The Cups That Cheered

A History of the Sigerson, Fitzgibbon and Higher Education Gaelic Games

By Dónal McAnallen
RRP: 19.99  

Price: 15.99

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A century after the donation of the trophies that gave rise to them, this book celebrates two of the longest-running national competitions in Gaelic games. It captures the unique mixture of competitive spirit, camaraderie, famous figures, legendary stories, controversies and sense of joy and student mirth associated with the premier intercollegiate contests in Gaelic football and hurling.

The main focus is on the Sigerson Cup and Fitzgibbon Cup competitions, from their inception in 1911 and 1912 respectively to the present day. But coverage is also given to the origins and development of Gaelic games in higher education colleges prior to 1911 and the involvement of colleges in other Gaelic games competitions after 1911. The expansion of higher education Gaelic games since the late 1960s and new competitions is outlined, and the development of Gaelic games in universities and colleges outside of Ireland in more recent times.

The narrative describes not only the competitions and games, but also the famous (or infamous) social side of activities, and the administrative developments and controversies that have been ever-present. This is a book with absorbing insights into the world of third-level Gaelic games since they began in pre-independence Ireland.

Bibliographic Data

  • Book Format: Hardback
  • Published: 2012
  • Dimensions: 240 x 170 mm
  • Number of pages: 350
  • ISBN: 9781848891609
  • Illustrations note: Full colour,

Editorial Reviews

"It is an important contribution to the ever growing field of Irish sports history firstly, but it is also an important piece of education and social history"

– Scolaire Staire Magazine

"McAnallen uses the photos to good effect, bringing out through the pictures and reproductions what he evokes so well in words."

– Scolaire Staire Magazine

"This book is beautifully produced"

– Scolaire Staire Magazine


– East Cork Journal

"Wealth of fresh research, unpublished documents and images."

– Ulster Herald

"Absolute triumph."

– Irish News


– Evening Echo

"Utterly absorbing."

– Sunday Indepedent

"Exhaustively researched."

– Irish Examiner

"Exhaustive and compelling."

– Belfast Telegraph

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