Sam Maguire to be remembered with eight bells at Co Cork church

St Mary’s Church of Ireland in Dunmanway, where Maguire is buried, to install bells this summer


Sam Maguire was from Co Cork. A member of the Church of Ireland, he was born in the townland of Mallabraca near Dunmanway, West Cork, in March 1877.

While working in London he was heavily involved in the GAA where he was chair of the county board and Liam MacCarthy was his deputy, the latter giving his name to the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Cup.

Sam Maguire is believed to have recruited Michael Collins to the IRB in London.

He returned to Ireland but was on the losing side in the Civil War. In poverty, he died of TB in West Cork 90 years ago in 1927. He was 49.

The Sam Maguire Cup, modelled on the Ardagh Chalice, was organised by a group of his friends who presented it in his honour to the GAA in 1928.

Sam Maguire is buried at St Mary’s Church of Ireland, Dunmanway, and it is there eight bells, to be known as ‘The Sam Maguire Community Bells’, are to be installed in his memory.

The bells arrived at the church over the weekend and were named and dedicated by Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross Dr Paul Colton during an ecumenical service.

They will be raised to the tower and installed over the summer and on Saturday, September 9th next GAA President Aogán Ó Fearghaíl will be among those attending a service of thanksgiving at St Mary’s.

Last year, following centenary celebrations of the 1916 Rising, parishioners at St Mary’s looked at how they might commemorate Sam Maguire and decided on the eight bells, each with a theme, through which the story of Sam Maguire and Dunmanway could be told.

The themes selected were sport, wars and revolution, agriculture, people of Dunmanway, migration, religious traditions, education and arts, industry and commerce. These will be developed into story boards to be put on display in the church.

Speaking there at the weekend Bishop Colton said that “as we approach another sequence of centenary years of commemorations (1918-1923) it is, I believe, vital that we acknowledge the intervening 100 years: what we are now, what we have become, and how things have changed.”

He added: “our focus here in this diocese will be forward-looking with special attention to reconciliation (not least reconciling memories) and fostering relationships for today and the times ahead.”

This “very imaginative community project which reaches out beyond the Church of Ireland parish” did “exactly these things, in my view,” he said.