Museum summer school dedicated to Sam Maguire and his famous trophy

Speakers will address aspects of Maguire’s life and legacy, and the role of Protestants in the GAA

The Sam Maguire, modelled on the Ardagh chalice,  was first presented to Bill Gannon of Kildare in 1928

The Sam Maguire, modelled on the Ardagh chalice, was first presented to Bill Gannon of Kildare in 1928

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This year’s GAA Museum Summer School will be dedicated to the most famous prize in Gaelic games. “Sam Maguire – the Man and the Trophy” will be an exploration of someone who was very influential in the early GAA as well as the eponymous cup.

It takes place on Saturday, June 30th, in Croke Park, and several speakers will address aspects of Maguire’s life and legacy.

Born in 1879 into a Church of Ireland farming family from Dunmanway in Cork, Sam Maguire went to London at the turn of the last century to work in the post office and became active in the IRB. It was he who recruited Michael Collins.

Although he had not played at home, he took up football after he had moved and captained London in three All-Ireland finals, losing in each case to Tipperary (1900), Dublin (1901) and Kerry (1903). He became chair of the London board and a trustee of the GAA.

He returned to Dublin to work in the new State’s civil service but was controversially dismissed. He died of TB in 1927, aged just 52.

After his death friends formed a committee, chaired by TD and later presidential candidate Pat McCartan, to commemorate Maguire, and a cup was commissioned modelled on the Ardagh chalice.

It was first presented to Bill Gannon of Kildare in 1928, the second of back-to-back All-Irelands. Coincidentally, when the trophy was retired and replaced with a replica in 1988, its first winners Meath were also retaining it.

The summer school will feature lectures on topics relating to Maguire and his times, his work in London, the role of Protestants in the GAA and the trophy itself. Tickets are €30 for the day, and include tea, coffee and lunch plus entrance to the Croke Park Museum.

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