Haven’t seen that before

There’s a tribute in Ballygarvan GAA club’s committee room that you won’t see anywhere else — a wooden bust of Liam MacCarthy, the man who lent his name to the cup Cork and Clare will fight again for.

Haven’t seen that before

Liam’s father Eoghan emigrated from Ballygarvan for London in the 1850s but the family never forgot their roots. After establishing the successful W MacCarthy & Sons packaging firm in the 1880s, Liam became heavily involved with London GAA and donated the cup in 1921.

However he also maintained a strong connection with Ballygarvan and when the local church was in need of renovation, he put up silver and gold medals and a cup for a club fundraising tournament.

“That cup was in honour of his father and he presented it here in 1928,” said Ballygarvan’s Ed Forrest.

“He had such a great connection with the club, we unveiled the bust in 1984, the centenary year, and dedicated the pitch to him. I had a photo of him and gave it to Dave Hurley from Togher and he carved the image. It was unveiled in September in 1984 by Paddy Buggy, the then president of the GAA.

“We get a lot of enquiries about it from visitors because it’s one of the few tangible things showing what Liam looked like.”

The connections with the area don’t stop there. Liam’s great, great grandson recently moved back to Cork to study dentistry in UCC. His name? Sam.

“The family haven’t missed a final since 1923. Sam’s father Dr Nicholas MacCarthy is a GP in Hastings and sent me a pic the other day of his grandson Rory in a Cork jersey with the Chill Insurance logo on it. His grandson is only three months old.”

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