Ashbourne Cup

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For the latest competition see 2016 Ashbourne Cup.
Ashbourne Cup
Current season or competition:
2017 Ashbourne Cup
Irish Corn Ashbourne
Founded 1915
Trophy Ashbourne Cup
Title holders University of Limerick (6th title)
Most titles University College Dublin (35 titles)

The Ashbourne Cup is an Irish camogie tournament played each year to determine the national champion university or third level college.[1][2] The Ashbourne Cup is the highest division in inter-collegiate camogie. The competition features many of the current stars of the game and is sometimes known as the ‘Olympics of Camogie’ because of the disproportionate number of All Star and All-Ireland elite level players who participate each year[3] Since 1972 it has been administered by the Higher Education committee of the Camogie Association.

The next Ashbourne Cup will take place over the weekend of 11–12 February 2017.


In the final stages of the competition, six teams are divided into two groups of three in which each team plays two matches. The top two in each group go through to the cup semi finals while the bottom team in each group plays in the final of the Ashbourne Shield. The current holders of the cup are Waterford Institute of Technology having defeated UCC 2-10 to 2-2 in the 2011 final.[4] The next Ashbourne Cup and Purcell Cup semi-finals and finals will be staged on the weekend of 18–19 February 2012 at Waterford Institute of Technology.


The competition is the brainchild of Agnes O'Farrelly (1874–1951), founder member (1914) and president (1914–51) of the UCD camogie club who later served as president of the Camogie Association of Ireland in 1941–2. In 1915 she persuaded her friend, Irish language activist William Gibson, (Liam Mac Giolla Bhríde (1868–1942), second Lord Ashbourne, to donate a trophy for the camogie intervarsity competition. The first game of intercollegiate camogie took place between University College Dublin and University College Cork on 18 April 1915. NUI Galway (then University College, Galway) joined the competition in 1916, Queen's University, Belfast in 1934, and NUI Maynooth (then St Patrick's College), New University of Ulster, Coleraine, and Trinity College, Dublin in 1972. Apart from 1934-7, until 1960 the competition was played on a league basis, and since then the concluding stages have been played together on a single weekend in mid-February. There was no competition in 1943, due to war-time restrictions, and the competition remained unfinished in 1963, when University College Dublin fielded an ineligible player for the final, which was drawn and never replayed. University College Cork claimed the title. Since 2010 the finals weekend has been staged alongside the Purcell Cup.

Purcell Cup[edit]

The CCAO also oversees the Purcell Cup (effectively Division 2), which has been contested since 1977. The Purcell Cup, the third level colleges division 2 championship, was donated by Úna Uí Phuirséil, President of the Camogie Association 1976-78, and her husband Pádraig Puirséil, gaelic games correspondent for the Irish Press 1954-78. Mary Immaculate College, Limerick defeated Ulster Polytechnic by 3-0 to 0-1 in the first final in St Patrick’s Drumcondra on 6 March 1977. The format is similar to the Ashbourne Cup, in the final stages of the competition, six teams are divided into two groups of three in which each team plays two matches. The top two in each group goes through to the cup semi finals while the bottom team in each group plays in the final of the Purcell Shield. The Purcell Cup winners play the Ashbourne Shield runners-up the following year to determine promotion and relegation. Having initially been established for non-university colleges in 1977, from 1994 the standard of the team rather than the type of university determined whether colleges should participate in the Ashbourne Cup or the Purcell Cup.

Fr Meachair Cup[edit]

Colleges who do not compete in the Ashbourne and Purcell Cups play for a cup named after Fr Gearóid Ó Meachair (Gerry Meagher, d1982), from Cappawhite, Co Tipperary, founder and popular trainer of the NUI Maynooth camogie team. It was inaugurated in 1986. Until 2011 it was a one-day seven-a-side competition. The format is similar to the Ashbourne and Purcell Cups, six teams divided into two groups of three in which each team plays two matches. The top two in each group goes through to the cup semi finals while the bottom team in each group plays in the final of the Fr Meachair Shield. The Fr Meachair Cup winners play the Purcell Shield runners-up the following year to determine promotion and relegation.

