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  • Croke Park | GAA Museum & Tours | Library & Archive | Articles on the history of the GAA | The GAA and the Tailteann Games
    come true the GAA welcomed the proposed festival enthusiastically To some extent the GAA regarded the idea as their own and tried to get complete control of the games In the end they had to settle for generous representation on the Government s Tailteann Committee and the promise that Croke Park would be the centrepiece of the festival In 1921 the Dáil again before the ratification of the Treaty voted to dedicate a sum of 10 000 to the games on the implicit understanding that the money would be spent in making Croke Park suitable for the event As early as February 1922 the GAA refused permission to the Dublin Boy Scouts to rent Croke Park as the GAA anticipated major construction work being carried out there At their next meeting a quantity surveyor was appointed and six companies were invited to submit tenders for the construction of two covered stands These stands were completed by August 1922 GAA Museum records also show that the GAA purchased at this time its first set of lawn mowers one hand drawn and one horse drawn and it agreed to have the cycling track surrounding the pitch repaired It also investigated the possibility of having heating and running water introduced to the dressing rooms and the turnstiles and the main entrance gate were altered to cope with the expected crowds In the mean time the Irish Civil War had broken out and the Tailteann Games had to be postponed With the Civil War over and a degree of normality returning to Ireland following the release of the anti treaty prisoners the Cosgrave Government again pressed ahead with the planning of the Tailteann Games to be held in August 1924 The Tailteann Games were to be an exhibition of the best in Irish sports and Irish athletes It was decided that the competitions would be open to all people of Irish birth and also all people whose parents or grandparents were Irish The competitions were also open to all those who were resident in Ireland during the 12 months previous to August 1 1924 With the exception of the Literary and Arts competitors all competitors were to be amateur A glance through the programmes for the 16 day event August 2 1924 18 August 1924 show that the Festival was spread throughout Dublin and the events varied considerably There was a grand parade of industrial exhibits through Dublin on the opening day and throughout the festival there were international contests in hurling football camogie athletics and boxing There was also a daily chess tournament in Trinity College and daily Billiards in the Catholic Club on O Connell Street In the evenings there were music competitions dances operas and plays throughout the city As well as hosting the major athletic events Croke Park also held two great fireworks displays The festival ended with a great reception and banquet for all competitors which was held in the Central Hall R D S Ballsbridge By all accounts

    Original URL path: http://www.crokepark.ie/gaa-museum/gaa-archive/gaa-museum-irish-times-articles/the-gaa-and-the-tailteann-games (2015-10-07)
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  • Croke Park | GAA Museum & Tours | Library & Archive | Articles on the history of the GAA | The Removal of Douglas Hyde as Patron of the Association, 1938
    In 1912 permission was given to four clubs in London to form a new County Board as the existing one consisted of members who had been playing foreign games In 1913 the Governing Body of the GAA the Central Council decided not to invite the Sinn Féin Lord Mayor of Dublin to the All Ireland Football Final as he had recently accepted the Honorary Presidency of soccer s Leinster Football Association However the biggest controversy came in 1938 when the GAA removed Douglas Hyde President of Ireland as a Patron of the Association for attending an international soccer match in Dalymount Park Dublin Douglas Hyde rose to prominence as a distinguished Gaelic scholar and founding member of the Gaelic League It was these Gaelic qualities that convinced the GAA to invite him to become Patron of the Association When the new Irish constitution came into operation in 1938 the political parties took the unusual gesture of unanimously agreeing not to oppose Hyde s nomination as President of the State Late in 1938 Hyde as President of Ireland attended an international soccer match between Ireland and Poland in Dalymount Park Dublin At a regular Central Council meeting held in December 1938 Padraig McNamee President of the G A A ruled that a patron of the Association ceased to be a patron if his duties bring him into conflict with the fundamental rules of the Association In making the ruling McNamee stated that it brought him no pleasure but he saw no other course While the removal of Hyde did cause some discontent at grassroots level it caused uproar within the media The Irish Times was particularly scathing In its issue of December 19th 1938 the newspaper commented on the ban itself saying that the notion that the game by which a round ball is kicked only and not punched as well as kicked is detrimental to the national culture is of course the most utterly childish form of humbug adding that the loss will be to GAA Their little victory over President Hyde will be Pyrrhic because the head of the State will continue to be the representative of all the people and not of any clique however large it may be In the face of this criticism however delegates at the GAA s 1939 Annual Congress voted overwhelmingly against the motion to re instate Hyde by 120 votes to 11 with 5 members abstaining At this Congress the Presidential Address focussed not on the merits of the ban itself but rather the right of the GAA to have a ban if it so chooses In 1945 Sean T O Kelly succeeded Douglas Hyde as the President of Ireland O Kelly was the Fianna Fail nomination and Taoiseach Eamon DeValera moved quickly to bring an end to the embarrassing stand off between the GAA and the Government A series of meetings were arranged between DeValera and Padraig Ó Caoimh General Secretary of the GAA with the aim of restoring an amicable

