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1892 chess cup returned to Trinity

WHEN Fiona de Buitleir, a teacher at Ennis National School, was rummaging through some items bequeathed to her, her curiosity was aroused by a silver cup.

Dr Eoin O’Dell  playing chess with  Colm Shanahan and Ross McInerney. Photograph by John KellyThe slightly tarnished cup bore the inscription DU Chess Club and as an exercise for her pupils, members of the school’s chess club, she showed them the cup and asked them to try and trace its origins.
Their google searches found some interesting information. In 1892, the cup was presented to a chess team from Dublin University Chess Club in Trinity College.
So, on Monday last, Eoin O’Dell from the law faculty, the current president of the Chess Society, arrived in Ennis to take custody of the cup.
Fiona recalls the background to the cup and its journey back to the trophy room at Trinity.
“Some items came into my hands when my aunt passed away a while back. One was a slightly tarnished silver cup with the inscription DU Chess Club. We googled the inscription and came up with Dublin University Chess Club – Trinity College.
“On the TCD website we found a history of the chess society and we found a picture from 1892 featuring the president of the college and some members of the DU Chess Club with ‘our’ cup in front of them. However, the caption called it ‘an unknown cup’, so obviously the memory of this cup has been forgotten in Trinity College,” Fiona explains.
The pupils emailed the person who wrote the history piece, Dr Tim Harding, with their story and a picture of the cup.
“He was blown away. He asked if we would consider presenting the cup back to Trinity and put me in touch with Eoin O’Dell, current president of the chess society. Eoin arrived on Monday and we presented him with the cup in the school.”


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