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  • 26cm x 33cm  Ferns Co Wexford An anxious looking Wexford defence prepare as Christy Ring takes a in the 1956 All Ireland Hurling Final.The result would be forever known simply as " The Save ". Art Foley, who died on Monday last in New York, will be remembered for a save he made in the closing stages of the 1956 All-Ireland hurling final that had seismic and far-reaching consequences. It formed an instrumental part of a metamorphic sequence of play in a terrific contest with Cork, leading to one of the game's most epic finales. With three minutes left the ever-threatening Christy Ring gained possession and made for the Wexford goal. The finer points of what happened next are still in dispute. The main thread of the narrative is not. Ring let fly and the diminutive Foley in Wexford's goal was equal to it. He needed to be. His side led by two points, and a goal, especially one by Ring, would surely have inspired a Cork victory. Ring would have had his ninth medal. Wexford hurling might not be the beguiling and romanticised entity it is today.
    In the game's pivotal moment, the ball quickly travelled down the other end where Tom Ryan sent a raking handpass to Nickey Rackard. In a piece of perfect casting, the greatest name in Wexford hurling landed the deathblow, netting with a low shot to the corner. Wexford were already champions, having defeated Galway in the final a year before to end a 45-year wait. But to beat Cork gave them a status they'd never attained before and wrote them into everlasting legend. The death of Foley at 90 ended a significant chapter for that storied era, he being the last surviving member of the team that won the final in '56 and which started the '55 decider, giving hope to all counties outside the traditional fold. In a decade often depicted as repressive and severe, with heavy emigration, Wexford brought an abundance of novelty and glamour and dauntless expression which made them huge crowd-pullers and popular all over the country. A jazzy addition to the traditional acts. The previous six All-Irelands before Wexford's breakthrough in '55 were shared between Cork and Tipperary. "Why are all these massive crowds following Wexford?" asks Liam Griffin. "The Wexford support base for hurling grew with the rise of the Wexford teams of the 1950s. There was a romantic connection between them and all hurling people. Why? Because they came up to challenge the dominant counties." At the time Wexford looked more likely to prosper in football than hurling. The 1950s, led by the Rackards, changed all that. Only a few survivors remain from the '56 panel: Ted Morrissey, Oliver Gough and Pat Nolan. Morrissey played in the Leinster final before losing his place and had also been on the squad in '51 when Wexford reached the All-Ireland final. Nolan was Art Foley's goalkeeping deputy in '56, later winning All-Ireland medals over a long career in '60 and '68. Gough came on in the '55 final. In a way the loop that began the most famous end-to-end move in Wexford hurling history, starting with Foley's save and concluding with Rackard's goal, was replicated in life itself. The first of that celebrated '56 team to die was Rackard, in April, 1976, at the age of 54 after succumbing to cancer. When the team was celebrating its silver jubilee in 1981, Foley came home from the US for the occasion, having emigrated with his wife Anne and their three young children at 27 in the late 1950s. By the time of the silver jubilee of the '56 win, only Rackard was missing. Gradually over the years the numbers diminished. Ned Wheeler went this year. Billy Rackard was the last of that famous band of brothers to die ten years ago. Now, Foley, literally the last one standing, has gone too. The deeds, though, remain timeless and immortal. The save which made Foley famous followed him around all his days. "The big story of Art Foley is that save because it is the seminal moment of that time," as Liam Griffin puts it. It is also probably the most enigmatic save in the history of the game - the Mona Lisa of hurling saves, such has been the variety of interpretations. Even Ring seems to have offered contradictory accounts. Raymond Smith has an account from John Keane, the former Waterford great, who was umpiring that day. He recalled Ring shooting from 25 yards and the ball moving "so fast that the thought flashed through my mind, this must be a goal . . . and I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that he'd saved it." One newspaper referred to "a powerful close-in shot" and another to a "piledriver" which was one of "several miracle saves" made by Foley on the day. Val Dorgan, Ring's biographer, reported a "vicious strike" that was saved just under the cross bar and he also used the word "miraculous".
    It wasn't until the next decade that All-Ireland finals began to be televised, leaving iconic moments like this shrouded in some mystery. Speaking to the Irish Echo in 2011, Foley himself gave this account: "Well, he shot and I blocked it straight up in the air. This is where they always get it wrong. They always say I caught it and cleared it, straight to Nickey [Rackard] and he scored the goal. But I blocked it out and Pat Barry [Cork] doubled on it, and it hit the outside of the net. "I pucked it out to Jim English and he passed it to Tom Ryan, and he got it to Nickey and Nickey got the goal, and we went on to win." It was in keeping with Foley's personality to play down the save's merits. In an interview in 2014, Ned Wheeler referred to Foley as "a gentlemen of few words". They stayed in touch regularly on the phone up to shortly before Wheeler's death. Ted Morrissey was another in frequent contact, a player who moved to Enniscorthy to work and joined the St Aidan's club which Foley played for. "I used to ring him every couple of weeks until recently," says Morrissey, now 89. "I rang him recently and he had fallen, the wife told me he was in the nursing home. "He was very clear, he had a great memory, could tell me all the people who lived on the street where he was. He worked as a lorry driver, that's what he was doing before he left. I suppose he thought there was a better life over there." What did they talk about? "About hurling and old times and the people he knew and he'd be asking me about the people around Enniscorthy. Unfortunately, by the last few conversations there weren't many left that he knew." Foley was just 5'6" at a time when there were marauding full-forwards aplenty and the goalkeeper didn't have the protection in the rulebook he has now. He was dropped after conceding six goals in the 1951 National League final and didn't play in the All-Ireland final later that year against Tipperary when Wexford suffered a heavy loss. Wexford opted for a novice 'keeper, something Billy Rackard later said had been a mistake. When he made the save in '56 Foley was given an appreciative and sporting hand-shake from Ring. The Cloyne man was notoriously competitive but often commented on the sportsmanship of Wexford and specifically his marker Bobby Rackard. At the end of the '56 final Nick O'Donnell and Rackard chaired Ring off the field which is another lasting and remarkable feature of that final. Foley spoke of that moment to Ted Morrissey. "Nicko (O'Donnell) came to Arty and says, 'we'll shoulder him off the field'. And Arty says to him, 'how the hell will we do that, you are 6'2 and I am 5'6 . . . go and get Bobby with you'. So Nicko and Bobby shouldered him off and Arty was a back-up man, giving them a push from behind." Ring stated after the '54 final when Cork defeated Wexford that Cork had never defeated a cleaner team. Perhaps the very different experience he had against Galway in the previous year's final had something to do with that, but the relationship between the counties at the time was cordial and warm. Ring being chaired off the field was its Olympian moment. At a time when hurling was notoriously rough and macho, these displays of sportsmanship were notably different from the norm. It deepened Wexford's unique appeal. Tony Dempsey, the former Wexford county chairman, and former senior hurling manger, met Foley and his wife and some of the family over lunch in Long Island a few years ago, where they made a presentation to him for his services to the county. They spoke of that decision to carry off Ring. "He told me Bobby caught Ring like a doll and lifted him up," said Dempsey, noting the power for which he was renowned. Foley survived in spite of his height limitations, helped by having O'Donnell in front of him. He left school at 13, like many others who were obliged to at the time, and followed his father Tommy, a truck driver, into employment at Davis's Mills in Enniscorthy. He told Dempsey in New York how he routinely carried 12-stone bags of flour up and down ladders at 14. "He took out a photo album and showed a photo of himself jumping for the ball," says Dempsey, "and proportionate to his body he had massive muscles, massive quads and massive thighs." In New York he ended up in long-term employment for TWA, spending 34 years as a crew chief. He came home occasionally, sometimes for reunions. After winning the '56 final, and entering legend, Wexford's victorious players began the triumphant journey home on the Monday night, stopping off in the Market Square in Enniscorthy. A Mr Browne from the county board introduced the players individually. "The greatest ovation was reserved for the goalkeeper Arty Foley whose brilliance in the net contributed much to Wexford's victory," the Irish Independent reported. Forty three years after they laid Nickey Rackard to rest in Bunclody, the first of that special team, Art Foley has gone to his eternal resting place in New York. Their deaths took place decades and thousands of miles apart. But their spirits will remain inseparable.
     
     
  • Extremely unusual & culturally significant historical sign from a once famous pub in Castlebar Co Mayo, the historic and now sadly closed down Humbert Inn.Please email us directly to enquire about this most unusual item at irishpubemporium@gmail.com. "Located on the Main Street of Castlebar, The Humbert Inn  excelled in its hospitality to the public for over 200 years. Its name was derived from the fact that the French General Jean Humbert with his second in command General Sarrazin located their headquarters within the building during the United Irishmen rebellion of 1798. Originally until 1912 due to rates purposes, the premises also consisted of what is known today as Paddy Fahey’s shop and over the years has been used as hotel, restaurant and public house. In 1798 the site of Paddy Fahey’s and the Humbert Inn was known as Geevy’s Hotel. A banquet was held there after the 1798 Rising and it was in The Humbert Inn premises, that John Moore was declared first President of Connaught! The public bar was unique in appearance with its interior rough cut stone walls, arches, Liscannor stone floor and a façade that has changed little over the past fifty years.

    The premises has changed hands many times over the years, more recent owners including Tom Coucil, the Moran family and since 1994 John Connaughton, more popularly known as 'John Humbert'. While memories aplenty abound about The Humbert Inn with many instances of people today stating that they are the third generation of their family to call into The Humbert.  Its lasting legacy will be an outstanding and legendary venue for all that is musical. The Humbert Inn was long associated with encouraging local musicians and providing the public with a steady stream of talent. Everything from traditional sessions to Industrial Rock has been catered for, everything from one guitar, 6 piece bands to many DJs have enthralled weekly audiences! In many cases their audience trying for a pint, while singing and dancing at the same time. Always a multi-talented bunch, The Humbert regulars! The most historically famous of these bands will be 'General Humbert' consisting of Steve Dunford (bodhran, bones), John Donegan (mandolin, harmonium), Ruairi Somers (uileann pipes, tin whistles, bagpipes), Shay Kavanagh (guitar, bouzouki) and one Miss Mary Black (vocals, bodhran) from approx 1972 until 1982. Mary Black’s brother Mick was working with the then P&T in Castlebar, he along with his brother Shay informed a group of Humbert musicians including, John Hoban and Frank O’Reilly, that he 'had a sister that could sing a bit (brotherly understatement) and would they be interested if she sang with them'. Mary Black may have received her first taste of success with 'General Humbert' in the ‘70s and recorded her first album in 1982. But, along with playing venues in Dublin, she started out singing in Castlebar with traditional group 'La Salle' which included John Dunford and Fintan Murphy within The Humbert a good ten years before her international success. Christmas in particular was always memorable in The Humbert, it was a major home coming venue and meeting place. If you were brought up in Castlebar, were of a certain age, then chances were there was one of two places you would have been found on Christmas Eve, The Humbert or Rays!. The Humbert Inn can also boast its very own VIP list among its regulars with two crowned Roses of Tralee Mindy O’Sullivan and Aoibhinn Ni Shulleabhain along with Fair City actress Vicky Burke. Plus any number of quality customers, musicians, fine sportsmen and women, business people and the odd politician. Fate had decided a different path for The Humbert and further to this an offer to buy the premises by a local developer was accepted. This has resulted in the developer’s decision to convert the building into retail outlets and apartments, thereby no longer retaining the premises two hundred year reign in the hospitality trade.Public opinion has stated a desire to at least retain the look of the existing bar, possibly using same as a restaurant, wine bar, part of the Linenhall for exhibitions or even as a Tourist Office However, the general consensus is an overall request that The Humbert Inn remains a public bar while recognising the logic in upper floor apartment conversion. The future of The Humbert has been proposed by the developer, but it is the present planning section of the Town Council who will ultimately decide this historic buildings fate as rumours abound of its possible demolition! What ever the future holds for The Humbert Inn, its last weekend under the command of General John Connaughton will be a musical filled celebration which John has requested to end quietly on its last closing time on Sunday 3rd September. Which is curiously the same date that Humbert and his men left The Humbert Inn premises in 1798! It will be an emotional time for both punters, staff and owner, an end of an era no matter what the future holds, so it is important that it is understood that the bar will be closing promptly on the last night" Origins : Co Mayo Dimensions : 88cm x60.5cm  5kg
  • 30cm x 38cm    Westport Co Mayo On 17 December 1916, the week before Christmas, a Mayo team stepped onto a frost-bitten Croke Park pitch to break new ground not only for themselves, but for their province – somewhat remarkably, in the already storied history of the Gaelic games, no Connacht county had previously climbed to such a rarefied heights. Mayo’s maiden final was played on a day that was winter raw. As snow, hail and rain fell in turns, the low temperatures left the ground underfoot little short of treacherous. Already, the belt of miserable weather had taken chunks out of England’s soccer programme the day before and in Dublin, on the morning of the final, hospitals filled with those presenting with injuries from falls on ice-glazed pavements, many of them worshippers walking to and from Sunday services. There was tragedy, too, when three residents of the Peaumont Sanitorium drowned when treading the frozen surface of a pond that cracked and gave way beneath them. In ordinary circumstances, most likely, the All-Ireland final meeting of Mayo and defending champions Wexford wouldn’t have gone ahead. But these were not ordinary circumstances and this was no ordinary time. The backdrop was one of international war and domestic upheaval and for the GAA, the struggle to maintain a semblance of normality – to operate a schedule of fixtures free of disruption and delay – was a constant. It didn’t help that the official Commission of Inquiry into the April Rebellion identified the Association as a contributory factor in its outbreak. It was a finding that the GAA leadership robustly refuted, their cool-headed pragmatism leading them not only into a denial of any involvement in the Rising, but to openly enter into negotiations with the British authorities in an effort to fend off threats to their sporting operations. What the GAA sought to secure as priorities was an exemption from a new entertainment tax that was to be levied on sporting and recreational bodies across Britain and Ireland; and an end to the curtailment of special train services to GAA matches. If the actions of the GAA emphasised the primacy of play, those of the British authorities – in London and Dublin – laid stress on law and order, and on the monitoring and the suppression of anything, or anyone, who might undermine it. Towards that end, in the months following the Rising, police reports tumbled into Dublin Castle evaluating the political temperature in each county and detailing the organisational strength of the various social, cultural and political groupings within.