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  • Croke Park | GAA Museum & Tours | Library & Archive | Articles on the history of the GAA | The GAA in America pre-1947
    leadership and cohesion At the 1908 Annual Congress in Dublin two motions were passed the first called for America to be considered a Province of Ireland for GAA purposes the second empowered this American Provincial Council to take control of athletics The only tangible sign of a relationship between the GAA in Ireland and the GAA in America at the start of the 20th Century was the 1911 Homecoming Tour This tour undertaken by Irish hurlers now living in America was a six week tour 16th July19 11 20th August 1911 of Ireland with a match played against Irish opposition on consecutive Sundays The tour was a huge success and 25 of the profits 104 were donated to the Croke Memorial Fund The previous year at the 1910 Annual Convention two motions were passed disapproving of Irish teams travelling to America calling it inopportune and inadvisable as calculated to encourage emigration The financial disaster of the 1888 Invasion Tour still weighed heavily on the minds of the GAA It was not until 1926 that the GAA felt confident enough to give the Tipperary Hurling team permission to undertake a six week tour of the United States at their own expense As All Ireland champions the Tipperary team drew a large crowd wherever they played and financially the tour was a success Crucially however the trip revived the games amongst the Irish population and led to a new enthusiasm for the games Spurred on by this new enthusiasm the GAA in New York set about re organising itself A letter from Thomas Delaney Secretary of the New York GAA to the Central Council in October 1926 describes that the Tipperary tour had rejuvenated interest in Gaelic Games in America and that this interest now extended to native born Americans of all races Delaney explains that New York had taken the initiative and established a National Organisation their plan was to have one organisation with centres in New York Chicago and San Francisco Delaney warned however that even this would be problematic as individual zones will be so large that intensive organising within them would be difficult and travelling between zones could entail weeks of travel by rail Another major obstacle facing the GAA in America and abroad generally was the fact that it was usually only the generation which emigrated that played or supported the games of the old country Second or third generation Irish Americans many of whom had never visited Ireland would have been far more likely to participate in baseball ice hockey or American Football rather than Gaelic games The 1929 Wall Street Crash and subsequent economic depression meant that the steady stream of Irish emigrants all but disappeared By 1933 the GAA in America realised that for Gaelic Games to survive their attention must be turned to the native born Americans In April 1933 the Chairman of the Central Council in Dublin commented that a new feature of activities in America was that they were building up

    Original URL path: http://www.crokepark.ie/gaa-museum/gaa-archive/gaa-museum-irish-times-articles/the-gaa-in-america-pre-1947 (2015-10-07)
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  • Croke Park | GAA Museum & Tours | Library & Archive | Articles on the history of the GAA | The 1947 Polo Grounds Final
    the unbroken historical continuity and the insuppressible tenacity of our race While the minutes simply record that Seán Mac Giolla Phadraig Clare seconded the motion it has entered GAA folklore that he read a letter from an exiled friend on how much the final would mean to him and the Irish in New York Legend has it that Mac Giolla Phadraig wrote this letter himself After Hamilton s speech the motion was discussed with information sought on points including costs grounds if this was to be taken as a precedent and would it be an inducement to emigration Eventually the motion was passed by a large majority with the amendment that it applied to the All Ireland Football Final and for 1947 only With the motion passed it was now up to Central Council to decide if the staging of the final in New York was feasible and if so to organise it Padraig Ó Caoimh General Secretary of the GAA and Tomas Kilcoyne member of the Central Council visited New York on the 25th April 1947 and spent three weeks investigating all aspects of the proposed final Their feasibility report was submitted to the Central Council and studied in detail at its meeting on 23rd May Interestingly the main bone of contention was transport to and from New York Daniel Ó Ruairc President of the GAA declared that the responsibility of sending some of the party by air was too great for the Council adding that while he himself was prepared to travel by air he would not vote anyone else to go Travelling by air in 1947 was still regarded not only as novel but dangerous too Central Council member M Ó Donnchadha proposed that the project be abandoned but a counter proposal that the teams travel by whatever means are available was carried by 20 votes to 17 In many ways deciding to hold the final in New York was the easy part the logistics of staging the game now had to be undertaken Ó Caoimh had too many work commitments in Ireland so Padraig McNamee travelled to New York in his place The Polo Grounds was immediately booked for September 14th as the venue for the final McNamee set up an office in the Hotel Woodstock and efficiently went about organising the final by means of delegating to committees and sub committees Transport was arranged for the teams with 40 to travel by plane and the remaining 25 by boat Accommodation was booked with the Cavan team staying in the Hotel Empire the Kerry team in the Henry Hudson and the officials in the Hotel Woodstock To ensure the final succeeded in its main aim the rejuvenation of Gaelic games amongst Irish Americans a publicity campaign was mounted in New York From Ireland Ó Caoimh designed and sent folders and posters which stated the purpose of playing the game in New York and gave a brief description of the characteristics of Gaelic football When Ó Caoimh

