All-Ireland replica trophies nearly ready

THE GAA are at an advanced stage in completing replicas of the Sam Maguire and Liam MacCarthy Cups.

The project was initiated by former GAA president Nickey Brennan in his final year in office to help in the marketing and promotion of gaelic games.

He explained last night: “The reason behind the decision was that it was becoming more and more difficult to secure the trophies for high profile functions and ceremonies, especially at short notice.

“The demand for usage of the Sam Maguire and Liam MacCarthy is probably unrivalled in sports whether the trophies are going to schools, weddings, funerals or club socials.

“That has always been the case, but nowadays there are far more launches and marketing events for the GAA and it always looks better to have the trophies available.

“As the originals in the Croke Park museum can’t be taken out we felt it would be a good idea to create two new versions of the trophies which can be used by the GAA for these type of major events.”

Brennan revealed two of the most acclaimed silversmiths in the country are working on the projects.

James Mary Kelly, who crafted the Liam MacCarthy Cup that was first presented in 1993 and Des Byrne, who made the Sam Maguire, which was introduced in 1988, are at advanced stage in the new creations.

Continued Brennan: “These are two of the best silversmiths in the country and, ironically, both have their workshops side by side in the Kilkenny design centre.

“They are well on their way to completion.

“The plan was that these trophies would be kept by Croke Park, but I’m not sure if that is still the case.”

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