    Statement issued by the GAA in May 1916 in response to allegations made by the Rebellion Commission, set up by the British to investigate the Rising, that the GAA was involved in the planning and staging of the Easter Rising. In this statement the GAA strenuously expresses its non-political constitution. Click the image to read the statement in full. (Image: GAA)

    Reports from Mayo in the summer of 1916 revealed a county in a ‘peaceable’ condition and with, amongst other things, a thriving GAA community: in all, the county was said to have boasted 18 clubs with just over 1,000 members. The strongest of these clubs was undoubtedly Ballina Stephenites. Founded in 1888, they had dominated the local Mayo scene since the turn of the 20th century, and spent years scorching all Connacht opposition at a time when champion clubs also served as county representatives in provincial and All-Ireland competitions. In 1908, they even secured national honours when defeating Kerry in a Croke Memorial Cup final. This was a day when at least one journalist – a reporter for the Western People – parked his professionalism in favour of partisan self-indulgence. Disabusing his readers of the expectation that they might receive anything in the way of actual reportage, he wrote: ‘I put my notebook away when Andy Corcoran (the captain) won the toss, and thereafter, along with hundreds of others, I abandoned myself to an hour’s delightful cheering and yelling.’ If this was primarily a Ballina triumph, the joy was by no means confined to the town. In Crossmolina a tar barrel was set alight to honour a moment that created ripples of excitement across the county. By 1916, the Mayo team was still backboned by Ballina men, though it was bolstered – as was then commonplace – by select players from rival clubs, including Balla, Ballyhaunis, Kiltimagh, Lacken and Swinford. It appears not to have been the most harmonious of mixes. When they took the field in Castlerea against Roscommon for the Connacht final at the start of October, they were a seriously depleted outfit – seven of those selected to travel failed to show up and a further two refused to tog out. As it transpired, the team was plagued by unwanted controversy. Later, when they defeated Cork in the All-Ireland semi-final, they were forced to do it all over again – on a day so sodden the referee wore his Mackintosh throughout – after an objection was lodged that they had played an illegal player in Bernard Durkin, a Mayo native who had earlier the same year played in a Cork County Championship for Youghal. For all that the extra game stood to Mayo, it also exposed weaknesses that could only be addressed, many believed, by better preparation. The message that went out was clear-cut. As one GAA writer put it starkly: ‘The war cry for the present Mayo team is – Train! Train! Train!' There was nothing particularly sagacious in this advice; most of the top teams were already doing this as a matter of course. However, the problem for Mayo was that, whatever way you looked at it, they appeared to be starting from a poorer position than their final opponents. Nowhere was the disparity more striking than in the resources available to the two sides. Wexford had raised £100 in subscriptions and secured a grant of £25 from the Leinster Council before a cash-strapped Mayo had gotten out of the fundraising blocks. It was late November, less than a month before the final, when the county eventually launched a training fund to help defray the costs of organising trial matches against their provincial neighbours and to ensure, as one contributor put it, that they didn’t suffer from a ‘lack of the sinews of war’. Clubs and the county board established committees to solicit money and commitments were given that all contributions would be dutifully acknowledged in the local press. That they were, but the purpose of publication was as much to shame as name. Indeed, slackers were unrepentantly called out. So while the people of Ballina and Crossmolina won plaudits for their efforts, those from Foxford stood indicted: ‘There’s an old saying that “apples will grow again”’, one scribe observed. ‘When they do they won’t ripen in Foxford.’

    The Wexford (Blues & Whites) team that won the 1916 GAA Football All-Ireland title. (Image: GAA)

    The final, when it finally arrived, disappointed in every way. Despite the temporary easing of train restrictions that had already forced the deferment of the hurling decider until late January 1917, it was played before a small crowd of 3,000 and on a pitch that barely cut muster. The conditions undoubtedly conspired against good football, yet the match itself was, as one report had it, remarkable only for its ‘tameness’. It’s perhaps sufficient to say the outcome was never in doubt and that the Wexford-men won, on a 3-4 to 1-2 score-line, easing up. The Mayo players were not exactly crestfallen at the result. There was no wailing, no recrimination, no burning regret at perhaps a once in a lifetime opportunity squandered. Theirs was not a house of pain. On the night of their final they happily joined with the Wexford players at an ‘all night dance’ at Conarchy’s Hotel on Dublin’s Parnell Square. And their captain, Frank Courrell, expressed himself pleased with his team’s performance. The players, he felt, had acquitted themselves well as individuals if not as cohesive unit. In any case, as Courell himself confessed, they had never come to Dublin ‘with the idea of beating Wexford’. Not a bit of it. ‘We came with one object’ Courrell said, ‘to fight every inch of the ground and go down gamely, and we did. We Connachtmen pride ourselves on the fact that we entered the final for the first time, and we are not a bit downhearted on our defeat by such a splendid side.’
  • 38cm x 115cm A wonderful b&w photograph of the old Croke Park and of both teams standing to attention for the customary recital of the National Anthem, when Kerry and Galway met in the All Ireland Football Final Replay.The first game ended in a draw before Galway went on to win the replay a few weeks later.The attendance was officially 68,950 with little or no need for crowd control.This magnificent panoramic view is a poignant sporting snapshot of former times and again makes a beautiful addition to the collection of anyone interested in bygone times.  
    The 1938 All-Ireland Football Final Replay on October 23rd, 1938 ended in the most bizarre fashion imaginable when with 2 minutes left to play, Galway supporters, mistakenly believing the referee had blown for full-time, invaded the pitch, causing a 20 minute delay before the final minutes could be played out. Even more dramatic was the fact that by the time the pitch was cleared, most of the Kerry players seemed to have disappeared. The confusion all began with a free awarded to Kerry by referee Peter Waters of Kildare with Galway leading the defending champions, by 2-4 to 0-6. The referee placed the ball and blew his whistle for the kick to be taken while running towards the Galway goals. He looked round just as Sean Brosnan was taking the kick and seeing a Galway player too close he blew for the kick to be retaken. Thinking that he had blown for full-time the jubilant Galway supporters invaded the pitch. It took all of twenty minutes to clear the pitch but only then did the real problems come to light. Jerry O’Leary Chairman of the Kerry Selection Committee outlined their dilemma. Somehow or other Kerry managed to re-field even if the team which played out the remaining minutes bore little resemblance to the starting fifteen. More remarkable again was the fact that Kerry went on to add another point to their total before the referee finally blew for full-time with Galway winners by 2-4 to 0-7. It was generally agreed that the confusion was of the crowd’s and not the referee’s making but questions remained about the total number of players Kerry had been permitted to use in those final few minutes. The National and Provincial papers and indeed all available Records to this day list only those 16 Kerry players who were involved prior to the 20 minute interruption but now (80 years on) for the first time all the players who played for Kerry in that October 23rd, 1938 All-Ireland Final Replay can be given their rightful place in the Record Books. KERRY’s 24:
    1. Dan O’Keeffe (Tralee O’Rahilly’s)
    2. Bill Kinnerk (Tralee, Boherbee John Mitchel’s)(Captain)
    3. Paddy ‘Bawn’ Brosnan (Dingle)
    4. Bill Myers (Killarney)
    5. Bill Dillon Dingle)
    6. Bill Casey (Dingle)
    7. Tom ‘Gega’ O’Connor (Dingle)
    8. Sean Brosnan (Dingle)
    9. Johnny Walsh (Ballylongford, North Kerry)
    10. Paddy Kennedy (Tralee O’Rahilly’s)(Annascaul native)
    11. Charlie O’Sullivan (Tralee O’Rahilly’s)(Camp native)
    12. Tony McAuliffe (Listowel, North Kerry)
    13. Martin Regan (Tralee Rock Street Austin Stacks)
    14. Michael ‘Miko’ Doyle ((Tralee Rock Street Austin Stacks)
    15. Timmy O’Leary (Killarney).
    16.  J.J. ‘Purty’ Landers (Tralee Rock Street Austin Stacks)(brother of Tim and Bill)(replaced Johnny Walsh – injured hip and dislocated collarbone)
    17. Joe Keohane (Geraldines, Dublin)(former Tralee Boherbee John Mitchel’s player)
    18. Michael ‘Murt’ Kelly (Geraldine’s, Dublin)(formerly Tralee O’Rahilly’s)
    19. J.Sheehy (Tralee Boherbee John Mitchel’s)
    20. Eddie Walsh (Knocknagoshel, North Kerry)
    21. Ger Teahan (Laune Rangers, Killorglin)
    22. Bob Murphy (Newtown, North Kerry)
    23. Con Gainey (Tralee Boherbee John Mitchel’s)(Castleisland native)
    24. M. Raymond (Tralee O’Rahilly’s)
    So in total and in contravention of the Rules Kerry used 24 players including 9 substitutes. Galway in contrast used a mere 17 players including 2 substitutes. GALWAY’S 17:
    1. Jimmy McGauran (University College Galway)(Roscommon native)
    2. Mick Raftery (University College Galway)(Mayo native)
    3. Mick Connaire (Beann Éadair, Dublin)(Ballinasloe native)
    4. Dinny Sullivan (Oughterard)
    5. Frank Cunniffe (Beann Éadair, Dublin)(Ballinasloe native)
    6. Bobby Beggs (Wolfe Tones, Galway City)(Dublin native)(former Skerries Harps player)
    7. Charlie Connolly (Ballinasloe Mental Hospital)
    8. John ‘Tull’ Dunne (Ballinasloe St. Grellan’s)(Captain)
    9. John Burke (Remore)(Clare native)
    10. Jackie Flavin (Wolfe Tones, Galway City)(Kerry native – Newtownsandes)(won 1937 All-Ireland with Kerry)
    11. Ralph Griffin (Ballinasloe St. Grellan’s)
    12. Mick Higgins (Wolfe Tones, Galway City)
    13. Ned Mulholland (Wolfe Tones, Galway City)(Westmeath native)
    14. Martin Kelly (Ardagh, Limerick)(Ahascragh native)
    15. Brendan Nestor (Geraldines, Dublin)(Dunmore native)
    16. Mick Ryder (Tuam Stars)
    17. Pat McDonagh
    It was almost as if Galway had won the All-Ireland twice in one day beating two different Kerry teams in the process. That night, in front of a 1,500 crowd, at a Gaelic League organised Siamsa Mór in the Mansion House in Dawson Street, Art McCann presented the Galway team with their winners’ medals. The Kerry players meanwhile joined 300 of their suppoeters at a Ceilidhe hosted by the Kerrymen’s Social Club in Rathmines Town Hall. The National Newspapers may not always have reported the facts to Galway’s satisfaction but there can be no questioning the support of Galway County Council. Needless to say the Galway players received an unprecedented welcome on their return to Galway having first been feted along the way in Mullingar, Streamstown, Moate and Athlone. GALWAY – 1938 ALL-IRELAND SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONS Back (L-R) Bobby Beggs, Ralph Griffin, John Burke, Jimmy McGauran, Charlie Connolly, Brendan Nestor, Dinny Sullivan, Mick Connaire, Martin Kelly. Front (L-R) Frank Cunniffe, Jackie Flavin, Mick Higgins, John ‘Tull’ Dunne (Capt), Ned Mulholland, Mick Raftery. Substitutes: (not in photograph) Mick Ryder and Pat McDonagh. TIME ADDED ON: Not far behind the controversy surrounding the last few minutes of 1938 All-Ireland Football Final Replay was the controversy surrounding the last few seconds of the drawn match played a month earlier. The sides were level, Kerry 2-06 Galway 3-03, when Kerry’s J.J. Landers sent the ball between the Galway uprights for what looked like the winning point. However the thousands of celebrating Kerry supporters making for the Croke Park exits were soon stopped in their tracks. It was cruel luck on Kerry and while there were many who criticised the referee, Tom Culhane from Glin, County Limerick, for blowing the final whistle while John Joe Landers was it the act of shooting, Kerry’s County Board Chairman Denis J. Bailey wasn’t among them. At the next Central Council meeting, in a remarkably generous response to the Referee’s Report being read he stated that ‘they in Kerry were quite satisfied with the result’ and ‘They wished to pay a tribute to Galway for their sporting spirit and also to the referee who, in their opinion, carried out his duties very well.’ The Central Council then awarded the two counties £300 each towards the costs of the two-week Collective Training Camps both counties had planned in the lead up to the Replay on October 23rd. Munster Council granted Kerry (pictured here in Collective Training) an additional £100. Prior to that Central Council meeting, General Secretary, Pádraig Ó’Caoimh, received a telephone call from the New York GAA suggesting the replay take place in New York but the request (which was successfully repeated nine years later in 1947) was on this occasion turned down. However doubts about the Replay even going ahead were immediately raised. Satisfactory transport arrangements were eventually agreed and the match went ahead although the Kerry supporters who left Tralee on the so-called ‘ghost’ train at 1am on the morning of the October 23rd may still have felt hard done by. In the lead-up to the game the Galway selectors expressed their delight at the success of their forwards short hand-passing game against the Kerry backs in the drawn match although there were some worries that not all their players had been able to attend the first week of Collective Training and of course there was Kerry’s Replay record to be considered. Kerry had previously played in 4 All-Ireland Replays and won them all, a great source of encouragement to the Kerry supporters. However amid some reports of disharmony within the Kerry camp, following a ‘trial match’ on the Sunday before the Replay, the Kerry selection Committee dropped a real bombshell. Joe Keohane (Dublin Geraldines) who had been Kerry’s regular full-back for the previous two years and was one of the stars of their 1937 All-Ireland win over Cavan was replaced by young Paddy ‘Bawn’ Brosnan a member of the 1938 Kerry Junior team. A back injury to Kerry’s best forward, J.J. Landers made him an extreme doubt for the Replay with Martin Regan on stand-by to take his place if required which is exactly what happened before that fateful free-kick, that infamous 20 minute delay and Kerry’s unprecedented use of 24 players. Most definitely an All-Ireland Final and Final Replay never to be forgotten. The Galway and Kerry players parade in front of the newly opened (1938) Cusack Stand  
                            Croke Park (Irish: Páirc an Chrócaigh) is a Gaelic games stadium located in Dublin, Ireland. Named after Archbishop Thomas Croke, it is sometimes called Croker by GAA fans and locals. It serves as both the principal stadium and headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). Since 1891 the site has been used by the GAA to host Gaelic sports, including the annual All-Ireland in Gaelic football and hurling. A major expansion and redevelopment of the stadium ran from 1991–2005, raising capacity to its current 82,300 spectators. This makes Croke Park the third-largest stadium in Europe, and the largest not usually used for association football. Other events held at the stadium include the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2003 Special Olympics, and numerous musical concerts. In 2012, Irish pop group Westlife sold out the stadium in record-breaking time: less than 5 minutes. From 2007–10, Croke Park hosted home matches of the Ireland national rugby union team and the Republic of Ireland national football team, while their new Aviva Stadium was constructed. This use of Croke Park for non-Gaelic sports was controversial and required temporary changes to GAA rules. In June 2012, the stadium hosted the closing ceremony of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress during which Pope Benedict XVI gave an address over video link.

