Tuam RFC

Founded 1970

Co. Galway

The Hacker Cup

🔴🔵The Hacker Cup🔴🔵


During the early 1970s a Tuam RFC selection took on their Moylough counterparts for the right to win the Hacker Cup.


This one off game was part of the Moylough carnival which was held in the Galway village every summer. 


Back then one has to remember rugby didn't get the exposure it gets nowadays so this was an opportunity for people who wouldnt usually get a chance to see the sport to see it in front of their eyes. Indeed Tuam RFC itself was only in its infancy having only been revived as a club in 1970.


The club's first captain since it's revival was Tom "Hacker" Maher. He recalls playing the exhibition game during the '70s.


"The one off game took place between 1972 to 1975 as part of the Moylough carnival and when carnivals became obsolete the game became obsolete too. 


"At the time it drew attention because rugby would have been seen as 'foreign' so it would only be when Ireland would be playing the likes of Wales, England and Scotland that people would see rugby on television. So the fact a rugby ball wouldn't be thrown in the flesh in Moylough too often was one of the main reasons for the game being played as part of the carnival.


"The reason the cup got its' name is because I thought it'd be fun if there was a cup to play for so I got a tinsmith from Tuam to make it and because I had a nickname called "Hacker" it became known as the Hacker cup," adds Tom.


Although it was an exhibition match, Tom says they were still fiercely competitive. "The season would have just ended so we played against a Moylough outfit where names like Cheevers, Gilmore and Dermody would have played. Also lads from Ballinasloe and I think even Eddie O'Sullivan may have played in it one time," adds Tom.


Another man who featured in those games was John Gilmore who had a pub in Moylough at the time and where the Hacker Cup frequented on occasions!


"I remember one year we played. We had a top class referee officiating in Benny O'Connor, a Moylough man, who played rugby for Corinthians and worked with the Connacht branch. Moylough won the game that day and we all went back to the pub afterwards. The craic was mighty between both teams. I can confirm when we filled the cup that night, there was no leaks in it!,'' laughs John.


The cup itself is very distinctive with its bucket like appearance accompanied with handles on either side which resemble elephant ears. Tuam stalwart Seàn Carter recently got the trophy refurbished with the addition of a stand which was done by Leufer's jewellers, Tuam. The cup now resides in the Tuam RFC clubhouse.

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