Wednesday 22 October 2014

Climbers taking 1887 All-Ireland medal to highest peak

Published 15/05/2014 | 02:30

Sean O' Brien (15) from Sandyford and from St Olaf's GAA Club is the youngest climber that will bring Sam Maguire to the Summit of Carrauntoohill on Friday along with some well known GAA faces in aid of the Alan Kerins Project in Zambia. Picture: Steve Humphreys
Sean O' Brien (15) from Sandyford and from St Olaf's GAA Club is the youngest climber that will bring Sam Maguire to the Summit of Carrauntoohill on Friday along with some well known GAA faces in aid of the Alan Kerins Project in Zambia. Picture: Steve Humphreys

AN All-Ireland medal won in 1887 will be the oldest of 32 carried to the summit of Ireland's highest peak tomorrow.

Malachi O'Brien was 'Man of the Match' when he was part of the Limerick team that defeated the Young Irelands of Louth 127 years ago.

The story of this medal, arguably the most valuable – sold at auction in 2005 by Sotheby's for €26,500 – will be among the tales shared by some of the country's best-known GAA players, who are taking part in the unique fundraising event to bring 'Sam to the Summit'.

Players representing the 32 counties will carry medals and Gaelic football's ultimate prize, the Sam Maguire Cup, to the top of Carrauntoohil tomorrow morning.

It is the brainchild of Galway's Alan Kerins, who has mobilised the whole GAA community for support.

The physiotherapist set up the Alan Kerins Projects in 2005 following a three-month stint in Zambia working with disabled children where he was inspired by Co Laois nun Sr Cathy Crawford. Since then the charity has raised more than €5m to support her work in Africa.

Alan said he had been overwhelmed by support for the climb.

The fun begins tonight with a parade in Inch in west Kerry to welcome the climbers.

"The forecast is good and it should be spectacular on top of Carrauntoohil and we'll be taking an aerial photograph of all the players taking part and the medals," Alan said.

Among those taking part will be well-known faces in GAA including Cork's Graham Canty, Dublin's Barry Cahill, Tyrone's Peter Canavan, Down's Mickey Linden, Meath's Gerry McEntee, Laois's Beano McDonald and former Kerry great Seamus Moynihan.

Irish Independent

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