O'Mhaolagáin Cup[edit]

The remaining teams not in the first three championships participate in a one-day seven-a-side competition, a format previously used for the Fr Meachair Cup. The trophy is named for Camogie Association President of 1991-4, Brídín Uí Mhaolagáin. The revived O'Mhaolagáin Cup was staged in Dundalk IT on 22 February 2012.[5]

Ó Mhaolagáin cup[edit]

Dundalk IT won the reinvented Ó Mhaolagáin cup in 2012[6] Coláiste Froebel, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Limerick IT, Marino, and University of Ulster Coleraine who won the inaugural O’Mhaolagáin Shield, all competed in the 2012 competition. St. Patrick's College, Thurles won the 2015 Shield.

Ashbourne Cup Winners [7][edit]

Team County Wins Last win
University College Dublin (UCD) Dublin 35 2008
University College Cork (UCC) Cork 32 2003
National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG, formerly UCG) Galway 15 1994
Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) Waterford 8 2016
University of Limerick (UL) Limerick 6 2014
University of Ulster, Jordanstown (UUJ) Antrim 3 1997
Queens University Belfast (QUB GAA) Antrim 1 1991

Highlights & Incidents[edit]

Highlights and incidents of the championship history include:

  • The 1918 competition played before record crowds of up to 4,000 for each of three matches in Terenure over the weekend of Feb 16-18, Dublin beating Cork on Friday, Galway and Cork drawing one goal each on Saturday and Dublin beating Galway 2-0 to 1-1 on Sunday to secure the trophy when Nora Cleary’s goal from a 60-yard shot proving the highlight of the weekend, Margaret McGrane scoring Dublin’s second goal
  • Harry Diamond, member of Northern Ireland Parliament, refereed the 1935 final, the first to be hosted by Queens University
  • Some members of the UCG winning 1917 team refused to have their names engraved on the cup in the Irish language, something that brought their future selection into doubt.
  • The Galway, Antrim and Dublin county boards suspended UCG, Queens and UCD for six months for taking part in the 1949 Ashbourne Cup as they had refused instructions not to play against UCC, affiliated to the Cork board which was disaffiliated from camogie’s central body for the term of a complex eight-year split in the Association.
  • The inconclusive 1961 final when the Ashbourne Cup committee decided one of the UCD players was ineligible. The match was drawn 2-1 each and never replayed, with UCC claiming victory.
  • The 1962 competition when snow was cleared from the field, the semi-finals played on the following day and the final completed a fortnight later when Anne Duane’s late goal gave Dublin a late victory in one of the best Ashbourne cup ties of the 12-a-side era.
  • Galway’s breakthrough in 1965 powered by goalkeeper Eileen Naughton who held Queen’s scoreless in the semi-final and Dublin could manage just one point in the final,
  • The 1966 semi-final in which Dublin beat Queen’s by an astonishing 17-6 to nil, as Ann Carroll inspired Dublin to victory in her first appearance in a competition where she was to become the outstanding personality over a five-year period.
  • The 1969 semi-finals played in four inches of snow on the Malone Road sports fields in Belfast. The final was eventually played in Athlone when Dublin won with the help of three goals from Joan Traynor.
  • In 1972 Trinity College, NUI Maynooth and the University of Ulster, Coleraine brought the number of teams competing in the Ashbourne Cup to seven
  • Margery Doohan’s performance in the 1970 final, her five goals won her Irish Press sports personality of the week in a year when UCD won without their injured captain Ann Carroll
  • Cork’s six in a row 1972-77 with players like Val O'Dwyer and Aideen McCarthy and three goal hero of 1977 Noreen McCarthy, their toughest contest in the period may have been the 1976 quarter-final 2-6 to 3-2 victory over Maynooth, one of the best matches in the 12-a-side era of Ashbourne history, in which Angela Downey scored 2-2. Maynooth came closest to winning the Fitzgibbon when it could draw on the services of the iconic Angela Downey between 1975 and 1979, appearing in two finals.
  • The 1974 first round match between UCG and Queen’s played in perhaps the worst conditions ever for a camogie match - the ball became lodged in a mud pool for a considerable period
  • Dublin’s nine victories in eleven years in the 1980s, launched by Edel Murphy’s scores in a closely fought final against UCC in 1980 and spearheaded by players such as Germaine Noonan, Marie Connell and Breda Kenny in subsequent years.
  • Cork’s eight goals in arctic conditions at Santry in 1985, decisively defeating UCD with great displays by Claire Cronin, Patsy Kenelry and three goal hero Norma Delaney.
  • The emergence of Queens in 1991 led by Deirdre O'Doherty, Joan Tobin and Mary Black followed closely by Jordanstown in 1992 marking the high point of Colleges camogie in Ulster, followed by Limerick’s victory over Waterford in an all-newcomers final in 1995 when Sinead Millea’s prolific scoring gave Limerick victory.
  • Limerick’s breakthrough in 1995 which led to six titles in 11 years including a treble in 2004-6
  • The first 15-a-side final of a major camogie competition in 1999 when Waterford celebrated their first success and the first non-University success thanks to Mary Walshe’s 39th minute winning goal.
  • Waterford’s 2009-13 five in a row, powered by All Ireland stars from Cork and Wexford and Kilkenny, who supplied five of their forwards on the 2012 team

