Cork County Flag
There can hardly be a nation more enthralled with the glory and shine of sport than Ireland – and the counties of both Cork and Kerry are well used to being in the spotlight year after year.
The leading hurling counties of Ireland may beg to differ – but arguably the climax of Ireland’s sporting calendar is the All Ireland Football final and the prize of the Sam Maguire Cup . For the uninitiated that is the sport of Gaelic Football – fifteen men a side – rugby posts and goal nets. The game is played on a bigger pitch than soccer or rugby and we can usually look forward to high octane action from start to finish.
While the County of Cork has long dominated All Ireland wins, football teams from the North of Ireland have come on in leaps and bounds in recent years. Last month’s cup final in Dublin’s Croke Park featured Cork against Northern Irish county, Down.co
Cork Football Final 2010 - sportsnewsireland.com
In the days before the contest – on September 19th – the first time tourist to West Cork might have been forgiven for thinking that a new government was about to be elected – or least that one important Cork citizen – called Sam – was being held hostage in Dublin.
Roadside flags of all kinds and colours are feature of West Cork all year round. But through September ‘Bring Sam home was the message on many a fluttering pennant or hoarding – the message usually decked out in the county colours of red and white. ‘Sam’ of course refers to Sam Maguire, a native of Dunmanway, West Cork who gave his name to the annual trophy.
And – by 5.00pm on Sunday September 19 – Sam indeed was coming back home as Cork beat Down by a single point.
Every year, returning visitors to West Cork will recapture that sense of roadside sporting passion at all levels – juniors, seniors, ladies teams – from the smallest towns to county wide
Conor Counihan - GAA.ie
The flags are a major part of the West Cork experience - the tradition and enjoyment of sport. But winning the Sam Maguire is up there with the best achievements in the country. And for another year the ‘Sam Maguire’ will now rest secure in its native resting place.
Paul O’Brien – Fastnetline