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  • Croke Park | GAA Museum & Tours | Library & Archive | Articles on the history of the GAA
    Article Collection GAA Thesis Collection Articles on the history of the GAA A Biography of Michael Cusack The Foundation of the Gaelic Athletic Association The 1887 Split The 1888 American Invasion Tour The Purchase of Croke Park Bloody Sunday 1920 The GAA 1916 1924 The GAA and the Tailteann Games The Removal of Douglas Hyde as Patron of the Association 1938 The GAA in America pre 1947 The 1947 Polo Grounds Final Amateurism v Professionalism The 1954 debate Luke O Toole General Secretary of the GAA 1901 1929 Padraig O Caoimh General Secretary of the GAA 1929 1964 Archive Shop Subscribe to our newsletter for news and exclusive offers Email Articles on the history of the GAA Below are a series of articles on key events and personalities of the GAA s history These articles were written using the archives of the GAA and published in the Irish Times throughout 2009 as part of the GAA Museum s 125 celebrations Please click on a link below to view the article A Biography of Michael Cusack The Foundation of the Gaelic Athletic Association The 1887 Split The 1888 American Invasion Tour The Purchase of Croke Park Bloody Sunday 1920 The GAA

    Original URL path: http://www.crokepark.ie/gaa-museum/gaa-archive/gaa-museum-irish-times-articles (2015-10-07)
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  • Croke Park | GAA Museum & Tours | Library & Archive | Articles on the history of the GAA | A Biography of Michael Cusack
    1964 Archive Shop Subscribe to our newsletter for news and exclusive offers Email A Biography of Michael Cusack Any history of the GAA must begin with the contribution of Michael Cusack No man did more to establish the GA A than Cusack and in doing so he changed the face of Ireland for good While there had been an athletic revival of sorts throughout Ireland in the 1860 s the meetings and competitions were anglicised in nature and dominated by the middle and ascended classes invariably unionist in outlook by 1884 Cusack had changed all this and brought indigenous athletics to the working and rural classes A teacher by profession Cusack moved to Dublin in 1874 setting up his own academy in 1877 preparing Irish students taking the Civil Service entrance examinations by the 1880 s this academy was highly successful and profitable Sport was central the daily activities of this academy in 1879 he founded the Cusack s Academy Football Club Cusack himself took part in sporting events including rugby cricket handball rowing and weight throwing Possibly mirroring the politics of the day Cusack turned more and more towards indigenous pastimes in the early part of the 1880 s in December 1882 he attended the first meeting of the Dublin Hurling Club formed for the purpose of taking steps to re establish the national game of hurling Cusack s weekly games of hurling in the Phoenix Park continued to gather more and more participants and by 1883 he had sufficient numbers to found Cusack s Academy Hurling Club which in turn led to the establishment of the Metropolitan Hurling Club It was the clash of styles evident in the Metropolitans v Killiomor game on Easter Monday 1884 that convinced Cusack that not only did the rules of the games

    Original URL path: http://www.crokepark.ie/gaa-museum/gaa-archive/gaa-museum-irish-times-articles/a-biography-of-michael-cusack (2015-10-07)
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  • Croke Park | GAA Museum & Tours | Library & Archive | Articles on the history of the GAA | The Foundation of the Gaelic Athletic Association
    not an extravagant event by any means At 3p m on the 1st of November 1884 Michael Cusack opened the meeting in the billiards room of Hayes Commercial and Family Hotel There is considerable confusion and contradiction as to how many people actually attended the first meeting but the adage Seven men in Thurles has become the accepted number Proceedings were brief Maurice Davin issued a short statement pointing out the absurdity of Irishmen permitting Englishmen to organise Irish sport emphasising that this had led to the decline of native pastimes and called for a body to draft rules to aid in their revival and to open athletics to the poor Michael Cusack followed with a longer speech censuring the Irish media for ignoring Irish sport The election of officers resulted in Maurice Davin being elected as the first President of the Gaelic Athletic Association for the Preservation and Cultivation of National Pastimes Cusack John Wyse Power and John McKay were all elected Secretaries Archbishop Croke Charles Stewart Parnell and Michael Davitt were asked to become patrons With that the meeting ended No time or date for a further meeting was set From that meeting grew the Association we know today Seven weeks after the meeting Croke accepted the position of Patron his powerful acceptance letter has come to be known as the de facto charter of the GAA Cusack later wrote that The Association swept the country like a prairie fire and this statement is particularly true of the first three years of the Association Throughout the country influential nationalists got together and organised athletics meetings or formed football and hurling teams Within 10 days of the fateful meeting the first GAA Athletics meeting was held near Macroom in Cork In January 1885 a hurling match under GAA rules