    City and Suburban Racecourse

    A fireworks and light display was held in Croke Park in front of 79,161 fans on Saturday 31 January 2009 to mark the GAA's 125th anniversary
    The area now known as Croke Park was owned in the 1880s by Maurice Butterly and known as the City and Suburban Racecourse, or Jones' Road sports ground. From 1890 it was also used by the Bohemian Football Club. In 1901 Jones' Road hosted the IFA Cup football final when Cliftonville defeated Freebooters.

    History

    Recognising the potential of the Jones' Road sports ground a journalist and GAA member, Frank Dineen, borrowed much of the £3,250 asking price and bought the ground in 1908. In 1913 the GAA came into exclusive ownership of the plot when they purchased it from Dineen for £3,500. The ground was then renamed Croke Park in honour of Archbishop Thomas Croke, one of the GAA's first patrons. In 1913, Croke Park had only two stands on what is now known as the Hogan stand side and grassy banks all round. In 1917, a grassy hill was constructed on the railway end of Croke Park to afford patrons a better view of the pitch. This terrace was known originally as Hill 60, later renamed Hill 16 in memory of the 1916 Easter Rising. It is erroneously believed to have been built from the ruins of the GPO, when it was constructed the previous year in 1915. In the 1920s, the GAA set out to create a high capacity stadium at Croke Park. Following the Hogan Stand, the Cusack Stand, named after Michael Cusack from Clare (who founded the GAA and served as its first secretary), was built in 1927. 1936 saw the first double-deck Cusack Stand open with 5,000 seats, and concrete terracing being constructed on Hill 16. In 1952 the Nally Stand was built in memorial of Pat Nally, another of the GAA founders. Seven years later, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the GAA, the first cantilevered "New Hogan Stand" was opened. The highest attendance ever recorded at an All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final was 90,556 for Offaly v Down in 1961. Since the introduction of seating to the Cusack stand in 1966, the largest crowd recorded has been 84,516.

    Bloody Sunday

    Bloody Sunday remembrance plaque
    During the Irish War of Independence on 21 November 1920 Croke Park was the scene of a massacre by the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC). The Police, supported by the British Auxiliary Division, entered the ground and began shooting into the crowd, killing or fatally wounding 14 civilians during a Dublin-Tipperary Gaelic football match. The dead included 13 spectators and Tipperary player Michael Hogan. Posthumously, the Hogan stand built in 1924 was named in his honour. These shootings, on the day which became known as Bloody Sunday, were a reprisal for the killing of 15 people associated with the Cairo Gang, a group of British Intelligence officers, by Michael Collins' 'squad' earlier that day.

    Dublin Rodeo

    In 1924, American rodeo promoter, Tex Austin, staged the Dublin Rodeo, Ireland's first professional rodeo at Croke Park Stadium. For seven days, with two shows each day from August 18 to August 24, sell out crowds saw cowboys and cowgirls from Canada, the United States, Mexico, Argentina and Australia compete for rodeo championship titles.Canadian bronc riders such as Andy Lund and his brother Art Lund, trick riders such as Ted Elder and Vera McGinnis were among the contestants. British Pathe filmed some of the rodeo events.

    Stadium design

    In 1984 the organisation decided to investigate ways to increase the capacity of the old stadium. The design for an 80,000 capacity stadium was completed in 1991. Gaelic sports have special requirements as they take place on a large field. A specific requirement was to ensure the spectators were not too far from the field of play. This resulted in the three-tier design from which viewing games is possible: the main concourse, a premium level incorporating hospitality facilities and an upper concourse. The premium level contains restaurants, bars and conference areas. The project was split into four phases over a 14-year period. Such was the importance of Croke Park to the GAA for hosting big games, the stadium did not close during redevelopment. During each phase different parts of the ground were redeveloped, while leaving the rest of the stadium open. Big games, including the annual All-Ireland Hurling and Football finals, were played in the stadium throughout the development.
    The outside of the Cusack Stand

    Phase one – New Cusack Stand

    The first phase of construction was to build a replacement for Croke Park's Cusack Stand. A lower deck opened for use in 1994. The upper deck opened in 1995. Completed at a cost of £35 million, the new stand is 180 metres long, 35 metres high, has a capacity for 27,000 people and contains 46 hospitality suites. The new Cusack Stand contains three tiers from which viewing games is possible: the main concourse, a premium level incorporating hospitality facilities and finally an upper concourse. One end of the pitch was closer to the stand after this phase, as the process of slightly re-aligning the pitch during the redevelopment of the stadium began. The works were carried out by Sisk Group.

    Phase two – Davin Stand

    Phase Two of the development started in late 1998 and involved extending the new Cusack Stand to replace the existing Canal End terrace. It involved reacquiring a rugby pitch that had been sold to Belvedere College in 1910 by Frank Dineen. In payment and part exchange, the college was given the nearby Distillery Road sportsgrounds.[19] It is now known as The Davin Stand (Irish: Ardán Dáimhím), after Maurice Davin, the first president of the GAA. This phase also saw the creation of a tunnel which was later named the Ali tunnel in honour of Muhammad Ali and his fight against Al Lewis in July 1972 in Croke Park.

    Phase three – Hogan Stand

    Phase Three saw the building of the new Hogan Stand. This required a greater variety of spectator categories to be accommodated including general spectators, corporate patrons, VIPs, broadcast and media services and operation staff. Extras included a fitted-out mezzanine level for VIP and Ard Comhairle (Where the dignitaries sit) along with a top-level press media facility. The end of Phase Three took the total spectator capacity of Croke Park to 82,000.

    Phase four – Nally Stand & Nally End/Dineen Hill 16 terrace

    After the 2003 Special Olympics, construction began in September 2003 on the final phase, Phase Four. This involved the redevelopment of the Nally Stand, named after the athlete Pat Nally, and Hill 16 into a new Nally End/Dineen Hill 16 terrace. While the name Nally had been used for the stand it replaced, the use of the name Dineen was new, and was in honour of Frank Dineen, who bought the original stadium for the GAA in 1908, giving it to them in 1913. The old Nally Stand was taken away and reassembled in Pairc Colmcille, home of Carrickmore GAA in County Tyrone. The phase four development was officially opened by the then GAA President Seán Kelly on 14 March 2005. For logistical reasons (and, to a degree, historical reasons), and also to provide cheaper high-capacity space, the area is a terrace rather than a seated stand, the only remaining standing-room in Croke Park. Unlike the previous Hill, the new terrace was divided into separate sections – Hill A (Cusack stand side), Hill B (behind the goals) and the Nally terrace (on the site of the old Nally Stand). The fully redeveloped Hill has a capacity of around 13,200, bringing the overall capacity of the stadium to 82,300. This made the stadium the second biggest in the EU after the Camp Nou, Barcelona. However, London's new Wembley stadium has since overtaken Croke Park in second place. The presence of terracing meant that for the brief period when Croke Park hosted international association football during 2007–2009, the capacity was reduced to approximately 73,500, due to FIFA's statutes stating that competitive games must be played in all-seater stadiums.

