Clare All-Ireland hurling medal from 1914 could sell for €10k
IT is a once-in-a lifetime chance for GAA fans who dreamed in vain of lifting silverware in Croke Park, uttering the immortal acceptance words as Gaeilge for their county and then treasuring a Celtic Cross medal for the rest of their lives.
Fans who always wondered what it would be like to own an All-Ireland winner's medal can satisfy that desire at a special auction of Gaelic games memorabilia that includes remarkable items from matches at both Croke Park and the Jones Road grounds in Dublin.
The sale, being held by Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers in Kilkenny on Tuesday, features one of the greatest collections of rare sporting memorabilia ever to go under the hammer in Ireland.
Among the items will be the actual sliothar used in the Dublin clash between Kilkenny and Tipperary in the 1913 All-Ireland final.
But the greatest interest will undoubtedly focus on a nine-carat gold Celtic Cross medal presented to a Clare hurler after the county's victory in the 1914 All-Ireland final.
Few realised at the time it would be another 81 years before Clare would lift another title.
That medal alone is expected to fetch €10,000.
The other showpiece of the sale will be the John T Power All-Ireland medal collection.
This features three Celtic Cross medals won by the Kilkenny great between 1907 and 1913.
Other items up for auction include Croke Park programmes, posters, books on GAA history and memorabilia from players.
A total of 750 lots will be offered for sale.
Fine art auctioneer George Fonsie Mealy said they have been taken aback by the level of interest in the catalogue.
"The GAA has such an important place in the hearts of Irish people, both at home and abroad, and items like these are incredibly rare," he said.
"We are honoured to be entrusted with these items and to give an opportunity for any GAA collector or fan to own a piece of sporting history at this forthcoming sale.
"Some of the items for auction are unlike anything that has every been brought to the market before.
"For example, one of the lots, the Dublin match sliothar, was retained by Kilkenny goalkeeper John T Power after the 1913 All-Ireland hurling final as a memento to mark Kilkenny's first three-in-a-row and also the first ever 15-a-side All-Ireland final at the newly named Croke Park."
Viewing of the various items will take place in Kilkenny's Ormonde Hotel from 10.30am on Tuesday.