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  • Croke Park | GAA Museum & Tours | Library & Archive | Articles on the history of the GAA | Amateurism v Professionalism - The 1954 debate
    It would be too much for the players to bear the expenses of the extra special course of training which will be necessary for the playing of the All Ireland Final In February 1953 nearly 40 years later a committee was established by the governing body of the GAA the Central Council to determine whether the paying of compensation to players was consistent with the amateur ethos of the Association Nine months later in November 1953 the committee reported back that in its view full time training whether or not it involves the payment to trainees in kind or otherwise is inconsistent with the amateur status of the Association and should be prohibited Central Council agreed that only Congress could adopt or reject the Committee s findings The first five motions on the agenda for the 1954 Annual Congress all related to collective or full time training Three of the motions called for this type of training to be prohibited the remaining two called for it to be allowed Before debating the motions the GAA President Michael O Donoghue carefully explained to delegates that full time training or collective training was the type of training that consists of bringing a whole team away from their ordinary work or employment keeping them for a period of time in a hotel or camp then paying these trainees in cash or in kind for the period The first motion on the agenda calling for collective training to be prohibited was formally moved and seconded The question now before Congress was did collective training equate to professionalism A lengthy and at times personal debate followed One issue debated amongst the delegates was as to whether collective training had brought benefits to the games themselves D de Burca argued that the fitness of players and the standard of the games was the same now 1954 as it had been before collective training became common place Daniel Ó Ruairc future President of the Association took the opposite view and suggested that if collective training was prohibited spectators would soon be coming to Croke Park to watch teams that are composed of players that have to lie down every few minutes Attendance figures and gate receipts would drop dramatically he argued Spectators would flock to other professional sports for entertainment He also intimated that in Roscommon collective training which had directly resulted in the County winning two All Ireland Championships was funded by collections at chapel gates Ó Ruairc concluded by saying If the GAA are going to turn professional on all they get at chapel gates I wish them luck C Ó Murchadha raised the point that when his county Cork availed of collective training on one occasion the financial aspect of the training caused disharmony amongst the players themselves with some men receiving more in compensation than others There was also the issue of players directly profiting from the arrangement with Ó Murchadha stating that We had players who earned a certain amount demanding more

    Original URL path: http://www.crokepark.ie/gaa-museum/gaa-archive/gaa-museum-irish-times-articles/amateurism-v-professionalism---the-1954-debate (2015-10-07)
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  • Croke Park | GAA Museum & Tours | Library & Archive | Articles on the history of the GAA | Luke O'Toole, General Secretary of the GAA, 1901-1929
    history of the Association Following his election O Toole made numerous visits to various parts of the country where the GAA was either weak or non existent New county boards sprang up and affiliated while boards that had lapsed now re formed Perhaps these travels were on O Toole s mind when he convinced Central Council to procure offices at 68 Upper O Connell Street at the annual rent of 15 This move helped centralise the administration of a nationwide organisation Although named in honour of Archbishop Croke Páirc an Chrocaigh Croke Park is as much a legacy to the efforts of Luke O Toole While the 1913 Central Council minutes credit Kenny and Crowe as being the first people to suggest the purchase of a stadium it was O Toole who was directed to make all necessary enquiries reports and arrangements Within the space of four months July 27th December 1st 1913 O Toole visited and selected possible grounds drew up and presented feasibility reports on these grounds negotiated prices downwards and completed the transaction of the stadium all to the satisfaction of a somewhat sceptical and conservative Central Council What is even more remarkable is that he did all this at a time when the GAA was not legally constituted to borrow money One of the outcomes of these negotiations was the formation of a limited company Cumann Lúthchleas Gael Teoranta CLG Ltd Just as the purchase of Croke Park was to be a career highlight for O Toole it was also to be the location for the most dramatic day in his 28 year tenure As manager of the stadium the decision to hold postpone or cancel games lay with O Toole On November 21st 1920 on learning of the previous night s assassinations of the British special agents by Michael Collin s Squad should O Toole have acted earlier and cancelled the infamous Dublin v Tipperary challenge match due to take place later that day In all the official records held by the GAA Museum Archive Bloody Sunday is not mentioned once there are no debates no motions at Congress or letters of protest so unfortunately we will never know O Toole s reasoning on the day O Toole had the unenviable task of guiding the Association through both the War of Independence and the Irish Civil War Throughout both O Toole had to carefully balance the needs of the Association with the wishes of its members the two were often not synonymous When O Toole visited the Irish Parliamentary Party MP s in Westminster seeking the restoration of normal rail services and the Commander in Chief of the British Military seeking to have the Association exempt from Entertainment Tax he was severely censured at the 1918 Annual Congress O Toole was now in charge of a non political organisation full of radically politicised members A further delicate balancing act had to be carried out during the Civil War when former team mates found themselves on

