club, London Hibernians, and in the London County Board.
He died in 1927 at the young age of 49 in his homeplace in Mallabracka, which has now been restored, and the Sam Maguire Cup was presented by his friends to the GAA in 1928 for the All-Ireland. The first winners were Kildare, and Willie Gannon was the first captain to receive it.
The cup has been brought back triumphantly to Maguire’s native West Cork on three occasions, by Tadhgo Crowley of Clonakilty in 1945, Larry Tompkins of Castlehaven in 1990 and Graham Canty of Bantry in 2010.