Hurling champions’ story told in new booklet


The Clare Champion,
Friday, January 8th, 2016


THE story of Clare’s hurling champions of 1914 has been recalled in a new publication launched by the Clare Museum. High Prestige, The Story of Clare’s All-Ireland Hurling Champions of 1914 remembers the year in which Clare became the first county to win the senior and junior hurling championship double.

Researched by Dr Tomás MacConmara and designed by museum volunteer Karen Dunn, the booklet contains original research and will be of particular interest to those interested in local history.

The booklet outlines how this momentous feat came to pass after John Malone, on retiring from his position as president of the Clare GAA in January 1914, encouraged delegates at the Clare GAA convention to ‘try to win something outside the county’.

The publication tells how when the playing season of 1914 approached the county board posted a notice in July stating their dissatisfaction with the position the county’s hurlers found themselves in. It informed readers that a new committee had been established that wished to ‘bring back once more to Clare the high prestige we once enjoyed’.

The booklet tells the story of the 1914 champions, remembering famous names such as Amby Power, Pa ‘Fowler’ McInerney, Dr Tommy Daly, Jack Spellissy and Colonel Tom McGrath. The publication has been created as an education support for the Clare Museum’s Champions Once More exhibition.

Since May 2015, Clare Museum has been holding a temporary exhibition to commemorate the senior hurling and junior hurling teams that won their respective All-Ireland championships in 1914. The exhibition is based on the museum’s reserve collection. Many of the photographs featured in the booklet are of some of the exhibits in the Clare Museum, including a 1914 All-Ireland hurling medal won by Ned Grace from O’Callaghan’s Mills, the sliothar used in the All-Ireland hurling final and Biddy Early’s oil stock.

Museum curator John Rattigan explained that the booklet ‘explores the experience of those associated with these hurling teams in the context of the events being marked during the decade of centenaries’.
He went on, ‘The exhibition has been a great success; it’s been going really well. We are planning to finish it in February or March but if the interest remains at this level, we will keep it for a little longer’. He concluded ‘This booklet is a great addition to the exhibition, providing additional information and historical research and making it available to the public. This will be useful, particularly for those interested in local history and sporting history and it reinforces our commitment to life-long learning’.

Limited numbers of the booklet are available to the public free of charge at Clare Museum, Arthur’s Row, Ennis and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

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