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Cork Church of Ireland parish partners GAA and other local groups in new ‘Sam Maguire School Tour’ initiative

Ringing the changes at the Sam Maguire Community Bells.
Ringing the changes at the Sam Maguire Community Bells.

Many people know the name of Sam Maguire, but few know the story of the man behind the cup. The Sam Maguire School Tour is a partnership between the Church of Ireland in Dunmanway, Co. Cork, where Sam Maguire was a parishioner and is buried and five other groups in the area: the Sam Maguire Community Bells, the GAA, Glenilen Farm, the Top of the Rock, and Funmanway. It is all packaged together to provide a fun and informative day out for primary school tours.

The brochure is here.

The Sam Maguire School Tour was formally launched in St. Mary’s Church in Dunmanway by Cllr. Declan Hurley, Mayor of the County of Cork, and Tracey Kennedy, Cork GAA Chairperson, on Tuesday 27th February. They were accompanied by the pupils from 5th and 6th class of Dunmanway Model School, where Sam himself attended as a child.

Prior to the launch, the children from Sam’s old school went on a trail tour to Top of the Rock, Glenilen Farm, Dunmanway Swimming Pool and St. Mary’s church with the Sam Maguire Community Bells. Dunmanway Historical Association and Funmanway are also included as options on the tour but were not included in the day’s itinerary.

The purpose of this school tour is to tell the story of the life of Sam Maguire and the history of his home town, Dunmanway in Co. Cork. Sam Maguire was a member of the Church of Ireland from Malabracka near Dunmanway and is buried in St. Mary’s Churchyard in Dunmanway town. After his schooling he took up a position in the post office in London; he became a member of the IRB and provided intelligence and support to Michael Collins in the struggle for Irish freedom. Sam also played Gaelic football in London, was captain of his senior football team as well as president of his club, London Hibernians. He represented the London County Board at congress and was a trustee of Croke Park.

As well as school tours, the Sam Maguire Community Bells are looking forward to welcoming coach tours this summer and are planning to open their doors to tourists every afternoon in July and August, where visitors can hear the story of Sam Maguire and ring the Sam Maguire Community Bells for themselves.

For more information about the Sam Maguire School Tour, contact tours@fanlobbus.ie or ring 023–8856508 from 10.30–3pm Mon–Fri (exc. Wed). Or see www.fanlobbus.ie/Sam–Maguire–School–Tour.htm

The Rev. Cliff Jeffers said: ‘This summer we are looking forward to welcoming primary schools to come to visit us to learn about Sam Maguire, to hear his story and to play a few tunes on the Sam Maguire Community Bells in St. Mary’s Church in Dunmanway as well as seeing some of the exciting attractions that West Cork has to offer.’

Cllr Declan Hurley, Mayor of the County of Cork said: ‘This is a new and exciting initiative for Dunmanway, offering a great learning experience for our kids, taking in the many locations of interest, which tell the story about Sam Maguire growing up in his hometown of Dunmanway.’

Cork County Board Chairperson Tracey Kennedy praised the initiative saying: ‘The Sam Maguire School Tour is an ideal opportunity for children to learn more about the life and birthplace of Sam Maguire, while at the same time getting involved in a number of really fun and educational activities. It’s a truly unique experience and I would urge all schools to consider a visit.’

  • The Rev. Cliff Jeffers explaining the story of Sam Maguire at Sam's grave.
  • Making yummy yoghurt at Glenilen Farm.
  • Making yummy yoghurt at Glenilen Farm.
  • Feeding a lamb at Top of the Rock in Drimoleague.
  • At Dunmanway Swimming Pool.
  • Launch of the Sam Maguire School Tour in St. Mary's Church, Dunmanway.