Search for Monaghan Olympic medal
WITH JUST a week to go to the Olympic Games opening ceremony, the search is still on for a very elusive medal.
Monaghan County Museum has been receiving urgent phone calls from the Irish and British lawn tennis associations concerning the silver Olympic medal won by a Co Monaghan man 104 years ago.
James Cecil Parke is still regarded by some as Ireland’s greatest ever all-round sportsman. He won the medal in the men’s mixed doubles tennis at the London Olympics in 1908.
Museum staff member Noel Breakey said finding the medal had not proved to be a simple task.
“Both lawn tennis associations have been on to us concerning Cecil Parke’s silver medal. Now we know all about Cecil and his family but, alas, nobody has, as yet, been able to actually find the silver medal that is being sought. We are still looking and appealing to his family and family friends and to the public in the hope that we can facilitate the 2012 Olympic Committee and the lawn tennis associations.”
Cecil Parke, as he preferred to be called, was an all-round sportsman, born in Clones in 1881. In his youth, rugby was his favourite game. He played for Monkstown and Dublin University and was capped 10 times for Leinster. He later won 20 caps for Ireland between 1903 and 1909.
In tennis, his great achievements included winning the Wimbledon mixed doubles titles in 1912 and 1914 and the Australian singles and doubles in 1912. He also won a Davis Cup medal with the British Isles team in 1912.
He was also a leading track and field athlete, a top sprinter and played top-level golf. He was also a leading chess and cricket player. He died in Llandudno, Wales, in 1945, aged 65 .
The curator at Monaghan museum, Liam Bradley, and his team are determined to continue the hunt for the local sporting hero’s elusive medal.