SAM MAGUIRE – A GREAT SPORTSMAN AND IRISHMAN
“In Ireland’s Cause You Nobly Worked”
A familiar sight to those who follow Gaelic Football, many, indeed, pursuing a great passion for the game, is the hoisting of the Sam Maguire Cup for the adulation of triumphant supporters in front of the Presidential Box at the Croke Park stadium in Dublin by the captain of the county team victorious in the annual All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final.
So who, indeed, was Sam Maguire, whose name is ascribed to this sporting “chalice”, presented to Croke Park 80 years ago this year by a number of his former comrades and friends?
In July 2007 Hennigan’s Heritage Centre and Farm in Killasser, Co Mayo, was honoured with a visit from Lech Walesa, “icon” of the struggle of the Polish people to throw of the yoke of Communism in the 1970’s and ‘80’s. He was accompanied by his wife Danuta and their daughter, their entourage, and representatives of Rehab, their hosts for their visit to Irelandduring the weekend of Friday 6th to Monday 9th July.
I was privileged to be part of the welcoming party for this historic visit organised by Kevin Bourke of Rehab, a longstanding acquaintance of mine, and one time member of the Birmingham Mayo Association, and who does wonderful community work here in the west ofIreland. I was also covering the event for CRC FM, our local Castlebar Community Radio station, a voluntary organisation, for whom I present programmes of community/heritage etc interest, and presenting country ‘n Irish music programmes.