Ashbourne Cup Champion Colleges[edit]

Purcell Cup Champion Colleges[edit]

Fr Meachair Cup Champion Colleges[edit]

Ashbourne Cup Finals[edit]

Until 1960 the series was played as a round robin over different weekends in the winter. The first figure in this table is the number of goals scored (equal to 3 points each) and the second total is the number of points scored, the figures are combined to determine the winner of a match in Gaelic Games. The results, dates and venues of finals since 1960 have been:

Purcell Cup Finals[edit]

The closing stages of the Purcell Cup have always been played as a knock out competition:

Fr Meachair Cup Finals[edit]

Originally a sevens competition, the Fr Meachair Cup was upgraded to 15-a-side in 2012.

Ashbourne All-Stars[edit]

For many years a Combined Universities team was selected after the Ashbourne Cup event to play Cork county team for the Cronin Cup. Later the Combined Universities played the Combined Colleges.[34] In 2004 the [1]. Higher Education] committee of Cumann Camógaíochta na nGael instituted Ashbourne All-Stars for the best players in each position at the end of the tournament.


Rosanna Kenneally (WIT & Tipperary), Catherine O'Loughlin (UCD & Wexford), Angela Walsh (UL & Cork), Rena Buckley (UCD & Cork), Jenny Duffy (Cork IT & Cork), Anna Geary (UL & Cork), Michelle Shortt (Garda College & Tipperary), Louise Mahony (UCD & Laois), Colette Desmond (UCC & Cork), Laura Linnane (NUIG & Galway), Rachel Moloney (UCC & Cork), Cora Hennessy (Cork IT & Tipperary), Marie OConnor (Garda College & Kilkenny), Amanda O'Regan (UL & Cork), Sharon Daly (UCD & Offaly)


Mags Darcy (UCD & Wexford), Clodagh Flanagan (UCD & Kildare), Jennifer Browne (UCC & Cork), Mairead Luttrell (UCD & Tipperary), Mary Leacy (UCD & Wexford), Fionnuala Carr (Jordanstown & Down), Cathriona Foley (UCC & Cork), Rena Buckley (UCD & Cork), Julianne Woodcock (UCD & Kilkenny), Claire McMahon (NUIG & Clare), Brenda Hanney (Cork IT & Galway), Aine Lyng (UL & Waterford), Susie O'Carroll (UCD & Kildare), Ursula Jacob (WIT & Wexford), Marie O'Connor (Garda College & Kilkenny)


Rosanna Kenneally (WIT & Wateford), Therese Shortt (WIT & Tipperary), Mary Leacy (UCD & Wexford), Michelle Casey (Garda College & Liemrick), Sheila Sullivan (UL & Offaly), Fionnuala Carr (Jordanstown & Down), Cathriona Foley (UCC & Cork), Rena Buckley (UCD & Cork), Ann Dalton (UCD & Kilkenny), Susie O'Carroll (UCD & Kildare), Aine Lyng (UL & Waterford), Fiona Lafferty (UL & Clare), Ursula Jacob (WIT & Wexford), Aoife McLoughney (UCC & Tipperary), Una Leacy (UCC & Wexford) .