    Pitch

     
  • 32cm x 29cm  Killorglin Co Kerry
    The 1938 All-Ireland Football Final Replay on October 23rd, 1938 ended in the most bizarre fashion imaginable when with 2 minutes left to play, Galway supporters, mistakenly believing the referee had blown for full-time, invaded the pitch, causing a 20 minute delay before the final minutes could be played out. Even more dramatic was the fact that by the time the pitch was cleared, most of the Kerry players seemed to have disappeared. The confusion all began with a free awarded to Kerry by referee Peter Waters of Kildare with Galway leading the defending champions, by 2-4 to 0-6. The referee placed the ball and blew his whistle for the kick to be taken while running towards the Galway goals. He looked round just as Sean Brosnan was taking the kick and seeing a Galway player too close he blew for the kick to be retaken. Thinking that he had blown for full-time the jubilant Galway supporters invaded the pitch. It took all of twenty minutes to clear the pitch but only then did the real problems come to light. Jerry O’Leary Chairman of the Kerry Selection Committee outlined their dilemma. Somehow or other Kerry managed to re-field even if the team which played out the remaining minutes bore little resemblance to the starting fifteen. More remarkable again was the fact that Kerry went on to add another point to their total before the referee finally blew for full-time with Galway winners by 2-4 to 0-7. It was generally agreed that the confusion was of the crowd’s and not the referee’s making but questions remained about the total number of players Kerry had been permitted to use in those final few minutes. The National and Provincial papers and indeed all available Records to this day list only those 16 Kerry players who were involved prior to the 20 minute interruption but now (80 years on) for the first time all the players who played for Kerry in that October 23rd, 1938 All-Ireland Final Replay can be given their rightful place in the Record Books. KERRY’s 24:
    1. Dan O’Keeffe (Tralee O’Rahilly’s)
    2. Bill Kinnerk (Tralee, Boherbee John Mitchel’s)(Captain)
    3. Paddy ‘Bawn’ Brosnan (Dingle)
    4. Bill Myers (Killarney)
    5. Bill Dillon Dingle)
    6. Bill Casey (Dingle)
    7. Tom ‘Gega’ O’Connor (Dingle)
    8. Sean Brosnan (Dingle)
    9. Johnny Walsh (Ballylongford, North Kerry)
    10. Paddy Kennedy (Tralee O’Rahilly’s)(Annascaul native)
    11. Charlie O’Sullivan (Tralee O’Rahilly’s)(Camp native)
    12. Tony McAuliffe (Listowel, North Kerry)
    13. Martin Regan (Tralee Rock Street Austin Stacks)
    14. Michael ‘Miko’ Doyle ((Tralee Rock Street Austin Stacks)
    15. Timmy O’Leary (Killarney).
    16.  J.J. ‘Purty’ Landers (Tralee Rock Street Austin Stacks)(brother of Tim and Bill)(replaced Johnny Walsh – injured hip and dislocated collarbone)
    17. Joe Keohane (Geraldines, Dublin)(former Tralee Boherbee John Mitchel’s player)
    18. Michael ‘Murt’ Kelly (Geraldine’s, Dublin)(formerly Tralee O’Rahilly’s)
    19. J.Sheehy (Tralee Boherbee John Mitchel’s)
    20. Eddie Walsh (Knocknagoshel, North Kerry)
    21. Ger Teahan (Laune Rangers, Killorglin)
    22. Bob Murphy (Newtown, North Kerry)
    23. Con Gainey (Tralee Boherbee John Mitchel’s)(Castleisland native)
    24. M. Raymond (Tralee O’Rahilly’s)
    So in total and in contravention of the Rules Kerry used 24 players including 9 substitutes. Galway in contrast used a mere 17 players including 2 substitutes. GALWAY’S 17:
    1. Jimmy McGauran (University College Galway)(Roscommon native)
    2. Mick Raftery (University College Galway)(Mayo native)
    3. Mick Connaire (Beann Éadair, Dublin)(Ballinasloe native)
    4. Dinny Sullivan (Oughterard)
    5. Frank Cunniffe (Beann Éadair, Dublin)(Ballinasloe native)
    6. Bobby Beggs (Wolfe Tones, Galway City)(Dublin native)(former Skerries Harps player)
    7. Charlie Connolly (Ballinasloe Mental Hospital)
    8. John ‘Tull’ Dunne (Ballinasloe St. Grellan’s)(Captain)
    9. John Burke (Remore)(Clare native)
    10. Jackie Flavin (Wolfe Tones, Galway City)(Kerry native – Newtownsandes)(won 1937 All-Ireland with Kerry)
    11. Ralph Griffin (Ballinasloe St. Grellan’s)
    12. Mick Higgins (Wolfe Tones, Galway City)
    13. Ned Mulholland (Wolfe Tones, Galway City)(Westmeath native)
    14. Martin Kelly (Ardagh, Limerick)(Ahascragh native)
    15. Brendan Nestor (Geraldines, Dublin)(Dunmore native)
    16. Mick Ryder (Tuam Stars)
    17. Pat McDonagh
    It was almost as if Galway had won the All-Ireland twice in one day beating two different Kerry teams in the process. That night, in front of a 1,500 crowd, at a Gaelic League organised Siamsa Mór in the Mansion House in Dawson Street, Art McCann presented the Galway team with their winners’ medals. The Kerry players meanwhile joined 300 of their suppoeters at a Ceilidhe hosted by the Kerrymen’s Social Club in Rathmines Town Hall. The National Newspapers may not always have reported the facts to Galway’s satisfaction but there can be no questioning the support of Galway County Council. Needless to say the Galway players received an unprecedented welcome on their return to Galway having first been feted along the way in Mullingar, Streamstown, Moate and Athlone. GALWAY – 1938 ALL-IRELAND SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONS Back (L-R) Bobby Beggs, Ralph Griffin, John Burke, Jimmy McGauran, Charlie Connolly, Brendan Nestor, Dinny Sullivan, Mick Connaire, Martin Kelly. Front (L-R) Frank Cunniffe, Jackie Flavin, Mick Higgins, John ‘Tull’ Dunne (Capt), Ned Mulholland, Mick Raftery. Substitutes: (not in photograph) Mick Ryder and Pat McDonagh. TIME ADDED ON: Not far behind the controversy surrounding the last few minutes of 1938 All-Ireland Football Final Replay was the controversy surrounding the last few seconds of the drawn match played a month earlier. The sides were level, Kerry 2-06 Galway 3-03, when Kerry’s J.J. Landers sent the ball between the Galway uprights for what looked like the winning point. However the thousands of celebrating Kerry supporters making for the Croke Park exits were soon stopped in their tracks. It was cruel luck on Kerry and while there were many who criticised the referee, Tom Culhane from Glin, County Limerick, for blowing the final whistle while John Joe Landers was it the act of shooting, Kerry’s County Board Chairman Denis J. Bailey wasn’t among them. At the next Central Council meeting, in a remarkably generous response to the Referee’s Report being read he stated that ‘they in Kerry were quite satisfied with the result’ and ‘They wished to pay a tribute to Galway for their sporting spirit and also to the referee who, in their opinion, carried out his duties very well.’ The Central Council then awarded the two counties £300 each towards the costs of the two-week Collective Training Camps both counties had planned in the lead up to the Replay on October 23rd. Munster Council granted Kerry (pictured here in Collective Training) an additional £100. Prior to that Central Council meeting, General Secretary, Pádraig Ó’Caoimh, received a telephone call from the New York GAA suggesting the replay take place in New York but the request (which was successfully repeated nine years later in 1947) was on this occasion turned down. However doubts about the Replay even going ahead were immediately raised. Satisfactory transport arrangements were eventually agreed and the match went ahead although the Kerry supporters who left Tralee on the so-called ‘ghost’ train at 1am on the morning of the October 23rd may still have felt hard done by. In the lead-up to the game the Galway selectors expressed their delight at the success of their forwards short hand-passing game against the Kerry backs in the drawn match although there were some worries that not all their players had been able to attend the first week of Collective Training and of course there was Kerry’s Replay record to be considered. Kerry had previously played in 4 All-Ireland Replays and won them all, a great source of encouragement to the Kerry supporters. However amid some reports of disharmony within the Kerry camp, following a ‘trial match’ on the Sunday before the Replay, the Kerry selection Committee dropped a real bombshell. Joe Keohane (Dublin Geraldines) who had been Kerry’s regular full-back for the previous two years and was one of the stars of their 1937 All-Ireland win over Cavan was replaced by young Paddy ‘Bawn’ Brosnan a member of the 1938 Kerry Junior team. A back injury to Kerry’s best forward, J.J. Landers made him an extreme doubt for the Replay with Martin Regan on stand-by to take his place if required which is exactly what happened before that fateful free-kick, that infamous 20 minute delay and Kerry’s unprecedented use of 24 players. Most definitely an All-Ireland Final and Final Replay never to be forgotten. The Galway and Kerry players parade in front of the newly opened (1938) Cusack Stand  
  • Great piece of Gaelic football Nostalgia here as Meath captain lifts the Sam Maguire on the occasion of the Royal county's first All Ireland Football success in 1949. Origins: Dunboyne Co Meath  Dimensions :26cm x 32cm.  Glazed  

    All-Ireland football final day, 1949. Meath fans are en route to Croke Park by steam train, and will see their county win its first championship. They stop at Dunboyne. He hears their cheers fall through the billowing steam from the railway bridge. Five-year-old Seán Boylan knows something big is stirring.

    Then he was simply a small boy kicking a ball around the family garden. The green and gold throng roared encouragement through fellowship and goodwill, buoyed by the occasion.

    In later years he would give them good cause to cheer. Just a snapshot, but the moment seems to have acquired a near-cinematic resonance through what it prefigured. That railway bridge is now known locally as Boylan's bridge.

    Around Dunboyne, there were local heroes to fire the imagination. His neighbours included Meath players like Jimmy Reilly, Bobby Ruske and 1949 All-Ireland-winning captain Brian Smyth.

    "Brian Smyth was a great friend of my father's. I have a memory of kicking a ball around with him in the run-up to the 1954 All-Ireland final.

    "He'd call out to the house on a Wednesday night to Daddy, getting the brews. Brian had a very famous dummy and he showed me how to do it. Of course, I practised it and used it all my life after."

    He drew inspiration, too, from further afield. The great Gaelic names of his childhood were lent further mystique by Micheál O'Hehir's radio commentaries, which painted bold pictures in his head.

    The legends were remote yet vividly present through the voice piercing the static.

    "When he was doing matches you'd swear you were at the game. You were trying to be a John Dowling or a Seán Purcell or a Bobby or Nicky Rackard, a Christy Ring when you heard the way he described it."

    Not that Gaelic games alone dominated his formative years. Motor races held in Dunboyne thrilled him as a youngster. Even now, his heart quickens a little at the vroom-vrooming of racing engines.

    "I was always mad into motorsport, but most kids around Dunboyne were, because you had the racing which started in the '50s.

    "It was outside your door so you followed the motorbikes and the cars. Of course, the only thing you could afford to do yourself was the go-karting. You'd go across to Monasterboice, where there was a track, or down to Askeaton in Limerick. The bug is still there."

    At the age of nine, he was sent to Belvedere College. Rugby, of course, was on the sporting curriculum and he played with enthusiasm, once certain positional difficulties had been resolved.

    "At the time the Ban was in but I played for a few years. In the first match I played I was put in the secondrow. At my height! I ended up in the backs afterwards, but it was very funny."

    He chuckles at the thought of himself as a secondrow forward. In later years he was to meet Peter Stringer after an Ireland international. The scrumhalf greeted him warmly, announcing he was delighted to meet someone even smaller than himself.

    His participation in rugby at Belvedere was never questioned, despite his GAA and republican family background. He was left to find his own course.

    "My father, Lord be good to him, never tried to influence me in any way with regard to what I would play or what I became involved in. He wasn't that sort of man. And, well, in Belvedere, you're talking about the place where Kevin Barry went to school."

    He took two of his boys in to see the old alma mater a few years back and was touched at the reception he received.

    "I said I'd see if the then headmaster, Fr Leonard Moloney, was around. I hadn't been back in the place much but he invited us into his office. He went over to the press and took out two Club Lemons and two Mars bars for the lads. From then on that was the only school they wanted to go to and they're there now."

    He hurled too at Belvedere, but his education in Gaelic games was to be furthered at Clogher Road Vocational School in Crumlin, which he attended after leaving Belvedere at 15. Moving from the privileged halls of Belvedere to the earthier environment of his new school was a jolt, but football and hurling helped smooth the transition.

    In Crumlin, he would learn how to use his hands, within and without the classroom.

    "The big thing there was the sport end of it. It was Gaelic and soccer we played. The PE instructor was Jim McCabe, who played centre-half back on the Cavan team that won the All-Ireland in 1952. He was still playing for Cavan at this stage. He was a lovely man and a terrific shooter."

    He found himself spending Wednesday afternoons kicking a ball around with McCabe and another Cavan player, Charlie Gallagher. The latter's patiently rigorous application to practising his free-taking left a deep impression on the manager of the future.

