Sam Maguire visits England for police GAA event

 

The Sam Maguire Cup added another unusual destination to its already varied itinerary this week when it was guest of honour at New Scotland Yard.

It had its own Garda escort, of course, which, in turn, was backed up by "boys in blue" from London's Metropolitan Police, the New York Police Department and the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

The occasion was the second International Police Gaelic Football tournament for the Tom Lanagan trophy. The final later today will see the Garda play the NYPD as they did two years ago in Dublin when the home team won. The physically-fit New York side - many of whom showed evidence of working out with weights and playing other sports - showed themselves faster and fitter in the freezing fog than their London Met counterparts, but not quite as skilled as the Garda, who overwhelmed the PSNI. The Met's Hendon Gaels will today play the PSNI for third and fourth.

"We're all just cops who like playing Gaelic," said Garda Eugene O'Sullivan, from Ballinaskellig, Kerry, one of the organisers of both the event and the Garda squad.

Supt Mark Goldby of the Met was philosophical about his team's defeat and said it would make them all the more determined not to come last as they did last time in Dublin. He shrugged off, with good humour, quips that the PSNI may be sending their Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde to take over the Met.