First Ever All-Ireland Football Medal, 1887
Won by Limerick Commercials
Medal: G.A.A. - Football, 1887: A magnificent 9ct gold Medal issued to commemorate the first ever All-Ireland football Championship, 1887, hall marked, & with name of retailer A. Duffner, Tipperary.
The Medal was won by Jeremiah Kennedy of Limerick Commercials, Limerick, who beat Young Irelands of Louth, on a score line of 1-4 to 0-3. The match was played on a field in Clonskeagh known as 'The Big Bank' on April 28, 1888.
The style of the Medal is in what is now known as the traditional G.A.A. Celtic Cross design., of a cross super imposed on a circle, & with the engraved arms of Munster on a shield overlaid in centre, the obverse inscribed 'Central Council-Eire-G.A.A. C.Ship,'& with the left & right points of the cross with the date 18-87, the reverse is engraved, 'First All Ireland F. Championship, Won by Lmck. Commercials, J.J. Kennedy.'
The Limerick team of 1887, were not photographed on the occasion of their win, they received no trophy, & really no recognition until they were issued with this medal in 1910, the occasion when the above photograph was taken. By that time a lot of the excitement generated by the initial championship had dissipated, and some of the team emigrated, as with the recipient of the above medal.
The following Year 1888, the championship was unfinished, owing to the famous 'U.S.A. Invasion' by G.A.A. athletes. Having won the inaugural championship of 1887, Limerick won again in 1896, & these two years remain the only occasions in the proceeding years when Limerick collected the honours. Excessively Rare. (1)