Dublin captain Bryan Cullen lifts the Sam Maguire after winning the All-Ireland in 2011RTE

Ireland’s sporty Minister for the Arts has recalled how he lost the country’s most famous trophy in Gaelic Park – and had to call on the FBI to locate the Sam Maguire.

Kerryman Jimmy Deenihan lost the trophy awarded to the All-Ireland football champions when he brought it to New York on a tour with his club Feale Rangers.

Deenihan had been asked to bring the country’s most coveted piece of silverware to America for a photo-session with the trophies awarded to the winners of the Super Bowl and baseball’s World Series.

___________

Read more:

More news from Ireland on IrishCentral

‘Tallafornia’ brings ‘Jersey Shore’s sex and attitude to Ireland - VIDEO

Irish car salesman tells how banks almost made him commit suicide

___________

He duly obliged – under protest – and his worst fears were realised when the trophy went missing in Gaelic Park.

“I felt that it was too much of a responsibility and was against bringing it,” revealed Fine Gael Minister Deenihan at the launch a new book celebrating his sporting life, published in aid of a local Kerry charity.

The Sam Maguire was stored in a safe at Gaelic Park while players from Feale socialised with locals and their exhibition match opponents from the Ardboe club in Tyrone.

“After the match the next day I went into the bar in Gaelic Park to collect the cup only to be told by the caretaker that it had been taken from the safe by someone unknown to him that morning,” confessed multiple All-Ireland winner Deenihan.

“Panic ensued, and only the intervention of an FBI officer helped recover the cup. When I called to Gaelic Park the following morning at 11am, the Sam Maguire was in the bar wrapped in a black plastic refuse bag.”

At the launch, Deenihan also recounted how he had his nose broken during a 1978 game in New York by the Dublin half-back Pat O’Neill.

At a function in Rosie O’Grady’s Bar in downtown Manhattan later that night, a message was passed to Deenihan from O’Neill.

“The message said that he was very sorry for striking me and that it was a case of mistaken identity; as visibility was bad, he had mistaken me for Páidí Ó Sé,” laughed the Minister.

“My nose soon healed and I just forgot about the incident.”

___________

Read more:

More news from Ireland on IrishCentral

‘Tallafornia’ brings ‘Jersey Shore’s sex and attitude to Ireland - VIDEO

Irish car salesman tells how banks almost made him commit suicide