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Gaelic Athletic Association - Oral History Project

Mick Higgins, 1922–2010

gaa oral history project

Mick Higgins
A photograph of Mick Higgins taken just after his interview with the GAA Oral History Project on the 24th Oct 2008.
© GAA Oral History Project


This interview with the late Mick Higgins was recorded in Virgina, Co. Cavan, on the 24th October 2008 as part of the GAA Oral History Project. During the course of the interview, Mick, who was born in New York in 1922, speaks about his playing career, both at club and county level, which spanned over two decades.

He is perhaps best remembered as being part of the Cavan team that beat Kerry in New York’s Polo Grounds in the All-Ireland Final of 1947. That victory ensured that Cavan GAA would forever be recorded in the annals of the GAA as being the first and only county to date to win the All-Ireland final outside of Ireland. Mick speaks here about travelling to New York, the game itself, their time in New York, and the reception they received when they came back.

During his playing career, Mick won every accolade going: three All-Ireland medals, a National League medal, seven Ulster Championship titles, two Railway Cups, and two McKenna Cups. Mick Higgins was the last Cavan captain to lift the Sam Maguire on behalf of his team when they beat Meath in the 1952 All-Ireland Final. Mick talks about the preparations for the 1952 final and recalls scoring seven of Cavan's nine points during that match, despite having had the flu during the previous week.

The following year, Mick retired from inter-county football and finally hung up his playing boots in 1955. Towards the end of the interview, he talks about his roles as a referee and team manager for Cavan, Longford, and Donegal.

Finally, he speaks about his occupation as a garda and his family life and concludes that the GAA is the backbone of the country.

Click here to listen to the whole interview.




**This is quite a large file and may take several minutes to download. For slower internet connections, the interview has been split into smaller sections which are available by clicking on the links below.**


Mick's early life and playing club football




Travelling to matches and his early days playing for Cavan




Playing for Cavan, 1942–1947




The trip to New York, 1947




Returning home




Inter-County Football, 1948–1952




Retirement from football; managing and refereeing




Reflections on the state of Gaelic games in Cavan




The role of the GAA in Mick's life




© GAA Oral History Project