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The Sam Maguire Cup pictured this week with the Dublin and Tyrone colours ahead of Sunday's All-Ireland SFC Final.
The Sam Maguire Cup pictured this week with the Dublin and Tyrone colours ahead of Sunday's All-Ireland SFC Final.

Sam Maguire Cup to welcome home supporters at Dublin Airport

Following on from the success of the GAA’s fáilte abhaile initiative for the hurling final, the Sam Maguire Cup will be in Dublin Airport’s Terminal 2 from 10am to 2pm on Friday to welcome home supporters for the GAA Football All-Ireland final weekend.

This year will mark the 90th anniversary of the inaugural presentation of the Sam Maguire trophy to the All-Ireland senior football champions and was awarded for the first time to the victorious Kildare team of 1928 following their 2-6 to 2-5 victory over Cavan at Croke Park that year.

Events at Croke Park this Sunday begin with the Electric Ireland All-Ireland minor football final between Kerry and Galway at 1pm, with Kerry seeking a fifth straight Tommy Markham Cup. The match will be shown live on TG4.

Entertainment at half time in the minor final will be provided by the Cumann na mBunscol INTO Respect Go Games exhibition matches which feature children from all over Ireland who won a competition to take part on All-Ireland day.

Musical entertainment will be provided by the Carberry Rangers Ballad Group from Cork, who are the All-Ireland Scór Sinsear champions.

Following the presentation of the minor trophy, the GAA Jubilee team will honour the heroes of 25 years ago when a Derry team, managed by the late Eamonn Coleman and captained by Henry Downey, brought the Sam Maguire to the Oak Leaf County for the very first time. In the event that the minor final goes to extra time, this ceremony will take place at the interval in the senior final.

The two senior teams will be welcomed on the field by a guard of honour by children selected through senior sponsors eir, AIB and Supervalu.

There will then follow a parade of club colours onto the field where the clubs who have provided the starting players on the Dublin and Tyrone teams will have their colours displayed on the pitch by children who will form part of the Presidential guard of honour on the red carpet.

The pre-match parade and national anthem will be led by the Artane Band with Amhran na bhFiann again being displayed in sign language on the big screen with Senan Dunne signing and Darren Byrne conducting.

The senior final between Dublin and Tyrone will throw-in at 3.30pm and will be shown live by RTÉ and SKY Sports

The Sam Maguire Cup.
The Sam Maguire Cup.

Notes on Sam Maguire:

Sam Maguire, who was born in 1877 near Dunmanway in Cork, rose to prominence through his work with the GAA and Irish community in London at the dawn of the twentieth century.

He was captain of the London Hibernians teams that contested the All-Ireland finals of 1900, 1901 and 1903. He later become a chairman of the GAA in London where among his colleagues was Liam MacCarthy who would later have his name attached to the hurling championship trophy.

This duo were also heavily involved in providing support for Irish Nationalism in the years before the Easter Rising.

Maguire later returned to Ireland and worked in the Civil Service but died of tuberculosis in 1927 aged just 49.

Following his death, a group of his friends raised £300 to have a cup cast in his honour and presented it to the GAA, where it was later decided to award the cup to the winners of the All-Ireland senior football championship.

The cup is modelled on the Ardagh Chalice, which is an exquisite artifact discovered as part of a hoard of treasure in 1868 at Reerasta, Ardagh in Co Limerick and dates from the 8th Century when it would have been used in the celebration of mass.

The fund to create the Sam Maguire, would be the equivalent of €20,000 in today’s money and the cup was created by Dublin silversmith Matthew J Staunton from a single piece of flat silver.

An exact replica was commissioned by the GAA and produced by Kilkenny silversmith Desmond A Byrne. It was presented to Meath’s Mick Lyons following the Royal County’s All-Ireland final victory over Cork in 1987. Meath’s Joe Cassells had been the last man to accept the old Sam in 1988.

The original is on display in the GAA Museum in Croke Park. The new Sam has been busy the last 30 years where it has been claimed by 10 different counties, including maiden victories for Donegal, Derry, Armagh and Tyrone.

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