    While at Clogher Road, he represented Dublin Vocational Schools at centre-half back in both hurling and football. The goalkeeper on the football team was Pat Dunne, who would later play with Manchester United and Ireland.

    He was on the move again at 16, switching to Warrenstown Agricultural College near Trim. His family background working with the land made the choice seem logical. Besides, the college did a nice sideline in cultivating footballers and hurlers. Again, he found an All-Ireland-winner circling prominently within his youthful orbit, foreshadowing his own relationship with Sam Maguire.

    "The man who taught us veterinary was Séamus Murphy, who won five All-Irelands with Kerry in five different positions, an extraordinary record, from corner back to wing-half back to midfield to wing-half forward to corner forward. He brought a few of us from the college to Meath minor football trials."

    Hurling, though, was the game at which he was most successful as a player. He broke into the Meath minor hurling panel while at Warrenstown. One day shortly after beginning there, he had another chance encounter which was to echo into the future. He was thumbing a lift home to Dunboyne, hurl slung over a shoulder, only to see a fawn-coloured Ford Anglia pull up. Its driver was Des "Snitchy" Ferguson. Thus began a long association. In later years, his two sons would win All-Irelands with Meath under Boylan's tutelage.

    Back in his school days, though, nothing could top the feeling of making the Meath minor hurling panel. "The man who brought me for trials was the famous Brian Smyth. I'll never forget him coming to collect me for the trials. Here I was with Brian Smyth! Then when I got picked for Meath, it was just clover."

  • Quaint framed photograph of the pre parade of the 1971 All Ireland final between Offaly and Galway.Galway were appearing in their first final since the three-in-a-row side of the 1960s. Dimensions: 27cm x 25cm  G Offaly, who had never won an All-Ireland title, had last contested a final in 1969.Galway were favourites. Instead a shock occurred.A Murt Connor goal gave Offaly their first title.However, with the duration of certain championship matches increasing from 60 to 80 minutes during the 1970s before being settled at 70 minutes after five seasons of this in 1975, this is the only All-Ireland final whose outcome would have changed if the time had remained the same; had it done so, the 1971 final would have ended in a draw. This was the first All-Ireland final attended by Martin Breheny. The weather on the day was later described by Breheny as consisting of a "steady drizzle" in the first half, followed by a "deluge of monsoon proportions" during the second half.
    1971 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship
    Date 26 September 1971
    Venue Croke Park, Dublin
    Attendance 70,789
    Weather Rain
    It would be a further 21 years before another team won their first All-Ireland Senior Football Championship. Origins : Co Offaly Dimensions : 27cm x 25cm

  • Origins : Scarriff Co Clare     Dimensions: 32cm x 20cm
    Viewed from a distance of two decades, maybe the most remarkable thing about the hurling summer of 1995 is just how unpromising it was roundly agreed to be at the get-go. The previous year had been airily dismissed as something of a freak – never more freakish than in that harum-scarum end to the All-Ireland final when Offaly overturned Limerick with a quickfire 2-5 in the closing minutes.
    Put to the pin of their collars, most judges shrugged and presumed the Liam MacCarthy would find his way back around to the blue-bloods in the end – probably to Kilkenny who had just beaten Clare in the National League final, maybe to Tipperary if they got their act together. If there was going to be a yarn, Limerick might provide it. But nobody had an inkling of what was around the corner. Or if they did, they weren’t shouting about it. Nobody was shouting about very much of anything. Hurling was what it was – guarded like the family jewels in certain parts of the land, barely amounting to a rumour in others. Tipp, Kilkenny and Cork had split five of the previous six All-Irelands between them and in a given year, you could just about half-rely on Offaly or Galway to keep them honest. For everyone else, the door looked shut. For all the sweet words and paeans that followed the game around, the championship was reduced each year to four or five games. This was pre-qualifiers, pre-back door of any kind. Galway walked into the All-Ireland semi-final each year and Antrim did the same before providing whoever they met with more or less a bye into the final. The Munster championship had its adherents but they weren’t all just as committed as they let on – when Clare met Cork in Thurles in June 1995, they did so in front of just 14,101 paying guests. The game needed shaking up. If not everyone admitted as much at the time, it didn’t escape the notice of the association’s then general director Liam Mulvihill. In his report to Congress earlier that year, he had scratched an itch that had been bugging him for most of the previous 12 months. The 1994 football championship had been the first to benefit from bringing on a title sponsor in Bank of Ireland and though an equivalent offer had been on the table for the hurling championship, Central Council pushed the plate away. Though the name of the potential sponsor wasn’t explicitly made public, everyone knew it was Guinness. More to the point, everyone knew why Central Council wouldn’t bite. As Mulvihill himself noted in his report to Congress, the offer was declined on the basis that “Central Council did not want an alcoholic drinks company associated with a major GAA competition”. As it turned out, Central Council had been deadlocked on the issue and it was the casting vote of then president Peter Quinn that put the kibosh on a deal with Guinness. Mulvihill’s disappointment was far from hidden, since he saw the wider damage caused by turning up the GAA nose at Guinness’s advances. “The unfortunate aspect of the situation,” he wrote, “is that hurling needs support on the promotion of the game much more than football.” Though it took the point of a bayonet to make them go for it, the GAA submitted in the end and on the day after the league final, a three-year partnership with Guinness was announced. The deal would be worth £1 million a year, with half going to the sport and half going to the competition in the shape of marketing. That last bit was key. Guinness came up with a marketing campaign that fairly scorched across the general consciousness. Billboards screeched out slogans that feel almost corny at this remove but made a huge impact at the same time . This man can level whole counties in one second flat. This man can reach speeds of 100mph. This man can break hearts at 70 yards Of course, all the marketing in the world can only do so much. Without a story to go alongside, the Guinness campaign might be forgotten now – or worse, remembered as an overblown blast of hot air dreamed up in some modish ad agency above in Dublin. Instead, Clare came along and changed everything. In the spring of 1995, Clare were very easy to stereotype. These were the days when the league wrapped around Christmas and in the muck and the cold and the drudgery, Clare had a fierceness to them that took advantage of any opposition that fancied a handy afternoon with the summer well off in the distance. A pain in the neck if you met them on a going day in the league but not to be relied upon on the biggest days. They had a recent, ill-starred record in Munster finals to bear that out. Heavy beatings from Tipp and Limerick in 1993 and ’94 were bad enough on their own; piled on decades of hurt going all the way back to their last title in 1932, they were toxic. On the day before the league final, new manager Ger Loughnane outlined what the coming summer would mean to them. “I’d swap everything for a Munster title. The whole lot. My whole hurling life. These fellas today, they have the chance. They can get out there and realise that this is what it is all about, that this is what you play hurling for. They can build on that and win their Munster title. That means so much to us all. They won’t have to look back and regret.” When Clare promptly lost 2-12 to 0-9 to Kilkenny in that league final, you didn’t have many takers for Loughnane’s assertion that this could be the group to turn everything around. Loughnane had been involved in 12 Munster finals as a player and selector at various levels down the years and he’d lost them all. Big talk was fine and dandy but what was there to believe in? Come the Munster championship, Clare were quietly but firmly dismissed by all and sundry. Cashman’s bookies in Cork priced their championship opener thus: Cork 2/5, Clare 9/4. A bar in Ennis had sent the Clare squad a cheque for £250 so they could have a pre-championship drink together. Anthony Daly took it instead and slapped it down on Clare to win the Munster championship at odds of 7/1. Anyone with half an interest in the game knows the rest. Or at least knows bits and pieces of it. That summer was a blazing one, the hottest for decades, and in the mind’s eye Clare’s summer is a jigsaw of sun-scorched fables and legends. Seanie McMahon and his broken collarbone, playing out the last 15 minutes against Cork at corner-forward. Ollie Baker’s bundled goal to win that game in injury-time. Limerick swept aside in the second half of the Munster final. Bonfires across the county on the Monday night. Galway put to the sword in the All-Ireland semi-final. Offaly just squeezed out in the final. Eamonn Taaffe’s goal, whipped to the net with his only touch of the sliotar all summer. Daly’s 65, Johnny Pilkington’s reply just flicking the post and missing. A first Clare All-Ireland senior title since 1914. It was all just so unlikely. After the Cork game, the cars heading home for Clare were stuck in traffic. A group of Cork teenagers stood at the side of the road as they passed, chanting Tipp, Tipp, Tipp – presuming Clare would meet and be beaten by them next day out. The notion that this was the beginning of a golden era, or that these Claremen were about to popularise the sport as never before, would still have felt ludicrous And yet here they were, All-Ireland champions in a year when hurling caught the wider imagination in a way it rarely had up to that point. The Guinness campaign had made its mark and allied to Clare’s rise, the sport was grabbing people again. Not before time. “The game had gone stale,” wrote Jimmy Barry-Murphy in The Irish Times in the run-up to the final. “This All-Ireland was one that game needed very badly. Interest was waning and this was reflected in the attendances at finals. “There was no comparison to football where the arrival of the Ulster counties as major powers generated enormous interest and a new awareness of the game. Clare have had many setbacks but they have kept battling and are now being rewarded. They have done hurling a great service.” The depth and breadth of that service became more and more apparent as the decade wore on. Attendances at the hurling championship matches ballooned. From an aggregate total of 289,281 in 1994, they rose to 543,335 in 1999. There were plenty of factors, of course – more counties with more hope, more matches with the introduction of the back-door, a growing economy, those Guinness ads. But it was Clare’s summer of 1995 that sparked it all. They weren’t a pebble in a pond that caused a few ripples. They were a boulder that landed from the clear blue sky and left a crater on the landscape. Everything changed after ’95. Not forever, just for a while. But for long enough for the game to stretch itself and grab hold of imaginations outside the usual places of worship. On the Monday night they brought Liam MacCarthy home, one of the towns that got a good rattle was Newmarket-On-Fergus. In the bedlam, the home club put up a stage and stuck any living Newmarket man who ever put on a Clare jersey up there as the backdrop while Daly and Loughnane grabbed the mic out front. One unusual face cloistered at the back of the stage was then Wexford manager Liam Griffin. Of the multitude of stories excavated by Denis Walsh for his towering book Hurling: The Revolution Years, maybe that night in Newmarket captured the giddiness of the time the best. Griffin’s father was from Clare and he’d lived there for a time in his early 20s, long enough to play club hurling and get called up to the Clare under-21s. Thus were his bona fides established for an appearance – however reluctant – up on-stage. Griffin had been in charge of Wexford for a year at that point and their summer had ended with a limp exit against Offaly away back in June. By the skin of his teeth, Griffin had survived an attempted county board putsch in the meantime and was almost certainly the only man alive who thought that the riches showering down upon Clare heads could be Wexford’s 12 months later. “Clare came and I thought, ‘This is fantastic,’” Griffin told Walsh. “I thought, ‘Jesus, the team I have are as good as these,’ and I went through them man for man. There’s no way we’re not as good as these guys. Then Clare won the All-Ireland and I went straight to Clare the following morning because I wanted to see the homecoming and now I understand why. I wanted to drive it into my own psyche.” As the speeches finished and the stage began to clear, Loughnane turned and caught Griffin’s eye. “It could be you next year,” he said. Whether he meant it or not, Griffin’s mind was made up already. He drove home convinced that Wexford could reach out and grab some of that for themselves. The next day he rang around and organised training, 51-and-a-half weeks shy of the 1996 All-Ireland final. In a world of endless trees and branches and roots, it’s obviously simplistic to say that Clare’s All-Ireland begat Wexford’s which begat all the rest of it. But what is inarguable is this – in that sun-drenched summer of 1995, everything felt possible.
    he 1995 Munster Senior Hurling Championship Final was a hurling match played on 9 July 1995 at Semple Stadium, Thurles, County Tipperary. It was contested by Clare and Limerick. Clare claimed their first Munster Championship since 1932 and fourth ever after beating Limerick on a scoreline of 1-17 to 0-11. Clare were leading the game by 1-5 to 0-7 at half time. With the scores at 0-5 to 0-3 in Clare's favour in the first half, Davy Fitzgerald scored from a penalty five minutes before the break, crashing the ball high into the net at the town end before sprinting back to his goal-line. In 2005 this penalty goal came fifth in the Top 20 GAA Moments poll by the Irish public. Clare were captained by Anthony Daly and managed by Ger Loughnane in his first year. Clare had defeated Cork in the semi-final by 2-13 to 3-09 to reach the final, while Limerick had defeated Tipperary by 0-16 to 0-15 in their semi-final. The match was screened live by RTÉ as part of The Sunday Game programme with commentary by Ger Canning and analysis by Éamonn Cregan.
    July 9 Final
    Clare 1-17 – 0-11 Limerick
    J. O'Connor (0-6), P. J. Connell (0-4), D. FitzGerald (1-0), C. Clancy (0-2), S. McMahon (0-1), F. Tuohy (0-1), F. Hegarty (0-1), S. McNamara (0-1), G. O'Loughlin (0-1). Report G. Kirby (0-6), M. Galligan (0-3), P. Heffernan (0-1), F. Carroll (0-1).
    Referee: J. McDonnell (Tipperary)
  • 29cm x 34cm. New York The enormous prize that is Sam Maguire proudly paraded across a Manhattan street by Kerry Captain Liam Hassett during a post All Ireland visit to the city that never sleeps in 1997.A semi nterested New Yorker looks on whilst the 'big yellow taxis' add to the atmosphere in this superb photograph that links the countries of Ireland and its big cousin in the United States. The Sam Maguire Cup, often referred to as Sam or The Sam (Irish: Corn Sam Mhic Uidhir), is a trophy awarded annually by the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) to the team that wins the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship, the main competition in the medieval sport of Gaelic football. The Sam Maguire Cup was first presented to the winners of the 1928 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final. The original 1920s trophy was retired in the 1980s, with a new identical trophy awarded annually since 1988. The GAA organises the series of games, which are played during the summer months. The All-Ireland Football Final was traditionally played on the third or fourth Sunday in September at Croke Park in Dublin. In 2018, the GAA rescheduled its calendar and since then the fixture has been played in early September

