Powered by
Share this page on
Article provided by Wikipedia

Main article: "History of the Gaelic Athletic Association

On the 1 November 1884, a group of Irishmen gathered in the "Hayes' Hotel billiard room to formulate a plan and establish an organisation to foster and preserve "Ireland's unique games and athletic pastimes. And so, the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) was founded. The architects and founding members were "Michael Cusack of "County Clare, "Maurice Davin, Joseph K. Bracken, "Thomas St George McCarthy, P.J. Ryan of Tipperary, John Wise-Power, and John McKay.[10] Maurice Davin was elected President, Cusack, Wyse-Power and McKay were elected Secretaries and it was agreed that Archbishop Croke, Charles Stewart Parnell and Michael Davitt would be asked to become Patrons.

Up to the twentieth century most of the members were farm labourers, small farmers, barmen or shop assistants["citation needed]. But from 1900 onwards a new type of person – those who were now being influenced by the "Gaelic League (1893) — joined the movement. They tended to be clerks, school teachers or civil servants. In 1922 it passed over the job of promoting "athletics to the National Athletic and Cycling Association.[11]


List of Gaelic Athletic Association competitions

List of Countries that play GAA[edit]


While some units of the Association outside Ireland participate in Irish competitions, the Association does not hold internationals played according to the rules of either Gaelic football or hurling. Compromise rules have been reached with two "related sports".

Hurlers play an annual fixture against a national "shinty team from "Scotland.

"International Rules Football matches have taken place between an "Irish national team drawn from the ranks of Gaelic footballers, against an "Australian national team drawn from the "Australian Football League. The venue alternates between Ireland and Australia. In December 2006, the International series between Australia and Ireland was called off due to excessive violence in the matches,[12] but resumed in October 2008 when Ireland won a two test series in Australia.[13] Recently, the Irish welcomed the All Australian team at the headquarters of the GAA (Croke park) on 21 November 2015. It was single one-off test match, which led the Irish to reclaim the Cormac McAnallen cup by a score of 56-52.

Cultural activities[edit]

The association has had a long history of promoting Irish culture.[14] Through a division of the association known as "Scór (Irish for "score"), the Association promotes Irish cultural activities, running competitions in music, singing, dancing and storytelling.

Rule 4 of the GAA's Official Guide states:

The Association shall actively support the "Irish language, traditional "Irish dancing, "music, song, and other aspects of "Irish culture. It shall foster an awareness and love of the national ideals in the people of Ireland, and assist in promoting a community spirit through its clubs.[15]

The group was formally founded in 1969, and is promoted through various Association clubs throughout Ireland (as well as some clubs outside Ireland).


List of Gaelic Athletic Association stadiums
"Áras Mhic Eiteagáin clubhouse in "Gweedore, "County Donegal. These grounds resemble the typical clubhouses to be found in rural areas all over Ireland.

The Association has many stadiums scattered throughout Ireland and beyond. Every county, and nearly all clubs, have grounds on which to play their home games, with varying capacities and utilities.

The hierarchical "structure of the GAA is applied to the use of grounds. Clubs play at their own grounds for the early rounds of the "club championship, while the latter rounds from quarter-finals to finals are usually held at a county ground, i.e. the ground where "inter-county games take place or where the county board is based.

The provincial championship finals are usually played at the same venue every year. However, there have been exceptions, such as in "Ulster, where in 2004 and 2005 the "Ulster Football Finals were played in Croke Park, as the anticipated attendance was likely to far exceed the capacity of the traditional venue of "St Tiernach's Park, "Clones.

Croke Park[edit]

"Croke Park sports stadium in "Dublin, "Ireland. The "pitch is used for "Gaelic football, "hurling, and "camogie, and has also been used in the past for "association football and "rugby. It has a capacity of 82,300 people, making it the "fourth largest stadium in Europe.

"Croke Park is the Association's flagship venue and is known colloquially as Croker or Headquarters, since the venue doubles as the Association's base. With a capacity of 82,300, it ranks among the top five stadiums in Europe by capacity, having undergone extensive renovations for most of the 1990s and early 21st century. Every September, Croke Park hosts the All-Ireland inter-county Hurling and Football Finals as the conclusion to the summer championships. Croke Park holds the All-Ireland club football and hurling finals on every "St. Patrick's Day. Croke Park is named after the Archbishop "Thomas Croke, who was elected as a patron of the GAA during the formation of the GAA in 1884.

Other grounds[edit]

The next three biggest grounds are all in "Munster: "Semple Stadium in "Thurles, "County Tipperary, with a capacity of 53,000, the "Gaelic Grounds in "Limerick, which holds 50,000, and "Páirc Uí Chaoimh, "County Cork, which can accommodate 43,500.

Other grounds with capacities above 25,000 include:

Research by former "Fermanagh county footballer Niall Cunningham led to the publication in 2016 by his website, gaapitchlocator.net, of a map of 1,748 GAA grounds in Ireland, ranging from 24 grounds in his own county to 171 in Cork.[16][17]

Nationalism and community relations[edit]

Cross-community outreach in Ulster[edit]

The Association points out the role of members of "minority religions in the membership throughout its history. For example, the Protestant "Jack Boothman was "president of the organisation from 1993 to 1997, while Sam Maguire was a "Church of Ireland member. Nonetheless, to address concerns of unionists, the Association's Ulster Council has embarked on a number of initiatives aimed at making the association and Gaelic games more accessible to northern Protestants. In November 2008, the council launched a Community Development Unit, which is responsible for "Diversity and Community Outreach initiatives".[18] The Cúchulainn Initiative is a cross-community program aimed at establishing teams consisting of Catholic and Protestant schoolchildren with no prior playing experience.[19] Cross-community teams such as the Belfast Cuchulainn under-16 hurling team have been established and gone on to compete at the "Continental Youth Championship in the USA.[19] Similar hurling and Gaelic football teams have since emerged in Armagh, Fermanagh, Limavady.[20] "Professor David Hassan from the University of Ulster has written quite widely on the cross community work of the Association and other sporting bodies in Ulster, and highlighted the positive work being done in this field.

