Cork hurlers and footballers to wear special black jersey honouring Tomás Mac Curtain and Terence McSwiney

Cork hurlers and footballers to wear special black jersey honouring Tomás Mac Curtain and Terence McSwiney
A general view of the special one-off 1916 commemoration jerseys the Cork team wore to mark the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising. Picture: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

THE Cork hurlers and footballers will wear commemorative jerseys honouring Tomás Mac Curtain and Terence MacSwiney in their upcoming home Allianz League games.

This Sunday sees the hurling team take on Limerick at Páirc Uí Chaoimh while the football side will host Derry at the venue a week later and on each occasion they will take to the field in black shirts featuring images of the two men, both of whom died in 1920 while holding the role of Lord Mayor of Cork.

They will be launched this week and will on general sale, online from next Monday and in leading sports stores on Leeside after that. 

It will be similar to 2016, when in a hurling league game against Kilkenny, Cork wore a special kit in the county's original colours of blue and saffron which were available to the public.

Designed by Cork County Board in conjunction with kit manufacturer O'Neills, the jersey commemorates the centenary of what was an eventful year for Cork in the War of Independence. Mac Curtain, a councillor representing the original Sinn Féin, was elected Lord Mayor of Cork in January of 1920 but in March of that year, he was murdered by members of the Royal Irish Constabulary.

He was succeeded in the role by MacSwiney, who was arrested in August 1920 and interred in Brixton Prison. There, he went on hunger strike and died in October. The following month, the Kilmichael Ambush took place, an event considered crucial in the war. Then, in December, an ambush of Auxiliary forces led to the burning of Cork, which saw damage to numerous houses, businesses, City Hall and the Carnegie Library.

All of these events feature on the jerseys, which have red collars and striping and also carry the signatures of Mac Curtain and MacSwiney. Cork's sponsors Chill Insurance have agreed to have their logo rendered in white rather than the purple and green version which adorns the usual Cork kit. 

The families of both men were consulted regarding the initiative and they will be present at the Limerick game.

These black jerseys will the third different set worn by Cork in the current league campaigns - as well as the traditional red, the white alternative kit was worn by the footballers in their win over Down and by the hurlers in Sunday's victory against Westmeath.

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