Cork hurlers and footballers will wear commemorative jerseys honouring Tomás Mac Curtain and Terence MacSwiney in their upcoming home Allianz League games.
This Sunday sees the hurling team take on Limerick at Páirc Uí Chaoimh while the footballers will host Derry at the venue a week later, and on each occasion they will take to the field in black shirts featuring images of the two men, both of whom died in 1920 while holding the role of Lord Mayor of Cork.
Designed by Cork County Board in conjunction with kit manufacturer O'Neill's, the jersey commemorates the centenary of what was an eventful year for Cork in the War of Independence. Mac Curtain, a councillor representing the original Sinn Féin, was elected Lord Mayor of Cork in January of 1920 but in March of that year, he was murdered by members of the Royal Irish Constabulary.
He was succeeded in the role by MacSwiney, who was arrested in August 1920 and interred in Brixton Prison. There, he went on hunger strike and died in October. The following month, the Kilmichael Ambush took place, an event considered crucial in the war. Then, in December, an ambush of Auxiliary forces led to the burning of Cork, which saw damage to numerous houses, businesses, City Hall, and the Carnegie Library.
All of these events feature on the jerseys, which have red collars and striping and also carry the signatures of Mac Curtain and MacSwiney. Cork's sponsors Chill Insurance have agreed to have their logo rendered in white rather than the purple and green version which adorns the usual Cork kit. The families of both men were consulted regarding the initiative and they will be present at the Limerick game.
In a 2016 hurling league game against Kilkenny, Cork also wore a special kit in the county's original colours of blue and saffron. These black jerseys will the third different set worn by Cork in the current league campaigns - as well as the traditional red, the white alternative kit was worn by the footballers in their win over Down and by the hurlers in Sunday's victory against Westmeath.