Minister reveals how he lost Sam in 1981

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In a new book on his sporting life Jimmy Deenihan, the current Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, reveals that the famous Sam Maguire Cup was lost while in his care in New York back in 1981. Deenihan, who captained Kerry in their All-Ireland final win over Offaly in 1981, brought the Cup to the Big Apple later that year to be photographed with the World Series Baseball trophy and the Vince Lombardi trophy. But after a game between Feale Rangers and Ardboe from Tyrone the Sam Maguire Cup disappeared from a safe in Gaelic Park. Deenihan says that the NYPD were slow to chase up the theft, but a friend put him on to FBI agent Bill Novotney. Deenihan said: ''I called to his office at a bad time as he had two murder investigations on his hands. 'What do you expect me to do' he said, 'drop everything and go looking for a football trophy?'

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The cup was later returned to Gaelic Park in a black plastic bag with the words "Up Roscommon" and "IRA" written on it.