The family of Wexford hurling legend Nicky Rackard have forked out €17,500 to reclaim his 1955 All-Ireland medal.
The nine-carat gold medal, the first of two that Rackard won during his 17-year inter-county career, went under the hammer at Fonsie Mealy’s rare books and collectors sale on Tuesday with an estimate of €5,000-€7,000. It was the first and only medal to come on the market from a player named on the hurling team of the millennium.
“Nicky had been known for giving away his medals as gifts,” explained George Mealy of Fonsie Mealy auctioneers.
“Nicky prided himself more on what he did with a hurl in his hand. He knew his legacy would stand the test of time and so the medals didn’t carry huge value to him. His family, however, were obviously keen to reclaim it and secured the medal with a €17,500 bid.”
A 1914 All-Ireland football championship medal, the original owner of which is unknown, sold for €4,750, while a match programme from the 1940 All-Ireland football final between Galway and Kerry garnered €1,200, triple the original asking price.
Elsewhere, a Munster rugby jersey signed by the 1978 team which overcame the All Blacks fetched €900, the Cork shirt signed by the 1990 All-Ireland-winning hurling and football teams went for €650, while a hurley autographed by Cork’s 1984 centenary-winning side sold for €300.
“A lot of the GAA memorabilia went for double or triple the original asking price,” continued Mealy. “This is a hugely buoyant market at the moment and GAA memorabilia is highly sought after because almost every item carries exclusivity.”
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