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Samuel ("Sam") Maguire (1879 - February 6, 1927), an Irish Republican and Gaelic footballer, is chiefly remembered as the eponym of the Sam Maguire Cup, given to the All-Ireland Senior Champions of Gaelic football.

Early life

He was born in the townland of Mallabraca near the town of Dunmanwaymarker in West Cork and was a member of the Church of Ireland

Sam had four brothers and two sisters. Willie was the eldest then Mary, Jack , Dick, Paul (who married a Roman Catholic and whose son became a Roman Catholic priest), Sam and Elizabeth. The Maguires farmed of land. Sam went to school in Dunmanwaymarker and then to the national school in Ardfield. This is the same school Michael Collins later attended. At the age of 20 Maguire passed the exams.

Professional life

He then took a job in the Britishmarker Civil Service in Londonmarker. Maguire joined and captained the successful London Hibernians Gaelic football team to several All-Ireland finals between 1900 and 1904.

In 1907 Sam went into the administration of the London GAA, becoming the Chairman of the London County Board and a regular delegate to the Annual Congress of the GAA. He later became a trustee of Croke Parkmarker. Coincidentally, Vice-Chairman of the London County Board was Liam McCarthy who gave his name to the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Cup.

He is also remembered in the political sphere for recruiting the nationalist leader Michael Collins to the Irish Republican Brotherhood in 1909. Sam worked for the Irish Republican Brotherhood in London until 1921. He returned to Dublin in 1921 and got a job in the newly established Irish civil service, but because of his political opinions he quickly clashed with his superiors and was dismissed.


Sam Maguire died of tuberculosis February 6, 1927, aged 48 and is buried in the cemetery of Saint Mary's in Dunmanway. A Celtic cross was raised over his grave with a simple inscription
Erected to the memory of Samuel Maguire, Mallabraca who died 6th February 1927 by the people of Dunmanway and his numerous friends throughout Ireland and Englandmarker in recognition of his love for his country.

Dunmanway's Dohenysmarker GAA club named their home pitch Sam Maguire Park in his honour, and the club's under-age teams compete under the moniker "Sam Maguires".On September 15, 2002, a statue of Sam Maguire was unveiled as the centrepiece of a new 500,000 plaza in Dunmanwaymarker's town centre.

Sam Maguire Cup

The Sam Maguire Cup was designed and presented to the Gaelic Athletic Association in 1928 in his honour after his death in 1927. The cup cost £300 in 1928 (equivalent to €26,395 now). It was made by Hopkins and Hopkins of O'Connell's bridge after it had been commissioned by the committee under the chairmanship of Dr Pat McCartan.

Kildare was the first county to win the Sam Maguire cup after defeating Cavanmarker 2-6 to 2-5 in 1928. The cup was replaced in 1988, Meath being the first recipient of "Sam Óg" after a defeat of Cork.Kerry are the current holders of the Sam Maguire Cup, following their defeat of Cork (0-16 to 1-9) in September 2009.


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