    Original URL path: http://www.crokepark.ie/gaa-museum/gaa-archive/gaa-museum-irish-times-articles/the-foundation-of-the-gaelic-athletic-association (2015-10-07)
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  • Croke Park | GAA Museum & Tours | Library & Archive | Articles on the history of the GAA | The 1887 Split
    GAA Cusack had been removed from the post of Secretary in 1886 and key positions within the Association had been filled by IRB members including the post of vice president which was taken up by P T Hoctor the level of influence the IRB held within the Association can be seen by the invitation to the Fenian John O Leary to become a patron of the Association The exiled Cusack established a paper The Celtic Times and used it as a vehicle to criticise the leadership and administration of the Association So fierce were his criticisms that within four months of its publication the Association issued an official organ of its own The Gael under the editorship of Hoctor Throughout 1887 the IRB faction continued to tighten its grip on the administration of the Association culminating in the revision of the rules of the Association such revisions normally required the approval of Convention but the IRB faction forced them through at a Dublin meeting In April 1887 Davin sensing that he could do no good resigned as President of the Association This left the IRB faction in control of the Executive and with the added tactical advantage of ownership of the mouthpiece of the Association The IRB saw the upcoming 1887 Convention in Thurles as an opportune time to seize full control of the Association The 1887 Convention held in Thurles on the 9th of November 1887 is without doubt the most dramatic Convention ever seen in the history of the GAA Within three years the Seven men in Thurles had grown to over 1 000 delegates the mood in the town was tense with police lining the streets expecting trouble The IRB faction had arrived to the venue the local courthouse early and ensured they filled all available seats

    Original URL path: http://www.crokepark.ie/gaa-museum/gaa-archive/gaa-museum-irish-times-articles/the-1887-split (2015-10-07)
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  • Croke Park | GAA Museum & Tours | Library & Archive | Articles on the history of the GAA | The 1888 American Invasion Tour
    competitions It was estimated that hosting the festival would cost in the region of 5 000 To raise the capital it was planned that a group of Irish athletes would embark on a fundraising tour of Irish centres in America staging displays of hurling and athletics and international contests between Ireland and America 1 000 would be needed for this American Tour and a nationwide fundraising campaign was initiated the idea being that each of the 800 or so affiliated clubs would contribute a small amount In the meantime the process of selecting hurlers and athletes to accompany the tour began Counties with properly constituted boards were asked to nominate a number of hurlers for the trip but the fall out from the 1887 split and the renewed influence of the IRB meant that some counties most notably Cork Limerick and Galway did not nominate any hurlers In the end 25 hurlers were chosen with both Tipperary and Dublin contributing 5 each The All Ireland athletic contest was held in Limerick in August 1888 and Maurice Davin and Daniel Frewen treasurer attended with a view of selecting the best competitors The selection of the 18 athletes to travel was straightforward When the Central Council examined the details of the fund it was discovered that despite all the public appeals the amount collected fell far short of the target With preparations at an advanced stage cancelling the tour was not feasible so the decision was made to postpone the August departure date until the 16th of September and to intensify the fund raising campaign To help raise funds Davin decided to bring the party together a week before the departure date and hold a number of exhibition fund raising games in Dublin Wexford Dundalk Kilkenny Tipperary and Cork On September 16 1888 the Invaders boarded the Wisconsin and after a nine day journey they arrived in New York to a heroes welcome with representatives of the Irish Societies clamouring to greet them The tour visited several areas in New York Boston Philadelphia Trenton Newark Patterson Providence and Lowell They were awarded a tumultuous welcome in each centre and the press were generous in their coverage of the games with hurling getting great reviews From a social viewpoint the tour was a success and helped establish the GAA in America However influences outside of their control ultimately lead to the trip being considered a failure The Invaders arrived in America to a bitter dispute between the two rival American athletic bodies the National American Athletic Association NAAA and the Amateur Athletic Union AAU The larger AAU refused to participate in the tour unless the GAA denounced the NAAA When the GAA took a neutral position the AAU refused to compete against them This meant that the tour lost the attraction of the international contests between the Irish and the best Athletes of America The tour lost much of its appeal and gate receipts suffered Attendances throughout the tour were also affected by