    Original URL path: http://www.crokepark.ie/gaa-museum/gaa-archive/gaa-museum-irish-times-articles/luke-o-toole,-general-secretary-of-the-gaa,-1901-1 (2015-10-07)
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  • Croke Park | GAA Museum & Tours | Library & Archive | Articles on the history of the GAA | Padraig O'Caoimh, General Secretary of the GAA, 1929-1964
    become the new Secretary of the GAA Ó Caoimh was born in Roscommon but moved to Cork at a very young age Educated by the Christian Brothers in Cork he trained as a Secondary School teacher at Saint Mary s College in London returning to teach at Presentation College Cork In 1916 he joined the Irish Volunteers three years later he gave up school teaching to become an officer with the Cork Brigade of the IRA His organisational talents were immediately visible to his superiors and in 1920 he was appointed manger of the Employment Bureau established by the First Dáil This was to be a short lived appointment he was captured by the British and sentenced to 15 years penal servitude He was however released in 1922 In 1929 he resigned from his position as manager of a Munster tobacco company when he was appointed as the new Secretary of the GAA Within three years of his appointment his renowned organisational skills were put to the test In 1932 Croke Park hosted both the Tailteann Games and the Eucharistic Congress The Eucharistic Congress in particular required a great deal of organisation with Ó Caoimh responsible for up to 2 000 stewards By far the most controversial episode in Ó Caoimh s 35 year career was the removal of Douglas Hyde President of Ireland as a Patron of the Association in 1938 Hyde broke the GAA s ban on foreign games by attending an international soccer match in Dublin The question raised by Eamon DeValera in 1946 was whether Ó Caoimh should have warned Hyde on the implications of attending a soccer match and thus allowing Hyde to retire quietly as a Patron One of Ó Caoimh s key achievements was the staging of the 1947 All Ireland Senior Football Final in the Polo Grounds New York One has to remember that in 1947 Europe and America were still recovering from World War Two air travel was still relatively novel and communications were still primitive In the space of five months Ó Caoimh oversaw the transfer of the All Ireland Final to America and its radio broadcast back to Ireland While the Polo Grounds Final achieved its ultimate aim of rejuvenating the Association in America Ó Caoimh for the rest of his tenure had to spend a disproportionately high amount of his time organising the GAA in America The post 1947 relationship between the GAA in Ireland and the GAA in New York was at times fragile A number of experiments were tried such as the St Brendan Cup Competition the inclusion of New York in the National League Finals and the initiation of a World Championship Series Yet there was a constant degree of disharmony either within the American GAA itself or between Ireland and America Ó Caoimh patiently and diplomatically sought and tested solutions that would placate both parties One lasting legacy of the Ó Caoimh era that is still evident today is the drive he initiated to

    Original URL path: http://www.crokepark.ie/gaa-museum/gaa-archive/gaa-museum-irish-times-articles/padraig-o-caoimh,-general-secretary-of-the-gaa,-19 (2015-10-07)
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  • The top 20 GAA photographs for online sale
    Etihad Skyline Croke Park GAA 1913 1923 Online Digital Archive Club Archive Appeal About the GAA Library and Archive GAA Library and Archive Clients GAA Archive Collections GAA Library Collection GAA Article Collection GAA Thesis Collection Articles on the history of the GAA Archive Shop Top 20 Selling Photographs Photograph of the Month Archival Photographs Images from the All Ireland Finals 2009 2012 Match Programme Covers Shopping Cart Subscribe to

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