Corn Ui Shealbhaigh

County Under 21 football final, April 24, 2005


The trophy for the under-21 A county football championship is Corn Úi Shealbhaigh, called after the Shelly family, Templemore. Paddy, who lives in New York, is a member of the very distinguished family, long associated with the development of the town. His ancestors were responsible for bringing the Christian Brothers to Templemore.

Paddy won an All-Ireland junior medal with Tipperary in 1935, playing at centreback. In the photograph of the team in Tipperary's G.A.A. Story 1935-84 Paddy is conspicuous by his height in the back row. The team were beaten by Sligo in the All-Ireland final. (In the same year the minors were beaten by Mayo in the final, and the seniors by Cavan in the semi-final.)

Paddy emigrated to New York at a later stage and was always prominent in the welcoming parties for Tipperary teams that visited the city in the 1950s and 1960s. He used to come home every year and gear his holiday to coincide with Tipperary's progress in the All-Ireland championship.
The cup is a recognition of the Shelly family's contribution to the G.A.A., as it is of Paddy himself.
The first winners of Corn Úi Shealbhaigh were Holycross-Ballycahill in 1999, beating Galtee Rovers by 2-6 to 1-8 at Boherlahan on May 8. Winners since then were Fethard in 2000, 2001 & 2002, Ballina in 2003 and Loughmore-Castleiney in 2004.

When Corn Úi Shealbhaigh was presented to the county board in 1999, it replaced the Quane Cup, which had been presented to the winners since the commencement of the competition.
The Quane Cup was presented by the Arravale Rovers club in recognition of one of the most distinguished G.A.A. families in the town of Tipperary. There were four brothers, Bob, Davy, John and Tom. Bob won two All-Irelands with Tipperary in 1895 and 1900. Tom, who was the youngest, won two All-Irelands with Dublin in 1906 and 1907, may have been a sub on the victorious side in 1908, emigrated later to the U.S., before returning to live in Dublin later in life.

Apparently he brought back a cup with him, which was presented to the Arravale Rovers club. When the under-21 football championship commenced, the club presented the cup to the county board in memory of a very distinguished family. When it was replaced by the Shelly Cup in 1999, it was in a dilapidated state. The last winners of the Quane Cup were Commercials, who defeated Golden-Kilfeacle in the final, played at Cashel on May 4, 1998.