Mags Darcy (UCD & Wexford), Keeva Fennelly (WIT & Kilkenny), Mairéad Luttrell (UCD & Tipperary), Lorraine Ryan (NUIG & Galway), Mary Leacy (UCD & Wexford), Kelly-Anne Cottrell (WIT & Kilkenny), Stacey Redmond (WIT & Wexford), Rena Buckley (UCD & Cork), Ann Dalton (WIT & Kilkenny), Collette Dormer (WIT & Kilkenny), Aoife McLoughney (UCC & Tipperary), Susie O'Carroll (UCD & Kildare), Ursula Jacob (WIT & Wexford), Michelle Quilty (WIT & Kilkenny)


Eleanor Mallon (Jordanstown & Antrim), Mairéad Luttrell (UCD & Tipperary), Sabrina Larkin (UL & Tipperary), Gráinne Stapleton (UCD & Kilkenny), Collette Dormer (WIT & Kilkenny), Fionnuala Carr (UCC & Down), Jill Horan (UCC & Cork), Katrina Parrock (WIT & Wexford), Alison Maguire (UCD & Dublin), Gráinne Kenneally (UCC & Waterford), Áine Lyng (UL & Kilkenny), Patricia Jackman (WIT & Waterford), Fiona Lafferty (UL & Clare), Ursula Jacob (WIT & Wexford), Deirdre Twomey (NUIG & Cork)


Susan Earner (UCC & Galway) Collette Dormer (WIT & Kilkenny), Leann Fennelly (UCD & Kilkenny), Julie Brien (UCC & Galway) Ann Dalton (WIT & Kilkenny), Michaela Morkan (NUIG & Offaly), Patricia Jackman (WIT & Waterford) Katrina Parrock (WIT & Wexford), Chloe Morey (NUIG & Clare) Michaela Convery (Jordanstown & Antrim), Katie Power (WIT & Kilkenny), Lisa Bolger (UL & Offaly) Katriona Mackey (UCC & Cork), Denise Gaule (WIT & Kilkenny), Michelle Quilty (WIT & Kilkenny)[35][35]


Emma Staunton (UCD & Kilkenny), Ruth Jones (WIT & Kilkenny), Sarah Anne Fitzgerald (WIT & Laois), Shonagh Curran (UL & Waterford), Patricia Jackman (WIT & Waterford), Susan Vaughan (UL & Cork), Niamh O'Dea (UL & Cork), Lisa Bolger (UL & Wexford), Maria Walsh (UL & Cork), Joanne Casey (UCC & Cork) Sara Louise Carr (Jordanstown & Down), Denise Gaule (WIT & Kilkenny), Marie Dargan (WIT & Kilkenny), Katie Power (WIT & Kilkenny), Katrina Parrock (WIT & Wexford),[36][36]

Purcell All-Stars[edit]

Purcell All-Stars were first selected from the Purcell Cup participant teams in 2006, rewarding the best players in each position at the end of the tournament.


Martina O'Brien (IT Tralee); Karen Mullins (DIT), Therese Lynn (Maynooth), Sarah Ryan (DIT); Rachel Ruddy (Trinity), Edwina Keane (IT Tralee), Aileen O'Loughlin (DIT); Jane Dolan (DIT), Paula Kenny (Garda College); Christine Kenny (DCU), Keelin Bradley (Queens), Niamh Mulcahy (Mary I); Shauna Jordan (Queens), Colette McSorley (Queens), Louise Walsh (Maynooth)


Laura Quinn (QUB & Derry); Gráinne Quinn (DIT & Dublin), Kate Lynch (Mary I Limerick & Clare), Laura Twomey (DCU & Dublin); Mairead Short (QUB & Armagh), Cathriona Foley (Trinity & Cork), Emma Brennan (DCU & Cork); Jane Dolan (DIT & Meath), Keelan Bradley (QUB & Derry); Cathy Bowes (DIT & Galway), Colette McSorley (QUB & Armagh), Aoife Burke (DIT & Laois); Sinead Cassidy (QUB & Derry), Orlaith Murphy (IT Tralee & Cork), Joeleen Hoary (DIT & Dublin);[37]


