By Noel Coogan
Dublin are in joint fifth place on the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship roll of honour with six title triumphs but the last of them dates back 80 years, with first-time finalists Waterford narrowly defeated on September 4th, 1938.
Before that, Dublin were crowned champions five times between 1889 and 1927 but they owed much for the successes to players from other counties working in the capital city. Remarkably, for the 1938 victory, the team included only one Dublin-native player.
Thirteen teams, including defending champions Tipperary, took part in that year’s MacCarthy Cup competition with seven of them chasing Leinster honours. Four of Dublin’s five outings were in their own provincial championship.
Dublin began their championship campaign with a 7-1 to 3-7 win over Wexford in Aughrim before outscoring Westmeath by 3-6 to 3-1 in a provincial semi-final clash at Tullamore.
Then it took two hours of hurling against Kilkenny before Dublin were crowned Leinster champions for the 17th time. Some of the titles were easily gained in the early years of the GAA.
In 1892, Dublin was the only team to enter the Leinster SHC; two years later they received a final walk-over from Kilkenny and in the 1908 competition Kilkenny refused to field in the decider fixed for Jones’s Road in March of the following year.
There was a bizarre conclusion to the 1929 Leinster SHC. After Kilkenny defeated Dublin by 3-5 to 2-6 in the final at New Ross both teams were disqualified for being late on the field. Although no title was awarded, Kilkenny went on to play in the All-Ireland semi-final which they lost to Galway.