Sam soon turned his attention to the I.R.B and in November 1909 at Barnsbury Hall Islington, Sam Maguire swore into the I.R.B, he was viewed as a great leader and soon became Lieutenant-General of the I.R.B. and Director of Intelligence in Britain. Sam’s position in the Civil Service gave him access to a lot of important information. His role was varied, and among other things it is believed he helped to smuggle arms and frequently disrupt British daily life. It is reported that there was many a weekend that Sam travelled to Ireland with information which he would dare not put on paper. It is unclear as to why Sam left London and returned to his homeland, some reports indicate that the British Intelligence were starting to make enquires about him.
While living in Ireland, Sam often attended Croke Park but as his health started to fail him, he spent his remaining time in his home town of Mallabraca. Sam passed away in West Cork in 1927, from TB at the age of 49. After his death some of his friends and the people of Dunmanway thought it appropriate that his memory should be commemorated for both the role he played in G.A.A and in the War of Independence. They decided to present a Cup to the G.A.A in his memory. The Cup was modelled on the Ardagh Chalice and in 1928 Kildare was the first county to win the “Sam Maguire Cup” after defeating Cavan. One could argue that the Cup has done more harm than good as it is only Sam’s contribution to football that is really remembered and not the extremely important role he played in the I.R.B. and in the War of Independence.
Sam Maguire was laid to rest in St Mary’s Church of Ireland, Dunmanway, and it is at this location where 8 bells known as ‘The Sam Maguire Community Bells’, were installed in his memory.
1908 Hibernians Senior Football Team. In the centre with the ball is Sam Maguire, with his
brothers Dick and Bill to his left.