Cork triplets born in 1990 mark Cork's GAA double 30 years later

Cork triplets born in 1990 mark Cork's GAA double 30 years later

The triplets celebrating their 30th birthdays from left, Larry, Denis and Tomas with the Sam Maguire cup at Pairc Ui Chaoimh

THE year 1990 has been immortalised in Cork's sporting history as the year Cork won the Double, but for one GAA fan, it was a triple victory as the year also marked the birth of his triplets.

On October 8 1990, Denis, Larry and Tomas were born to parents Eleanor and Pat O'Sullivan.

The triplets were named after Pat's three heroes - Tomas Mulcahy, Larry Tompkins and Denis Allen.

Two weeks later, the triplets received a visit from their namesakes at St Finbarr's hospital and even had their photo taken nestled in the Sam Maguire Cup.

Reminiscing about that day, self-confessed "GAA fanatic" Pat said it's a memory that will last a lifetime.

"The lads came up to the hospital, Denis Allen, Tomas and Larry. 

The O'Sullivan triplets 30 years ago from left: Larry, Denis and Tomas inside the Sam Maguire Cup. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
The O'Sullivan triplets 30 years ago from left: Larry, Denis and Tomas inside the Sam Maguire Cup. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

"We had good fun that day and got some great pictures.

"It was an honour really. They were three fantastic players", he told The Echo.

The iconic photo of the triplets in the Sam Maguire Cup is framed in the O'Sullivan's family home on Sarsfield Road and has also graced the mantlepiece of "more than a few households" in the extended family, Pat says.

At the time, the story made national headlines and, as Pat explains, the boys "were like celebrities".

"I worked in Canty’s at the time and people used to come into the bar and they’d ask me how they were.

"If I had a euro for every time someone has asked me 'how are the boys? I remember them in the Cup' I’d be doing good," he laughed.

At the time the triplets were born, Eleanor and Pat already had two children, Catherine who was seven and James (Frankie) who was 14 months.

"James grew up quickly

"He went down the rugby scene. 

Dad Pat O'Sullivan with the triplets celebrating their 30th birthdays from left, Larry, Denis and Tomas with the Sam Maguire cup and Liam McCarthy at Pairc Ui Chaoimh
Dad Pat O'Sullivan with the triplets celebrating their 30th birthdays from left, Larry, Denis and Tomas with the Sam Maguire cup and Liam McCarthy at Pairc Ui Chaoimh

"He played with the Barrs too, they all did, but then he moved over to the rugby," Pat said.

Speaking to The Echo back in 1990, Pat had predicted the triplets would be staunch GAA fans and although he admits the lads are not as fervent as him, "they do love the games" and are proud to be named after three Cork legends. 

When they were born, Pat says the triplets were all under three pounds, but fortunately, they are all happy and healthy today pursuing various careers.

"Larry works with me, at Tóchar/Southside Gardening Services. 

"He also has one child.

"Tomas works in IT and Denis is doing courses," he said.

"People can't believe they are almost 30 when they ask about them and say they remember their picture in the paper - time has flown."

This evening, Lord Mayor of Cork Joe Kavanagh has organised to have City Hall lit red to mark the "remarkable achievement" of Cork winning the Double.

1990 was regarded as the greatest year in the history of GAA in the Rebel county when Cork achieved a rare double in winning the All-Ireland against Meath after the senior hurling team had earlier claimed the All-Ireland title against Galway.

It also marked the 100th anniversary of Cork achieving their previous double.

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