Mary Immaculate College has a proud sporting history. Students and alumni have represented county and country in various sports including GAA, rugby, athletics, handball, soccer, rowing and more. In any given year, MIC has various levels of teams participating in Gaelic games, rugby, soccer and basketball- competing in intervarsity leagues and tournaments including the Fitzgibbon Cup, the Fergal Maher Cup, the Trench Cup, the Giles Cup, the Ashbourne Cup, the Purcell Cup, the Collingwood Cup, the Freshers Cup, the Corn Comhairle Ardoideachais, the Ó Maolagáin Cup and the Lagan Cup.
The first Sports Council in the College was established in the 1970s. During these formative years, the College had small student numbers - making it difficult to compete with other colleges so internal leagues were played. Sports facilities were sparse at this time but MIC managed to negotiate the use of pitches from other sources until a gym and playing facilities were developed in the early 1970s.
The College subsequently began to compete in Gaelic games and ladies and men’s basketball. As the number of students attending gradually began to increase, MIC established itself as a force, particularly in ladies football and camogie, winning two Purcell Cups in the late seventies.
It is noteworthy that the College managed to compete during this period with as few as 300 students and yet, despite this obvious disadvantage in numbers, MIC was never found wanting in terms of endeavour or spirit, a trait which is still very much synonymous with teams from the College. The establishment of the Bachelor of Arts degree in the early nineties increased the number of students available to play on the College teams and since then, the expansion of the number of programmes and enrolment has benefited MIC's sporting prowess.
In 2007, Tailteann, a multi-purpose gymnasium and the first major new building on campus for almost 30 years, was opened - winning the award for ‘Best Leisure Building’ at the 2008 Royal Irish Architecture Awards. As well as three flexible gym spaces (900 m2, 322 m2 & 299 m2 respectively), Tailteann has a weights room, changing rooms and table tennis facilities.
Outdoors, there is a full-size GAA pitch adjacent to the building with a 460m all-weather running track around it and an all-weather tennis/five-a-side soccer court. Across the road from the main pitch and behind Summerville House, there is a floodlit training pitch. MIC sports teams and individual athletes also use facilities both locally and in other colleges.
Aside from traditional sports, recreational activities are popular with students. There are a number of fitness classes available throughout the academic year including Pilates, Taekwondo, Zumba, Total Body Workout and Yoga.
The MIC Sports Facebook page has up-to-date details of class schedules and prices.
Mary Immaculate College has had outstanding victories in sport in the past few years. The College competed in the intervarsity senior hurling competition, the Fitzgibbon Cup, for the first time in its centenary year, 1998, and reached its first final in 2013. In 2016, MIC made history when the team beat the University of Limerick to secure the Fitzgibbon Cup for the first time ever. The winning coach and former Limerick hurler, Eamonn Cregan, retired after coaching at the College for 23 years. MIC alumnus and former Cork hurler, Jamie Wall, took over management of the team for the 2017 season. MIC retained the title by beating IT Carlow in the competition.
The camogie team won the Purcell Cup in 2015, MIC’s ladies basketball team were crowned the All-Ireland winning team of 2017. The men's football team won the Trench Cup in 2018 and the rugby team were proud winners of the Division 2 Cup in 2017 and Division 2 League in 2018.
With the incorporation of St Patrick's College, Thurles in 2016, MIC has gained a second GAA club with hurling, Gaelic football, camogie and ladies' football teams taking part in various competitions. For more updates, see the MIC Thurles GAA Twitter profile.
Many current and past students are playing at county level in Gaelic games and individuals are excelling in a number of sports at national and international level including Ciara Griffin (Ireland women's rugby), Róisín Upton (Ireland women's hockey) and Amy O’Donoghue (middle distance runner for Ireland) to name but a few.
For more information, see the Sports Office page in College Services.