Predating the current FAI Cup (1922) by nine years, The Sir Thomas Lipton Cup or ‘Peace Cup’ as it’s known locally, is believed to be the oldest soccer cup in the Republic of Ireland and it is fitting that it was sponsored to the Oldest Soccer Club in the Republic, Clones Town FC by grocer and tea magnate Sir Thomas Lipton in 1913. The silver challenge cup was played for only once before going underground as Wars and Troubles reigned throughout Europe and the island of Ireland. In fact, it’s disappearance over the next 100 years prompted many to believe that its existence was only that of folklore!
Through the work of a Dublin Based Solicitor, the Sir Thomas Lipton Cup was signed over to Trustees of Clones Town FC in July of 2014 and unveiled ceremoniously at a World War I event in Cavan the following month.
In his column for the Irish Times, Journalist Frank Nally hinted that Clones Town FC “should consult in their Tea Leaves” when it comes to them looking to the future for the Challenge Cup. We as Trustees wish to propose the following:
- Work is commissioned on the researching and recording of the Sir Thomas Lipton Cup journeys over the past century ensuring its providence in Irish History
- That the Sir Thomas Lipton Cup is replayed for on an international basis ‘In Play for Peace’ – a proposed new annual tournament.
- Irelands neutrality ensures that we as a country are best placed to host an international Peace Soccer tournament in honor of those who fell for Peace during WWI and subsequent Troubles. Countries/Armies linked to these wars will be invited to participate in ‘Play for Peace’ and in doing so will symbolise how Peace and friendships can be achieved through the medium of football.
“We are hoping that sometime soon you will hear that the cup is going to be played for and given its rightful historical significance within soccer in Ireland,” (Mohan, Alo, August 2014, Irish Independent)