    Old trophy

    The original Sam Maguire Cup commemorates the memory of Sam Maguire, an influential figure in the London GAA and a former footballer. A group of his friends formed a committee in Dublin under the chairmanship of Dr Pat McCartan from Carrickmore, County Tyrone, to raise funds for a permanent commemoration of his name. They decided on a cup to be presented to the GAA. The Association were proud to accept the Cup. At the time it cost £300. In today's terms that sum is equivalent to €25,392. The commission to make it was given to Hopkins and Hopkins, a jewellers and watchmakers of O'Connell Bridge, Dublin. The silver cup was crafted, on behalf of Hopkins and Hopkins, by the silversmith Matthew J. Staunton of D'Olier Street, Dublin. Maitiú Standun, Staunton's son, confirmed in a letter printed in the Alive! newspaper in October 2003 that his father had indeed made the original Sam Maguire Cup back in 1928. Matthew J. Staunton (1888–1966) came from a long line of silversmiths going back to the Huguenots, who brought their skills to Ireland in the 1600s. Matt, as he was known to his friends, served his time in the renowned Dublin silversmiths, Edmond Johnson Ltd, where the Liam MacCarthy Hurling Cup was made in 1921. The 1928 Sam Maguire Cup is a faithful model of the Ardagh Chalice. The bowl was not spun on a spinning lathe but hand-beaten from a single flat piece of silver. Even though it is highly polished, multiple hammer marks are still visible today, indicating the manufacturing process. It was first presented in 1928 - to the Kildare team that defeated Cavan by one point in that year's final. It was the only time Kildare won old trophy. They have yet to win the new trophy, coming closest in 1998, when Galway defeated them by four points in that year's final. Kerry won the trophy on the most occasions. They were also the only team to win it on four consecutive occasions, achieving the feat twice -first during the late-1920s and early-1930s (1929, 1930, 1931, 1932), and later during the late-1970s and early 1980s (1978, 1979, 1980, 1981). In addition, Kerry twice won the old trophy on three consecutive occasions, in the late 1930s and early-1940s (1939, 1940, 1941) and in the mid-1980s (1984, 1985, 1986). They also won it on two consecutive occasions in the late-1960s and early-1970s (1969, 1970). Galway won the old trophy on three consecutive occasions in the mid-1960s (1964, 1965, 1966). Roscommon won the old trophy on two consecutive occasions during the mid-1940s (1943, 1944), as did Cavan later that decade (1947, 1948). Mayo won the old trophy on two consecutive occasions during the early-1950s (1950, 1951), while Down did likewise in the early-1960s (1960, 1961). Offaly won the old trophy on two consecutive occasions during the early 1970s (1971, 1972), while Dublin did likewise later that decade (1976, 1977). Six men won the old trophy twice as captain: Joe Barrett of Kerry, Jimmy Murray of Roscommon, John Joe O'Reilly of Cavan, Seán Flanagan of Mayo, Enda Colleran of Galway and Tony Hanahoeof Dublin. The original trophy was retired in 1988 as it had received some damage over the years. It is permanently on display in the GAA Museum at Croke Park.
    Original 1928 Sam Maguire Cup on display in the GAA Museum at Croke Park

    New trophy

    The GAA commissioned a replica from Kilkenny-based silversmith Desmond A. Byrne and the replica is the trophy that has been used ever since. The silver for the new cup was donated by Johnson Matthey Ireland at the behest of Kieran D. Eustace Managing Director, a native of Newtowncashel Co. Longford . Meath's Joe Cassells was the first recipient of "Sam Óg". Meath have the distinction of being the last team to lift the old Sam Maguire and the first team to lift the new one following their back-to-back victories in 1987 and 1988. Cork won the new trophy on consecutive occasions in the late-1980s and early-1990s (1989, 1990), while Kerry did likewise during the mid-2000s (2006, 2007). Dublin are the only team to win the new trophy on more than two consecutive occasions, achieving a historic achievement of five-in-a-row during the second half of the 2010s (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019). Stephen Cluxton of Dublin is the only captain to have won the new trophy six times as captain, doing so in 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. No other person as ever won either the old or new trophy as captain more than twice. Two other men have won the new trophy twice as captain: Declan O'Sullivan of Kerry and Brian Dooher of Tyrone. In 2010, the GAA asked the same silversmith to produce another replica of the trophy (the third Sam Maguire Cup) although this was to be used only for marketing purposes.

    Winners

    Old Trophy
    •    Kerry – 1929, 1930, 1931, 1932, 1937, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1946, 1953, 1955, 1959, 1962, 1969, 1970, 1975, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1984, 1985, 1986
    •    Dublin – 1942, 1958, 1963, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1983
    •    Galway – 1934, 1938, 1956, 1964, 1965, 1966
    •    Cavan – 1933, 1935, 1947, 1948, 1952
    •    Meath – 1949, 1954, 1967, 1987
    •    Mayo – 1936, 1950, 1951
    •    Down – 1960, 1961, 1968
    •     Offaly – 1971, 1972, 1982
    •    Roscommon – 1943, 1944
    •    Cork – 1945, 1973
    •    Kildare – 1928
    •    Louth – 1957
    New Trophy
    •    Dublin – 1995, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
    •    Kerry – 1997, 2000, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2014
    •    Meath – 1988, 1996, 1999
    •    Cork – 1989, 1990, 2010
    •    Tyrone – 2003, 2005, 2008
    •    Down – 1991, 1994
    •    Donegal – 1992, 2012
    •    Galway – 1998, 2001
    •    Derry – 1993
    •    Armagh – 2002
     
