By Pierce O’Reilly
We’ve heard about the Sam Maguire Cup getting battered about in Kerry and Dublin recently, and indeed in practically every other county that has clasped it in the last 20 years.
This cherished piece of Irish silverware will be back in New York at the weekend for the Kerry GFC annual dinner dance, with an insurance policy of $10,000 presently on its head.
But the Sam Maguire, it appears, is not the only coveted cup to have a love-hate relationship with its possessors. Indeed, it has surfaced this week that only one cup in present circulation in New York is an original. All but one of the past pristine trophies, which range in value from $1,000 to $5,000, have been lost or stolen.
A senior Munster official said that in light of the recent cup mysteries in New York, he is glad the Sam Maguire was insured to the full.
The Senior Football cup, Corn Ui bhFailge, donated by the Offaly club to the New York GAA on Sept. 20, 1964, was revealed in its battered state to the Irish Echo this week.
Follow us on social media
Keep up to date with the latest news with The Irish Echo
The Leitrim GFC, who won the coveted silverware after the 1993 final, replaced it in 1994 after the original cup was battered in the after-match celebrations. The replacement cup, which cost about $1,000, disappeared once again in mysterious circumstances after the 1997 final.
The West of Ireland club once again replaced it in ’98. This is now in circulation and was presented to Kieran Keavney after Donegal’s victory last year. However, it has never being renamed.
At present, the names of the championship winners from 1993-97 are inscribed on it.
The Senior Hurling cup, which was called the P.J. Grimes Cup, was also presented to the GAA by the Offaly Association. The silverware went missing or was stolen in the early 1980s when present New York president Monty Maloney loaned it to a unnamed friend. The Cork Hurling Club replaced the cup some years later. However, it was mysteriously renamed the Charlie McConnell Cup.
At present, the Junior Hurling cup has no name on it. The original cup was lost, allegedly after New Jersey won the championship in the early 1980s.
The prestigious Junior "A" Championship cup was named after John F. Kennedy. This piece of sterling silver, estimated to be worth in the region of $5,000, was lost or stolen after the 1998 junior ‘A’ final. The replacement cup was donated by New York GAA.
The Junior "B" Football trophy is the only trophy to survive the last decade. This cup, in honor of Armagh native Jim O’Neill, who captioned the Armagh club in New York in 1985, was presented after his sudden death.
New York GAA president Maloney is now eager to upgrade all trophies for the upcoming season and maybe even change a few of the honorees. Will we see the Monty Maloney Perpetual Cup this year? We’ll just have to wait and see.