The Ulster Colleges' silverware was locked away and a man received his Dr MacRory
Cup medal 70 years after winning it. That happened on Thursday, February 23rd 2012.
in 1942, Macartan MacCormack (Castleblaney) was on the McRory winning St Macartan's
team but, for some reason, did not receive a medal at the time. That oversight has
now been rectified as he was presented with the 'lost cord' at a function in the
O'Fiaich Library, in Armagh, on Thursday night, Feb 23rd. Macartan himself was unable
to attend but his son, Paul, was there to collect on his behalf. I visited Macartan
afterwards and he told me how delighted he is to have received this medal. He had
received one, when, at the age of 15 in 1940, he was a member of the Macartan’s team
which won the McRory that year and now he has the pair. ‘I always hoped that somehow
I would get the second and now my dream has come true’ says Macartan. The Sem has
only won the McRory twice since 1942 and few past pupils can boast of having one
never mind two.
The function also marked the end of the line for the current MacRory,
MacLarnon, Rannafast, and Forresters Cups, plus the Corn na nOg, as the Ulster Colleges'
Council 'decommissioned' these trophies and handed them over to the O'Fiaich Library
for cold storage. New trophies were presented for these competitions.
Cup has been contested since 1924, when the original trophy was donated by Cardinal
MacRory. The new cup was given by Cardinal Dalton in 1962 and Cardinal Brady has
now generously provided a magnificent replacement, which will perpetuate the close
connection between this illustrious competition and the Archdiocese of Armagh.
Rannafast Cup is now in its 74th year, having first been contested in 1938, and the
Christian Brothers, have provided an iconic replacement. Meanwhile, the MacLarnon
Cup, originally donated by Dean MacLarnon in 1959, is being replaced by Past Pupils
of St Patrick's Academy Dungannon.
Many former winners of these competitions, such
as Sean O'Neill (Abbey CBS and Down), Ray Carolan (Cavan), Ray Morgan (Colmans),
Val Kane (Abbey), Cardinal Brady, Brian McErlean, Peter Herron and Fr. Delargy, were
among those who shared their memories, interviewed by MC Jerome Quinn. The keynote
address of the night was given by Dr Donal McAnallen, which covered many aspects,
stories and the history of the MacRory Cup. This was very enjoyable, though rushed,
and has the quality to be offered again to a broad audience connected to Colleges’
football and McRory Cup in particular. To facilitate further research on the history
of Gaelic Games at schools' level in Ulster, the Colleges organisation also donated
its extensive archive material to the O'Fiaich library, where it will be accessible
to future scholars.
Paul MacCormack accepts his father’s medal from Ulster Colleges Council chairman,
Seamus Meehan beside the old McRory Cup and a St. Macartan’s College jersey in background.
Middle is Macartan with his medal and then a close-up of medal.
Mgr Raymond Murray, Chairman of the Library Board, accept some of the Ulster Colleges
archives from Seamus Meehan.
Jerome Quinn displays one of Fr. Delargy’s Hurling medals, just before it disappeared
and re-appeared in Fr. Delargy’s pocket!!!