Gráinne Smyth (DIT & Dublin), Rebecca Cleere (Maynooth & Kilkenny), Lisa Carey (DCU & Kilkenny), Danielle McCrystal (QUB & Derry), Mairéad Power (DCU & Kilkenny), Emma Brennan (DCU & Carlow), Kristina Troy (Maynooth & Meath), Katie Campbell (Mary I Limerick & Limerick), Laura Twomey (DCU & Dublin), Orlaith Walsh (St Pats, Drumcondra & Kilkenny), Sinéad Cassidy (QUB & Derry), Ciara Donnelly (QUB & Armagh), Orla Durkan (DCU & Dublin), Naomi Carroll (Mary I Limerick & Clare), Denise Luby (Cork IT & Cork)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Moran, Mary (2011). A Game of Our Own: The History of Camogie. Dublin, Ireland: Cumann Camógaíochta. p. 460. 
  2. ^ Pádraig Puirséil: Scéal na Camógaíochta (1984)
  3. ^ Michael O’Leary:Ashbourne comes to Waterford
  4. ^ a b c 2011 final WIT 2-10 UCC 2-2, reports in and Irish Independent
  5. ^ CCAO IE: O'Mhaolagáin Cup
  6. ^ Ó Mhaolagáin cup on
  7. ^ "Ashbourne Cup roll of honour". 19 September 2009. Retrieved 30 December 2009. 
  8. ^ a b 1998 final UCC 1-7 WIT 1-6, report in Irish Examiner
  9. ^ a b 1999 final WIT 1-6 UCC 0-4, report in Irish Examiner
  10. ^ a b 2000 final UCC 2-3 UCD 1-5 in Galway, report on RTÉ online
  11. ^ a b 2001 final UL 2-6 WIT 1-8, report on RTÉ online
  12. ^ a b 2002 final UCC 1-11 WIT 1-4 at Ballinlough, Cork, report on RTÉ online
  13. ^ a b 2003 final UCC 1-10 UCD 0-6 at the Mardyke, report on
  14. ^ a b 2004 final UL 6-5 UCD 1-8, O'Toole Park, Crumlin, report on RTÉ online
  15. ^ a b 2005 final UL 0-12 UCD 1-4 at Ballygunner, report in Irish Independent and Hogan Stand
  16. ^ a b 2006 final UL 0-13 UCD 1-9 at Limerick reports in Irish Independent and
  17. ^ a b 2007 final UCD 2-10 UCC 1-4 at Ballinderreen, “UCD land Ashbourne Cup for first time in 19 years," Irish Times
  18. ^ a b 2008 final UCD 5-9 WIT 0-9 at Casement Park, report on
  19. ^ a b 2009 final WIT 1-9 UCD 1-6 at Páirc Uí Rinn, report in Wexford People Irish Times and RTÉ online
  20. ^ a b 2010 final WIT 0-11 UCC 1-6, reports in, Irish Independent and Irish Times
  21. ^ a b 2012 final WIT 2-8 UL 0-4, reports in and Irish Times
  22. ^ 2011 final QUB 2-10 DCU 0-7, report on
  23. ^ 2012 final DCU 4-7 QUB 0-4, report on
  24. ^ The 1982 final was transferred from Maynooth to Belfield as a result of the death of Maynooth club chairman Fr Gearóid Ó Meachair.
  25. ^ "WIT clinch dramatic Ashbourne Cup victory". 17 February 2013. Retrieved 19 February 2014. 
  26. ^ "Ashbourne Cup Final 2014". 16 February 2014. Retrieved 19 February 2014. 
  27. ^ "Jackman inspires wily Waterford IT to glory". Irish Examiner. 16 February 2015. Retrieved 19 February 2015. 
  28. ^ "Sarah Fryday's glory strike clinches sixth Ashbourne Cup for UL". Irish Examiner. 15 February 2016. Retrieved 16 February 2016. 
  29. ^ "UL complete back-to-back Ashbourne Cup wins". RTÉ. 12 February 2017. Retrieved 22 February 2017. 
  30. ^ Purcell Cup 2011 final 7 QUB 2-10 DCU 0-7, report on
  31. ^ Camogie Purcell Cup Final Replay Match Report,
  32. ^ a b
  33. ^ "Minogue takes the plaudits in DIT cup victory - Purcell cup final". Irish Independent. 13 February 2017. Retrieved 22 February 2017. 
  34. ^ Mary Moran: History of Munster Camogie
  35. ^ a b 2011 All-Star teams on
  36. ^ a b 2012 All-Star teams on
  37. ^ 2011 All-Star teams on

External links[edit]