The 'Game of three-halves' cross-community coaching initiative was established in predominantly Protestant east Belfast in 2006. Organised through Knock Presbyterian Church, this scheme brings Association coaches to work alongside their soccer and rugby counterparts to involve primary school children at summer coaching camps.[21][22] The Ulster Council is also establishing cross-community football and hurling teams in schools and is developing links with the "Ulster-Scots Agency and the "Church of Ireland.[22] The Council has also undertaken a series of meetings with political parties and community groups who would have traditionally have had no involvement in the Association.[22]

Other community outreach[edit]

In January 2011, the then President of Ireland, "Mary McAleese, announced the launch of an island-wide project called the "GAA Social Initiative". This aims to address the problem of isolation in rural areas where older people have limited engagement with the community.[23] The initiative was later expanded by teaming up with the Irish Farmers Association to integrate that organisation's volunteers into the initiative.[24]

Winter training ban[edit]

To address concerns about player "burnout, the Association adopted a rule in 2007 that prohibited collective training for inter-county players for a period of two months every winter.[25] This has proven to be controversial in that it is difficult to enforce, and in the drive to stay competitive, managers have found ways to get around it, such as organising informal 'athletic clubs' and other activities that they can use to work on the physical fitness of players without overtly appearing to be training specifically at Gaelic games.[26]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ "From Sam Maguire to Dr Maguire – St Eunan's and Naomh Conaill do battle in County Final". Donegal Daily. 4 November 2012. Retrieved 4 November 2012. A huge crowd is expected at MacCumhaill Park at a time when gaelic games in the county have never had a higher profile. Nothing beats being there, as the GAA slogan goes, but for the neutrals who can't be in Ballybofey, the game is live on TG4 from throw-in at 4pm. 
  2. ^ a b "Membership". Gaelic Athletic Association. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 22 September 2015. 
  3. ^ Wilson, Bill. "Doing sports business the GAA way". BBC News. Retrieved 3 March 2008. 
  4. ^ "The GAA in Ulster" (PDF). Retrieved 5 August 2010. 
  5. ^ "sponsorship: A Successful Partnership between the GAA and Guinness" (PDF). Retrieved 5 August 2010. 
  6. ^ "Remarks by President McAleese". Retrieved 5 August 2010. 
  7. ^ "The Social Significance of Sport" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 October 2008. Retrieved 27 November 2006. 
  8. ^ McKernan, Michael; McQuade, Owen (2005). Michael McKernan, ed. Northern Ireland Yearbook 2005: A Comprehensive Reference Guide to the Political, Economic and Social Life of Northern Ireland. Owen McQuade. The Stationery Office. p. 455. "ISBN "978-0-9546284-2-0. Retrieved 16 June 2010. 
  9. ^ "ESRI Report: Social and Economic Value of Sport in Ireland". Archived from the original on 16 September 2007. Retrieved 22 December 2006. 
  10. ^ "GAA mark 125th anniversary". "RTÉ Sport. 1 November 2009. Retrieved 22 September 2009. 
  11. ^ "Athletic Ireland". Retrieved 23 August 2012. 
  12. ^ "International Rules Series games confirmed". "RTÉ. 29 May 2008. Retrieved 30 July 2008. 
  13. ^ "Ireland clinch series win at MCG". BBC. 31 October 2008. Retrieved 5 November 2008. 
  14. ^ "The New Year's Day Issue of the Irish Fireside contents". "Freeman's Journal. 1 January 1886. col.3, pg 2. Retrieved 22 September 2015 – via "British Newspaper Archive. (subscription required (help)). 
  15. ^ "GAAs Official Guide" (PDF). Gaelic Athletic Association. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 22 September 2015. 
  16. ^ http://www.gaapitchlocator.net/
  17. ^ Hughes, Brendan. "The land of saints and scholars and GAA pitches". "The Irish News. Retrieved 12 February 2016. 
  18. ^ "Ulster Council to launch new strategic unit". "The Irish News. 11 November 2008. p. 42. Archived from the original on 16 January 2016. Retrieved 11 November 2008. 
  19. ^ a b "Ulster GAA annual report published". Archived from the original on 13 July 2011. Retrieved 28 February 2011. 
  20. ^ "McAleese honours GAA team". UTV. 25 October 2010. Retrieved 28 February 2011. 
  21. ^ "Ulster GAA Club & Community Development Conference – 15 November 2008". 15 November 2008. Archived from the original on 18 July 2011. Retrieved 28 February 2011. 
  22. ^ a b c "Council making plans". "The Irish News. 21 October 2008. p. 44. Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 22 October 2008. 
  23. ^ John O'Brien (20 February 2011). "No more hiding places in the battle against rural isolation". Irish Independent. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  24. ^ "GAA Social Initiative to Expand with Stronger Links Between IFA and GAA". Irish Farmers Association. 2 March 2011. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  25. ^ William Nestor (3 December 2010). "The winter training ban, player expenses and burn-out". JOE.ie. Archived from the original on 13 December 2010. Retrieved 10 March 2011. 
  26. ^ Eugene McGee (3 January 2011). "Eugene McGee: Stop driving players away – scrap winter training ban". Irish Independent. Retrieved 10 March 2011. 

External links[edit]

) )