Liam MacCarthy Cup

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"MacCarthy Cup" redirects here. It is not to be confused with Thomas St George McCarthy Cup.

The MacCarthy Perpetual Challenge Cup (commonly referred to – and incorrectly spelled – as the McCarthy Cup) is a trophy awarded annually by the Gaelic Athletic Association to the hurling team that wins the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship.

Cup being repaired before the 2011 final

The trophy[edit]

All-Ireland winners are permitted to keep the Liam MacCarthy Cup for a period of one year until the following year's All-Ireland final. Kilkenny hold the record for retaining the cup on the most occasions. Kilkenny held the All-Ireland title for four consecutive years from 2006 until 2009. All-Ireland-winning captains receive a model replica of the Liam MacCarthy Cup.

The original Liam MacCarthy Cup commemorates the memory of Liam MacCarthy. Born in London to Irish parents in 1851, he was prominently involved in the establishment of a GAA county board in London in the 1890s.[1][2] It was first presented in 1923 with Limerick the first holders of the cup, defeating Dublin in the All-Ireland Hurling Final. In 1921 a trophy in his honour was presented to the Central Council of the GAA and replaced the Great Southern Cup as the All-Ireland trophy. Limerick, as All-Ireland champions in 1921, were the first recipients of the Liam MacCarthy Cup.

The design of the cup is based on a medieval drinking vessel called a mather.

In 1992 the original Liam MacCarthy Cup was retired. Tipperary were the last team to claim the original. In 1992 an exact replica was produced and has been awarded on an annual basis since then. Kilkenny were the first team to win the 'new' MacCarthy Cup. The replica was crafted by James Kelly in Kilkenny.[3]


The Liam MacCarthy Cup is also the title given to Tier 1 of the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship in which the top thirteen county teams compete. For the 2015 season, these teams are:

The series of games are organised by the Gaelic Athletic Association and are played during the summer months with the All-Ireland Hurling Final being played on the first or second Sunday in September in Croke Park, Dublin.

The Liam MacCarthy Cup is currently held by Tipperary, who beat Kilkenny in the 2016 final.

Kilkenny have now won thirty-six All-Ireland titles.

See also[edit]