Sam Maguire Cup

Sam visits Gaelscoil Thaobh na Coille

Dublin senior footballer, Davy Byrne and musician Liam Heneghan accompanied the Sam Maguire Cup to the school on Friday 18th of November.

The entire school population gathered in the hall to firstly welcome Liam Heneghan, a musician/ songwriter with the ballad group The Merry Ploughboys. Liam is also a part owner of the pub of the same name which is located in Rockbrook, Rathfarnham. He composed the song ‘Sam is Coming Home’ in 2011 in honour of the Dublin Senior Football Team who defeated Kerry to lift the Sam Maguire Cup for the first time since 1995. He penned an Irish version especially for his visit to Gaelscoil Thaobh na Coille and the children accompanied him in a rendition with great gusto on the day. He also sang a number of traditional Irish songs to which the children sang along, which created a fantastic atmosphere in the hall.

An Múinteoir Ó Dubhthaigh explained to the children that the cup was named in honour of Samuel Maguire, who was born in West Cork in 1877. He later served for many years with the London GAA and on his death in 1927, his colleagues collected £300 and had a cup commissioned in his honour. This cup was subsequently donated to the GAA and was first presented to the victorious captain of Kildare after their All-Ireland success in 1928. After six decades, the cup was ‘retired’ due to damage and is now housed in the Croke Park museum. ‘Sam Óg’ replaced Sam in 1988. Co. Meath were the first county to win this new cup and by coincidence they too were the last county to win the original Sam.

Dublin first won Sam Óg in 1995 when they overcame Kerry in the final. It is hard to believe that they have won it four times (2011 v Kerry, 2013 v Mayo, 2015 v Kerry & 2016 v Mayo) in recent years.

The children were very excited by the visit of Davy Byrne, a defender for Dublin and the Club Captain of Naomh Olaf GAA Club. Davy, who had fractured an ankle in the week before his visit to the school attended on crutches. Despite his obvious discomfort, he generously answered all the questions put to him by the children.

At the tender age of just 22 years, Davy’s palmaris are more impressive than most inter-county players. He was won 3 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship medals (2013, 2015 & 2016), 4 Leinster SFC medals (2013-2016), an All-Ireland U-21 FC (2014) & Minor FC medal (2014). He also has two league winning medals.

In addition to his medal collection with Dublin, Davy, a student of business in UCD, helped UCD to capture the 2016 Sigerson Cup – the most prestigious cup in third level. Their victory in Belfast versus DCU was the first time UCD had captured this crown in two decades.

The priomhoide took photographs of each class with the cup and this added greatly to the occasion as well as acting as a special memento of the occasion for the children.

Finally, many thanks to Darrren Egan, GPO Games Promotional Officer with Naomh Olaf’s GAA Club, for organising the visit of Sam. Up the Dubs!