The author of a new book on the history behind GAA’s major cups and trophies has called on the Munster Council to name the province’s senior football and hurling competitions after deceased Gaels.
Former Dublin hurling boss Humphrey Kelleher, who on Tuesday night launched Family Silver in Croke Park, believes the GAA need to review the names and conditions of the silverware currently presented to winning teams.
The GAA’s Official Guide states no trophy can be called after a living person and the Munster senior championships as well as the junior football competition are currently unattached to any individual.
Limerick have been looking for the Munster senior hurling cup to be named after legendary Mick Mackey.
“It doesn’t have to be a great hurler or a footballer as such,” stressed Waterford native Kelleher. “There have been some great people who have kept the game going, great administrators and personalities.
“We all like players and Mick Mackey is an obvious one but if you’re looking across the whole association’s cups and trophies which have yet to be named or could be renamed — Seán Óg Ó Ceallacháin would be a candidate as would someone like Kevin Heffernan. We have few opportunities to honour these people. Like, when does a new cup come on to be? It’s very rare but we now have three marvellous opportunities in Munster.”
Kelleher also argues in favour of some silverware being renamed.
“The Irish Press Cup is given to the winners of the All-Ireland minor hurling championship and that newspaper, which no longer exists, has received a lot of kudos and yet it left people high and dry in terms of pensions and you wouldn’t be talking too fondly of them. That’s a sin scéal eile but it’s a cup we could rename and the GAA could include part of it as an overhaul.”
Over the course of his three years of research into the book, Kelleher was taken aback by the state of a number of cups and trophies.
“The standard of some of them is just not acceptable. You could give them a touch of quality. The Connacht club football (Shane McGettigan) cup is a tiny yoke of no design. It was as if somebody was walking down the street, saw it in a window, bought it and put it up as a cup.
“Historically, we in the GAA have never spent too much time or put a lot of thought into how we can honour these people and commemorate them in the form of trophies.”
Family Silver, published by Kelleher and Sportsfile and priced at e25, features the stories and names behind 100 cups and trophies in the Association and features several previously unseen family photographs.
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