Liam MacCarthy Cup: Corn Mhic Cárthaigh
The Liam MacCarthy Cup is awarded annually to the winners of the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship.
The cup was named in honour of Liam MacCarthy, a former president of the London Board of the GAA.
In 1922, Liam MacCarthy approached the GAA and offered to commission a trophy for the winners of the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship. Modelled on an ancient drinking vessel, known as a mether, the Liam MacCarthy Cup was wrought by Edmund Johnson Jewellers of Grafton Street, Dublin and cost £50.
The Liam MacCarthy Cup
The original Liam MacCarthy Cup was first won by Limerick in 1923. This was actually for the 1921 championship, which was delayed due to unrest in Ireland. Bob McConkey was the first captain to lift the famous cup.
In 1991, Tipperary’s Declan Carr became the last captain to raise the original cup. A replica of the Liam MacCarthy Cup was first presented in 1992 to Kilkenny captain Liam Fennelly.
Joe Connolly, Galway - 1980
This replica is awarded annually to the All-Ireland hurling champions while the original Liam MacCarthy Cup resides permanently in the GAA Museum’s Treasury of Trophies.
The original Liam MacCarthy Cup resides permanently as part of the GAA Museum’s treasury of trophies.
Who was Liam MacCarthy?
Liam MacCarthy was born in London in 1853 to Irish parents - his mother was from Limerick and his father was from Cork. He grew up in a close-knit Irish community in Peckham, in a home where Irish was the first language. From a young age, MacCarthy developed a keen interest in Irish sports, particularly hurling, and was often seen with his hurley on Clapham Common.
In 1875, MacCarthy married Alice Padbury and went to work in her father’s cardboard box business. Within a short space of time, MacCarthy established his own cardboard box business, which proved a considerable success.
Towards the end of the nineteenth century, Liam MacCarthy became heavily involved in GAA circles in London – first as the county board treasurer, and later as its chairman. He was also vice-president of the Gaelic League and openly supported the Irish nationalist cause at a time when it was not safe to do so in England.
Following a long illness, Liam MacCarthy passed away in London, in 1928.
At the GAA Museum, you can also see:
This miniature replica of the Liam MacCarthy Cup was presented to legendary hurler, Christy Ring to commemorate Cork winning the All-Ireland Hurling Championship four times in a row. (1941, 1942, 1943, 1944). (This is kindly on loan from the Ring family.)
The Liam MacCarthy Collection
The Liam MacCarthy collection is a series of letters, pictures and newspaper clippings donated to the GAA Museum and Archives in 1999 by the MacCarthy family. A select few have been chosen for digitisation and you can view these below.
Liam MacCarthy Cup Fact File
| 1922||The year that the Liam MacCarthy cup was commissioned.|
|£50||The cost of the original Liam MacCarthy cup.|
|1923||The year that the Liam MacCarthy Cup was first presented. Limerick were the inaugural winners. Bob McConkey was the first captain to claim the cup.|
|1991||The year the original Liam MacCarthy cup was retired. Tipperary were the last winners of the original cup. Declan Carr was the final captain to lift the original 'Liam'.|
|1992||The year the replica Liam MacCarthy was first presented. Kilkenny were the first winners. Liam Fennelly was the first captain to lift the replica cup.|
|10||The number of different counties to have won the Liam MacCarthy cup (1921-2019)|
|10||The record number of times that one player (Henry Shefflin, Kilkenny) has won the Liam MacCarthy cup.|
|29||The record number of times that one county (Kilkenny) has been presented with the Liam MacCarthy cup (1921 – 2019)|