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College Sport

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.

Four hurlers in action at the Fitzgibbon Cup Final 2024 - Pic Sport Action Photography.

Small Beginnings

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.

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.

Photo by Sport Action Photography.

Sports at MIC
Sports at MIC
Gaelic games and basketball were among the first sports played at MIC
Aerial view of MIC Limerick sports facilities
Aerial view of MIC Limerick sports facilities
The Tailteann Sports Complex is comprised of a multi-purpose gymnasium, two pitches and more

Top-class facilities

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.  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. Fitness classes are available throughout the academic year, depending on demand these may include Pilates, Taekwondo, Zumba, Total Body Workout and Yoga. 

The MIC Sports Facebook page has up-to-date details of class schedules and prices.

Recent History

Mary Immaculate College has had outstanding victories in sport in the past few years, especially impressive as the College’s student population would not be on par with larger institutions. In February 2024, MIC’s senior hurlers won the Fitzgibbon Cup for the third time after an immense battle with Higher Education neighbours, the University of Limerick. Since first competing in the competition in 1998, MIC has won twice before in 2016 (in the final against UL) and in 2017 (defeating IT Carlow). The winning manager in 2016, former Limerick hurler Eamonn Cregan, retired after coaching at the College for 23 years and MIC alumnus and former Cork hurler, Jamie Wall, took the reins and retained the title the following year. He has managed the team in the proceeding years. In March 2024, MICL also won the Freshers Football Division 2 title.

With the incorporation of St Patrick's College, Thurles in 2016, MIC gained a second GAA club with hurling, Gaelic football, camogie, ladies' football, as well as teams in other disciplines taking part in various competitions. The MICT hurlers won the Ryan Cup for the first time in February 2023 and the men's soccer team won the Colleges and Universities Football League Division 4 title. The MICT Men's football team won the Corn Comhairle Ardoideachais in 2022. For more updates, see the MIC Thurles GAA Twitter profile.

The MICL Ladies Football team won the Giles Cup in 2022. The MICL 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.

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), Hayleigh Kiely (kickboxing) 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.

A female Gaelic football player in Mary Immaculate College colours moving past a competitor in a match
Giles Cup Champions 2022
Ladies football is one of most popular sports at MIC.
MIC team group photo celebrating the Fitzgibbon Cup final.
MIC Fitzgibbon Cup champions 2024
Mary Immaculate College Giles Cup winning team 2022
Giles Cup Champions 2022
Mary Immaculate College Fitzgibbon Cup winning team
MIC Fitzgibbon Cup champions 2016 & 2017
Tailteann Sports building at Mary Immaculate College
Tailteann Building
Table tennis facilities at Mary Immaculate College
Table tennis facilities
Fitness class in Tailteann Sports building Mary Immaculate College
Fitness Classes