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  • Croke Park | GAA Museum & Tours | Library & Archive | Articles on the history of the GAA | The Purchase of Croke Park
    the decision was taken to erect a memorial in honour of Archbishop Thomas William Croke First Patron of the GAA who died in 1902 Between 1905 and 1913 fund raising for this memorial was sporadic at best with the only contributions of note being the 100 contributed by the Central Council in 1908 which ironically led to Ulster being excluded from the 1909 Croke Cup Competition as the Council could no longer afford to pay Ulster s travelling expenses and the 104 raised during the first tour of Ireland by an Irish American team of GAA players in 1910 In 1913 a Croke Memorial Tournament Hurling and Football was held which resulted in a profit of 1 872 to be used for the memorial At the 27th of July 1913 meeting Luke O Toole General Secretary reported that he had met with Father Bannon and Canon Ryan to discuss ideas on what form the memorial should take the options discussed included a statue of Archbishop Croke a marble altar a stained glass window and a grant to help rebuild a burnt out confraternity hall in Thurles Central Council decided to erect a statue of Croke in Thurles to contribute 300 to the rebuilding of the Confraternity Hall to be renamed the Croke Memorial Hall while the remainder of the funds would be devoted to purchasing a ground in Dublin to be called the Croke Memorial Park Grounds O Toole was instructed to make enquiries of suitable grounds in Dublin and to report his findings back to the Central Council The minutes of the 17th of August 1913 meeting reveal that a delegation had visited several grounds around Dublin but only two were identified as suitable Jones Road and Elm Park in Mount Merrion Jones Road consisted of 9 acres and

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  • Croke Park | GAA Museum & Tours | Library & Archive | Articles on the history of the GAA | Bloody Sunday, 1920
    contacts of the planned search of Croke Park they came to Croke Park and pleaded with Luke O Toole General Secretary of the G A A to cancel the match O Toole took the decision not to cancel the match the mood in Dublin and the Stadium was very tense rumours of the previous nights exploits were circulating amongst the crowd and thoughts of reprisals must have been prominent in peoples minds O Toole judged that any announcement to clear the stadium would lead to a panic induced exodus amongst the 10 000 strong crowd and that a crush could develop at the turnstiles Mick Sammon the Kildare referee threw in the ball at 3 15p m Accounts given by eye witnesses suggest that five minutes after the throw in the stadium was raided by the British forces with the shooting breaking out almost immediately The British had entered the stadium at the Canal End and when the shooting began the crowd surged away from that end of the stadium hoping to make it over the wall at the railway end of the stadium Ultimately fourteen people lost their lives as a result of the shooting in Croke Park that day Included in the dead were Michael Hogan a player on the Tipperary Team whom the Hogan Stand is named after Thomas Ryan shot on his knees whispering an act of contrition to Hogan Jane Boyle due to be married five days later and fourteen year old William Scott so badly mutilated that it was at first thought he had been bayoneted to death Two military enquiries were established into the shootings and the findings of these enquiries made public in 2003 are the main primary source for the events of that day Strangely the main historical records of the

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  • Croke Park | GAA Museum & Tours | Library & Archive | Articles on the history of the GAA | The GAA; 1916-1924
    Volunteer Dependants Fund to run a fund raising tournament The GAA had now entered the political arena and were set firmly on a collision course with the British authorities Early in 1916 the British had introduced an Amusement Tax which was to be levied on all forms of games and sports The GAA had sought exemption from this tax and had even travelled to Westminster to meet the leading Irish MP s who introduced them to the Chancellor of the Exchequer After November s decision however attitudes hardened on both sides the British now decided that in order to qualify for exemption the Association would have to radically change or delete their rules relating to the ban on foreign sports and membership of the armed forces Unsurprisingly the GAA at a December 1916 meeting unanimously rejected the call to change their rules Records held by the GAA Museum show that complaints of police harassment at GAA matches grew at this time Following the Rising Dublin Castle used emergency powers to curtail the movement of traffic and towards the end of 1916 permission was refused to the major railway firms to run special trains the trains that brought GAA fans to matches in particular to Croke Park As a result attendances dropped dramatically and gate receipts plummeted The Croke Cup competitions were severely affected and the Junior All Ireland Championships had to be cancelled In May 1917 the Governing Body took the decision on financial grounds to discontinue all work connected to Croke Park this included the full time caretaker who had to move out of the house given to him as part of his employment contract In 1918 the British Authorities informed Luke O Toole that no hurling or football games local or otherwise would be permitted unless a permit was obtained from Dublin Castle The GAA at their meeting of July 20 1918 unanimously agreed that no such permit be applied for under any conditions and that any person applying for a permit or any player playing in a match in which a permit had been obtained would be automatically suspended from the Association In a further act of defiance the Council organised a series of matches throughout the country for Sunday August 4 1918 Matches were openly played throughout the country with an estimated 54 000 members taking part This became known as Gaelic Sunday The 1919 decision to expel Irish Civil Servants who had taken the obligatory Oath of Allegiance caused widespread resentment at grassroots level The governing body had in effect disqualified thousands of public workers including all national school teachers who now had to choose between their livelihood and the attached oath or the Association The GAA took this decision as they needed to present a united nationalist front to the British The Association would have been ridiculed if they were openly defiant of British rule in Ireland while at the same time contained members who pledged an oath to the British monarch Perhaps to

    Original URL path: http://www.crokepark.ie/gaa-museum/gaa-archive/gaa-museum-irish-times-articles/the-gaa;-1916-1924 (2015-10-07)
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