  •   Dimensions : 20x 35cm  Dublin Arthur Guinness started brewing ales in 1759 at the St James Gate Brewery,Dublin.On 31st December 1759 he signed a 9,000 year lease at £45 per annum for the unused brewery.Ten years later, on 19 May 1769, Guinness first exported his ale: he shipped six-and-a-half barrels to Great Britain before he started selling the dark beer porter in 1778. The first Guinness beers to use the term were Single Stout and Double Stout in the 1840s.Throughout the bulk of its history, Guinness produced only three variations of a single beer type: porter or single stout, double or extra and foreign stout for export. “Stout” originally referred to a beer’s strength, but eventually shifted meaning toward body and colour.Porter was also referred to as “plain”, as mentioned in the famous refrain of Flann O’Brien‘s poem “The Workman’s Friend”: “A pint of plain is your only man.” Already one of the top-three British and Irish brewers, Guinness’s sales soared from 350,000 barrels in 1868 to 779,000 barrels in 1876.In October 1886 Guinness became a public company, and was averaging sales of 1,138,000 barrels a year. This was despite the brewery’s refusal to either advertise or offer its beer at a discount. Even though Guinness owned no public houses, the company was valued at £6 million and shares were twenty times oversubscribed, with share prices rising to a 60 per cent premium on the first day of trading. The breweries pioneered several quality control efforts. The brewery hired the statistician William Sealy Gosset in 1899, who achieved lasting fame under the pseudonym “Student” for techniques developed for Guinness, particularly Student’s t-distribution and the even more commonly known Student’s t-test. By 1900 the brewery was operating unparalleled welfare schemes for its 5,000 employees. By 1907 the welfare schemes were costing the brewery £40,000 a year, which was one-fifth of the total wages bill. The improvements were suggested and supervised by Sir John Lumsden. By 1914, Guinness was producing 2,652,000 barrels of beer a year, which was more than double that of its nearest competitor Bass, and was supplying more than 10 per cent of the total UK beer market. In the 1930s, Guinness became the seventh largest company in the world. Before 1939, if a Guinness brewer wished to marry a Catholic, his resignation was requested. According to Thomas Molloy, writing in the Irish Independent, “It had no qualms about selling drink to Catholics but it did everything it could to avoid employing them until the 1960s.” Guinness thought they brewed their last porter in 1973. In the 1970s, following declining sales, the decision was taken to make Guinness Extra Stout more “drinkable”. The gravity was subsequently reduced, and the brand was relaunched in 1981. Pale malt was used for the first time, and isomerized hop extract began to be used. In 2014, two new porters were introduced: West Indies Porter and Dublin Porter. Guinness acquired the Distillers Company in 1986.This led to a scandal and criminal trialconcerning the artificial inflation of the Guinness share price during the takeover bid engineered by the chairman, Ernest Saunders. A subsequent £5.2 million success fee paid to an American lawyer and Guinness director, Tom Ward, was the subject of the case Guinness plc v Saunders, in which the House of Lords declared that the payment had been invalid. In the 1980s, as the IRA’s bombing campaign spread to London and the rest of Britain, Guinness considered scrapping the Harp as its logo. The company merged with Grand Metropolitan in 1997 to form Diageo. Due to controversy over the merger, the company was maintained as a separate entity within Diageo and has retained the rights to the product and all associated trademarks of Guinness.
    The Guinness Brewery Park Royal during demolition, at its peak the largest and most productive brewery in the world.
    The Guinness brewery in Park Royal, London closed in 2005. The production of all Guinness sold in the UK and Ireland was moved to St. James’s Gate Brewery, Dublin. Guinness has also been referred to as “that black stuff”. Guinness had a fleet of ships, barges and yachts. The Irish Sunday Independent newspaper reported on 17 June 2007 that Diageo intended to close the historic St James’s Gate plant in Dublin and move to a greenfield site on the outskirts of the city.This news caused some controversy when it was announced.The following day, the Irish Daily Mail ran a follow-up story with a double page spread complete with images and a history of the plant since 1759. Initially, Diageo said that talk of a move was pure speculation but in the face of mounting speculation in the wake of the Sunday Independent article, the company confirmed that it is undertaking a “significant review of its operations”. This review was largely due to the efforts of the company’s ongoing drive to reduce the environmental impact of brewing at the St James’s Gate plant. On 23 November 2007, an article appeared in the Evening Herald, a Dublin newspaper, stating that the Dublin City Council, in the best interests of the city of Dublin, had put forward a motion to prevent planning permission ever being granted for development of the site, thus making it very difficult for Diageo to sell off the site for residential development. On 9 May 2008, Diageo announced that the St James’s Gate brewery will remain open and undergo renovations, but that breweries in Kilkenny and Dundalk will be closed by 2013 when a new larger brewery is opened near Dublin. The result will be a loss of roughly 250 jobs across the entire Diageo/Guinness workforce in Ireland.Two days later, the Sunday Independent again reported that Diageo chiefs had met with Tánaiste Mary Coughlan, the deputy leader of the Government of Ireland, about moving operations to Ireland from the UK to benefit from its lower corporation tax rates. Several UK firms have made the move in order to pay Ireland’s 12.5 per cent rate rather than the UK’s 28 per cent rate. Diageo released a statement to the London stock exchange denying the report.Despite the merger that created Diageo plc in 1997, Guinness has retained its right to the Guinness brand and associated trademarks and thus continues to trade under the traditional Guinness name despite trading under the corporation name Diageo for a brief period in 1997. In November 2015 it was announced that Guinness are planning to make their beer suitable for consumption by vegetarians and vegans by the end of 2016 through the introduction of a new filtration process at their existing Guinness Brewery that avoids the need to use isinglass from fish bladders to filter out yeast particles.This went into effect in 2017, per the company’s FAQ webpage where they state: “Our new filtration process has removed the use of isinglass as a means of filtration and vegans can now enjoy a pint of Guinness. All Guinness Draught in keg format is brewed without using isinglass. Full distribution of bottle and can formats will be in place by the end of 2017, so until then, our advice to vegans is to consume the product from the keg format only for now. Guinness stout is made from water, barley, roast malt extract, hops, and brewer’s yeast. A portion of the barley is roasted to give Guinness its dark colour and characteristic taste. It is pasteurisedand filtered. Until the late 1950s Guinness was still racked into wooden casks. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Guinness ceased brewing cask-conditioned beers and developed a keg brewing system with aluminium kegs replacing the wooden casks; these were nicknamed “iron lungs”.Until 2016 the production of Guinness, as with many beers, involved the use of isinglass made from fish. Isinglass was used as a fining agent for settling out suspended matter in the vat. The isinglass was retained in the floor of the vat but it was possible that minute quantities might be carried over into the beer. Diageo announced in February 2018 that the use of isinglass in draught Guinness was to be discontinued and an alternative clarification agent would be used instead. This has made draught Guinness acceptable to vegans and vegetarians. Arguably its biggest change to date, in 1959 Guinness began using nitrogen, which changed the fundamental texture and flavour of the Guinness of the past as nitrogen bubbles are much smaller than CO2, giving a “creamier” and “smoother” consistency over a sharper and traditional CO2 taste. This step was taken after Michael Ash – a mathematician turned brewer – discovered the mechanism to make this possible. Nitrogen is less soluble than carbon dioxide, which allows the beer to be put under high pressure without making it fizzy. High pressure of the dissolved gas is required to enable very small bubbles to be formed by forcing the draught beer through fine holes in a plate in the tap, which causes the characteristic “surge” (the widget in cans and bottles achieves the same effect). This “widget” is a small plastic ball containing the nitrogen. The perceived smoothness of draught Guinness is due to its low level of carbon dioxide and the creaminess of the head caused by the very fine bubbles that arise from the use of nitrogen and the dispensing method described above. “Foreign Extra Stout” contains more carbon dioxide, causing a more acidic taste. Contemporary Guinness Draught and Extra Stout are weaker than they were in the 19th century, when they had an original gravity of over 1.070. Foreign Extra Stout and Special Export Stout, with abv of 7.5% and 9% respectively, are perhaps closest to the original in character.Although Guinness may appear to be black, it is officially a very dark shade of ruby. The most recent change in alcohol content from the Import Stout to the Extra Stout was due to a change in distribution through North American market. Consumer complaints have influenced recent distribution and bottle changes.
    Studies claim that Guinness can be beneficial to the heart. Researchers found that “‘antioxidantcompounds’ in the Guinness, similar to those found in certain fruits and vegetables, are responsible for the health benefits because they slow down the deposit of harmful cholesterol on the artery walls.”Guinness ran an advertising campaign in the 1920s which stemmed from market research – when people told the company that they felt good after their pint, the slogan, created by Dorothy L. Sayers–”Guinness is Good for You”. Advertising for alcoholic drinks that implies improved physical performance or enhanced personal qualities is now prohibited in Ireland.Diageo, the company that now manufactures Guinness, says: “We never make any medical claims for our drinks.” Origins : Dublin Dimensions : 43cm x 35cm
  •   Dimensions : 20x 35cm  Dublin Arthur Guinness started brewing ales in 1759 at the St James Gate Brewery,Dublin.On 31st December 1759 he signed a 9,000 year lease at £45 per annum for the unused brewery.Ten years later, on 19 May 1769, Guinness first exported his ale: he shipped six-and-a-half barrels to Great Britain before he started selling the dark beer porter in 1778. The first Guinness beers to use the term were Single Stout and Double Stout in the 1840s.Throughout the bulk of its history, Guinness produced only three variations of a single beer type: porter or single stout, double or extra and foreign stout for export. “Stout” originally referred to a beer’s strength, but eventually shifted meaning toward body and colour.Porter was also referred to as “plain”, as mentioned in the famous refrain of Flann O’Brien‘s poem “The Workman’s Friend”: “A pint of plain is your only man.” Already one of the top-three British and Irish brewers, Guinness’s sales soared from 350,000 barrels in 1868 to 779,000 barrels in 1876.In October 1886 Guinness became a public company, and was averaging sales of 1,138,000 barrels a year. This was despite the brewery’s refusal to either advertise or offer its beer at a discount. Even though Guinness owned no public houses, the company was valued at £6 million and shares were twenty times oversubscribed, with share prices rising to a 60 per cent premium on the first day of trading. The breweries pioneered several quality control efforts. The brewery hired the statistician William Sealy Gosset in 1899, who achieved lasting fame under the pseudonym “Student” for techniques developed for Guinness, particularly Student’s t-distribution and the even more commonly known Student’s t-test. By 1900 the brewery was operating unparalleled welfare schemes for its 5,000 employees. By 1907 the welfare schemes were costing the brewery £40,000 a year, which was one-fifth of the total wages bill. The improvements were suggested and supervised by Sir John Lumsden. By 1914, Guinness was producing 2,652,000 barrels of beer a year, which was more than double that of its nearest competitor Bass, and was supplying more than 10 per cent of the total UK beer market. In the 1930s, Guinness became the seventh largest company in the world. Before 1939, if a Guinness brewer wished to marry a Catholic, his resignation was requested. According to Thomas Molloy, writing in the Irish Independent, “It had no qualms about selling drink to Catholics but it did everything it could to avoid employing them until the 1960s.” Guinness thought they brewed their last porter in 1973. In the 1970s, following declining sales, the decision was taken to make Guinness Extra Stout more “drinkable”. The gravity was subsequently reduced, and the brand was relaunched in 1981. Pale malt was used for the first time, and isomerized hop extract began to be used. In 2014, two new porters were introduced: West Indies Porter and Dublin Porter. Guinness acquired the Distillers Company in 1986.This led to a scandal and criminal trialconcerning the artificial inflation of the Guinness share price during the takeover bid engineered by the chairman, Ernest Saunders. A subsequent £5.2 million success fee paid to an American lawyer and Guinness director, Tom Ward, was the subject of the case Guinness plc v Saunders, in which the House of Lords declared that the payment had been invalid. In the 1980s, as the IRA’s bombing campaign spread to London and the rest of Britain, Guinness considered scrapping the Harp as its logo. The company merged with Grand Metropolitan in 1997 to form Diageo. Due to controversy over the merger, the company was maintained as a separate entity within Diageo and has retained the rights to the product and all associated trademarks of Guinness.
    The Guinness Brewery Park Royal during demolition, at its peak the largest and most productive brewery in the world.
    The Guinness brewery in Park Royal, London closed in 2005. The production of all Guinness sold in the UK and Ireland was moved to St. James’s Gate Brewery, Dublin. Guinness has also been referred to as “that black stuff”. Guinness had a fleet of ships, barges and yachts. The Irish Sunday Independent newspaper reported on 17 June 2007 that Diageo intended to close the historic St James’s Gate plant in Dublin and move to a greenfield site on the outskirts of the city.This news caused some controversy when it was announced.The following day, the Irish Daily Mail ran a follow-up story with a double page spread complete with images and a history of the plant since 1759. Initially, Diageo said that talk of a move was pure speculation but in the face of mounting speculation in the wake of the Sunday Independent article, the company confirmed that it is undertaking a “significant review of its operations”. This review was largely due to the efforts of the company’s ongoing drive to reduce the environmental impact of brewing at the St James’s Gate plant. On 23 November 2007, an article appeared in the Evening Herald, a Dublin newspaper, stating that the Dublin City Council, in the best interests of the city of Dublin, had put forward a motion to prevent planning permission ever being granted for development of the site, thus making it very difficult for Diageo to sell off the site for residential development. On 9 May 2008, Diageo announced that the St James’s Gate brewery will remain open and undergo renovations, but that breweries in Kilkenny and Dundalk will be closed by 2013 when a new larger brewery is opened near Dublin. The result will be a loss of roughly 250 jobs across the entire Diageo/Guinness workforce in Ireland.Two days later, the Sunday Independent again reported that Diageo chiefs had met with Tánaiste Mary Coughlan, the deputy leader of the Government of Ireland, about moving operations to Ireland from the UK to benefit from its lower corporation tax rates. Several UK firms have made the move in order to pay Ireland’s 12.5 per cent rate rather than the UK’s 28 per cent rate. Diageo released a statement to the London stock exchange denying the report.Despite the merger that created Diageo plc in 1997, Guinness has retained its right to the Guinness brand and associated trademarks and thus continues to trade under the traditional Guinness name despite trading under the corporation name Diageo for a brief period in 1997. In November 2015 it was announced that Guinness are planning to make their beer suitable for consumption by vegetarians and vegans by the end of 2016 through the introduction of a new filtration process at their existing Guinness Brewery that avoids the need to use isinglass from fish bladders to filter out yeast particles.This went into effect in 2017, per the company’s FAQ webpage where they state: “Our new filtration process has removed the use of isinglass as a means of filtration and vegans can now enjoy a pint of Guinness. All Guinness Draught in keg format is brewed without using isinglass. Full distribution of bottle and can formats will be in place by the end of 2017, so until then, our advice to vegans is to consume the product from the keg format only for now. Guinness stout is made from water, barley, roast malt extract, hops, and brewer’s yeast. A portion of the barley is roasted to give Guinness its dark colour and characteristic taste. It is pasteurisedand filtered. Until the late 1950s Guinness was still racked into wooden casks. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Guinness ceased brewing cask-conditioned beers and developed a keg brewing system with aluminium kegs replacing the wooden casks; these were nicknamed “iron lungs”.Until 2016 the production of Guinness, as with many beers, involved the use of isinglass made from fish. Isinglass was used as a fining agent for settling out suspended matter in the vat. The isinglass was retained in the floor of the vat but it was possible that minute quantities might be carried over into the beer. Diageo announced in February 2018 that the use of isinglass in draught Guinness was to be discontinued and an alternative clarification agent would be used instead. This has made draught Guinness acceptable to vegans and vegetarians. Arguably its biggest change to date, in 1959 Guinness began using nitrogen, which changed the fundamental texture and flavour of the Guinness of the past as nitrogen bubbles are much smaller than CO2, giving a “creamier” and “smoother” consistency over a sharper and traditional CO2 taste. This step was taken after Michael Ash – a mathematician turned brewer – discovered the mechanism to make this possible. Nitrogen is less soluble than carbon dioxide, which allows the beer to be put under high pressure without making it fizzy. High pressure of the dissolved gas is required to enable very small bubbles to be formed by forcing the draught beer through fine holes in a plate in the tap, which causes the characteristic “surge” (the widget in cans and bottles achieves the same effect). This “widget” is a small plastic ball containing the nitrogen. The perceived smoothness of draught Guinness is due to its low level of carbon dioxide and the creaminess of the head caused by the very fine bubbles that arise from the use of nitrogen and the dispensing method described above. “Foreign Extra Stout” contains more carbon dioxide, causing a more acidic taste. Contemporary Guinness Draught and Extra Stout are weaker than they were in the 19th century, when they had an original gravity of over 1.070. Foreign Extra Stout and Special Export Stout, with abv of 7.5% and 9% respectively, are perhaps closest to the original in character.Although Guinness may appear to be black, it is officially a very dark shade of ruby. The most recent change in alcohol content from the Import Stout to the Extra Stout was due to a change in distribution through North American market. Consumer complaints have influenced recent distribution and bottle changes.
    Studies claim that Guinness can be beneficial to the heart. Researchers found that “‘antioxidantcompounds’ in the Guinness, similar to those found in certain fruits and vegetables, are responsible for the health benefits because they slow down the deposit of harmful cholesterol on the artery walls.”Guinness ran an advertising campaign in the 1920s which stemmed from market research – when people told the company that they felt good after their pint, the slogan, created by Dorothy L. Sayers–”Guinness is Good for You”. Advertising for alcoholic drinks that implies improved physical performance or enhanced personal qualities is now prohibited in Ireland.Diageo, the company that now manufactures Guinness, says: “We never make any medical claims for our drinks.” Origins : Dublin Dimensions : 43cm x 35cm
  • 45cm x 52cm  Broadford Co Clare
    1951 All-Ireland Senior Football Final
    1951 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final match programme.jpg
    Event 1951 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship
    Date 23 September 1951
    Venue Croke Park, Dublin
    Attendance 78,201
    The 1951 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final was the 64th All-Ireland Final and the deciding match of the 1951 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship, an inter-county Gaelic football tournament for the top teams in Ireland. Mayo and Meath met to decide the destination of the Sam Maguire Cup. Mayo won their second title in a row with goals by Tom Langan and Joe Gilvarry. This was Mayo's second consecutive All-Ireland football title. They have not won an All-Ireland football title since. It is said that a legendary curse overshadows Mayo football since 1951 Mayo players Willie Casey, Paddy Jordan and former GAA President Dr Mick Loftus belatedly received their All-Ireland senior football medals 55 years later. Though squad members, they had not appeared as substitutes in the final and had initially been denied their medals.
    Croke Park (Irish: Páirc an Chrócaigh) is a Gaelic games stadium located in Dublin, Ireland. Named after Archbishop Thomas Croke, it is sometimes called Croker by GAA fans and locals. It serves as both the principal stadium and headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). Since 1891 the site has been used by the GAA to host Gaelic sports, including the annual All-Ireland in Gaelic football and hurling. A major expansion and redevelopment of the stadium ran from 1991–2005, raising capacity to its current 82,300 spectators. This makes Croke Park the third-largest stadium in Europe, and the largest not usually used for association football. Other events held at the stadium include the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2003 Special Olympics, and numerous musical concerts. In 2012, Irish pop group Westlife sold out the stadium in record-breaking time: less than 5 minutes. From 2007–10, Croke Park hosted home matches of the Ireland national rugby union team and the Republic of Ireland national football team, while their new Aviva Stadium was constructed. This use of Croke Park for non-Gaelic sports was controversial and required temporary changes to GAA rules. In June 2012, the stadium hosted the closing ceremony of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress during which Pope Benedict XVI gave an address over video link.

