This Thursday, a first place medal from the inaugural GAA football final will go up for auction at Sotheby’s of London.
The final, which took place in 1887, saw the Limerick Commercials beat Co. Louth team Dundalk Young Irelands.
The match, which took place in a field called The Big Bank at Clonskeagh, Co. Dublin, marked the beginning of competitive sport in Ireland.
The medal was awarded to GAA legend Malachi O’Brien, nicknamed the “Little Wonder,” on account of his small stature, who was also named Man of the Match at the first GAA football final.
A native of Ballinyrina, Co. Limerick, O’Brien emigrated to New York in 1894, where he lived for 32 years, helping to popularize GAA sports in the U.S.
O’Brien returned to Limerick in 1929, where he lived until his death in 1953.
O’Brien’s great great grandniece Mary Doran donated the medal, which is 9 carrot gold and inscribed with: “G.A.A. Central Council C’rhip, 1887,” on the obverse side and: “The All Ireland F. Championship, won by Lmck Commercials,” on the reverse side.
The piece is expected to fetch between