    City and Suburban Racecourse

    A fireworks and light display was held in Croke Park in front of 79,161 fans on Saturday 31 January 2009 to mark the GAA's 125th anniversary
    The area now known as Croke Park was owned in the 1880s by Maurice Butterly and known as the City and Suburban Racecourse, or Jones' Road sports ground. From 1890 it was also used by the Bohemian Football Club. In 1901 Jones' Road hosted the IFA Cup football final when Cliftonville defeated Freebooters.

    History

    Recognising the potential of the Jones' Road sports ground a journalist and GAA member, Frank Dineen, borrowed much of the £3,250 asking price and bought the ground in 1908. In 1913 the GAA came into exclusive ownership of the plot when they purchased it from Dineen for £3,500. The ground was then renamed Croke Park in honour of Archbishop Thomas Croke, one of the GAA's first patrons. In 1913, Croke Park had only two stands on what is now known as the Hogan stand side and grassy banks all round. In 1917, a grassy hill was constructed on the railway end of Croke Park to afford patrons a better view of the pitch. This terrace was known originally as Hill 60, later renamed Hill 16 in memory of the 1916 Easter Rising. It is erroneously believed to have been built from the ruins of the GPO, when it was constructed the previous year in 1915. In the 1920s, the GAA set out to create a high capacity stadium at Croke Park. Following the Hogan Stand, the Cusack Stand, named after Michael Cusack from Clare (who founded the GAA and served as its first secretary), was built in 1927. 1936 saw the first double-deck Cusack Stand open with 5,000 seats, and concrete terracing being constructed on Hill 16. In 1952 the Nally Stand was built in memorial of Pat Nally, another of the GAA founders. Seven years later, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the GAA, the first cantilevered "New Hogan Stand" was opened. The highest attendance ever recorded at an All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final was 90,556 for Offaly v Down in 1961. Since the introduction of seating to the Cusack stand in 1966, the largest crowd recorded has been 84,516.

    Bloody Sunday

    Bloody Sunday remembrance plaque
    During the Irish War of Independence on 21 November 1920 Croke Park was the scene of a massacre by the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC). The Police, supported by the British Auxiliary Division, entered the ground and began shooting into the crowd, killing or fatally wounding 14 civilians during a Dublin-Tipperary Gaelic football match. The dead included 13 spectators and Tipperary player Michael Hogan. Posthumously, the Hogan stand built in 1924 was named in his honour. These shootings, on the day which became known as Bloody Sunday, were a reprisal for the killing of 15 people associated with the Cairo Gang, a group of British Intelligence officers, by Michael Collins' 'squad' earlier that day.

    Dublin Rodeo

    In 1924, American rodeo promoter, Tex Austin, staged the Dublin Rodeo, Ireland's first professional rodeo at Croke Park Stadium. For seven days, with two shows each day from August 18 to August 24, sell out crowds saw cowboys and cowgirls from Canada, the United States, Mexico, Argentina and Australia compete for rodeo championship titles.Canadian bronc riders such as Andy Lund and his brother Art Lund, trick riders such as Ted Elder and Vera McGinnis were among the contestants. British Pathe filmed some of the rodeo events.

    Stadium design

    In 1984 the organisation decided to investigate ways to increase the capacity of the old stadium. The design for an 80,000 capacity stadium was completed in 1991. Gaelic sports have special requirements as they take place on a large field. A specific requirement was to ensure the spectators were not too far from the field of play. This resulted in the three-tier design from which viewing games is possible: the main concourse, a premium level incorporating hospitality facilities and an upper concourse. The premium level contains restaurants, bars and conference areas. The project was split into four phases over a 14-year period. Such was the importance of Croke Park to the GAA for hosting big games, the stadium did not close during redevelopment. During each phase different parts of the ground were redeveloped, while leaving the rest of the stadium open. Big games, including the annual All-Ireland Hurling and Football finals, were played in the stadium throughout the development.
    The outside of the Cusack Stand

    Phase one – New Cusack Stand

    The first phase of construction was to build a replacement for Croke Park's Cusack Stand. A lower deck opened for use in 1994. The upper deck opened in 1995. Completed at a cost of £35 million, the new stand is 180 metres long, 35 metres high, has a capacity for 27,000 people and contains 46 hospitality suites. The new Cusack Stand contains three tiers from which viewing games is possible: the main concourse, a premium level incorporating hospitality facilities and finally an upper concourse. One end of the pitch was closer to the stand after this phase, as the process of slightly re-aligning the pitch during the redevelopment of the stadium began. The works were carried out by Sisk Group.

    Phase two – Davin Stand

    Phase Two of the development started in late 1998 and involved extending the new Cusack Stand to replace the existing Canal End terrace. It involved reacquiring a rugby pitch that had been sold to Belvedere College in 1910 by Frank Dineen. In payment and part exchange, the college was given the nearby Distillery Road sportsgrounds.[19] It is now known as The Davin Stand (Irish: Ardán Dáimhím), after Maurice Davin, the first president of the GAA. This phase also saw the creation of a tunnel which was later named the Ali tunnel in honour of Muhammad Ali and his fight against Al Lewis in July 1972 in Croke Park.

    Phase three – Hogan Stand

    Phase Three saw the building of the new Hogan Stand. This required a greater variety of spectator categories to be accommodated including general spectators, corporate patrons, VIPs, broadcast and media services and operation staff. Extras included a fitted-out mezzanine level for VIP and Ard Comhairle (Where the dignitaries sit) along with a top-level press media facility. The end of Phase Three took the total spectator capacity of Croke Park to 82,000.

    Phase four – Nally Stand & Nally End/Dineen Hill 16 terrace

    After the 2003 Special Olympics, construction began in September 2003 on the final phase, Phase Four. This involved the redevelopment of the Nally Stand, named after the athlete Pat Nally, and Hill 16 into a new Nally End/Dineen Hill 16 terrace. While the name Nally had been used for the stand it replaced, the use of the name Dineen was new, and was in honour of Frank Dineen, who bought the original stadium for the GAA in 1908, giving it to them in 1913. The old Nally Stand was taken away and reassembled in Pairc Colmcille, home of Carrickmore GAA in County Tyrone. The phase four development was officially opened by the then GAA President Seán Kelly on 14 March 2005. For logistical reasons (and, to a degree, historical reasons), and also to provide cheaper high-capacity space, the area is a terrace rather than a seated stand, the only remaining standing-room in Croke Park. Unlike the previous Hill, the new terrace was divided into separate sections – Hill A (Cusack stand side), Hill B (behind the goals) and the Nally terrace (on the site of the old Nally Stand). The fully redeveloped Hill has a capacity of around 13,200, bringing the overall capacity of the stadium to 82,300. This made the stadium the second biggest in the EU after the Camp Nou, Barcelona. However, London's new Wembley stadium has since overtaken Croke Park in second place. The presence of terracing meant that for the brief period when Croke Park hosted international association football during 2007–2009, the capacity was reduced to approximately 73,500, due to FIFA's statutes stating that competitive games must be played in all-seater stadiums.

    Pitch

    Croke Park floodlights in use during Six Nations Championship match
    The pitch in Croke Park is a soil pitch that replaced the Desso GrassMaster pitch laid in 2002. This replacement was made after several complaints by players and managers that the pitch was excessively hard and far too slippery. Since January 2006, a special growth and lighting system called the SGL Concept has been used to assist grass growing conditions, even in the winter months. The system, created by Dutch company SGL (Stadium Grow Lighting), helps in controlling and managing all pitch growth factors, such as light, temperature, CO2, water, air and nutrients.

    Floodlighting

    With the 2007 Six Nations clash with France and possibly other matches in subsequent years requiring lighting the GAA installed floodlights in the stadium (after planning permission was granted). Indeed, many other GAA grounds around the country have started to erect floodlights as the organisation starts to hold games in the evenings, whereas traditionally major matches were played almost exclusively on Sunday afternoons. The first game to be played under these lights at Croke Park was a National Football League Division One match between Dublin and Tyrone on 3 February 2007 with Tyrone winning in front of a capacity crowd of over 81,000 – which remains a record attendance for a National League game, with Ireland's Six Nations match with France following on 11 February. Temporary floodlights were installed for the American Bowl game between Chicago Bears and Pittsburgh Steelers on the pitch in 1997, and again for the 2003 Special Olympics.

    Concert

    U2's Vertigo Tour at Croke Park in 2005
    U2's 360° Tour at Croke Park in 2009
    Date Performer(s) Opening act(s) Tour/Event Attendance Notes
    29 June 1985 U2 In Tua Nua, R.E.M., The Alarm, Squeeze The Unforgettable Fire Tour 57,000 First Irish act to have a headline concert. Part of the concert was filmed for the group's documentary Wide Awake in Dublin.
    28 June 1986 Simple Minds Once Upon A Time Tour Guest appearance by Bono
    27 June 1987 U2 Light A Big Fire, The Dubliners, The Pogues, Lou Reed The Joshua Tree Tour 114,000
    28 June 1987 Christy Moore, The Pretenders, Lou Reed, Hothouse Flowers
    28 June 1996 Tina Turner Brian Kennedy Wildest Dreams Tour 40,000/40,000
    16 May 1997 Garth Brooks World Tour II
    18 May 1997
    29 May 1998 Elton John & Billy Joel Face to Face 1998
    30 May 1998
    24 June 2005 U2 The Radiators from Space, The Thrills, The Bravery, Snow Patrol, Paddy Casey, Ash Vertigo Tour 246,743
    25 June 2005
    27 June 2005
    20 May 2006 Bon Jovi Nickelback Have a Nice Day Tour 81,327
    9 June 2006 Robbie Williams Basement Jaxx Close Encounters Tour
    6 October 2007 The Police Fiction Plane The Police Reunion Tour 81,640 Largest attendance of the tour.
    31 May 2008 Celine Dion Il Divo Taking Chances World Tour 69,725 Largest attendance for a solo female act
    1 June 2008 Westlife Shayne Ward Back Home Tour 85,000 Second Irish act to have a headline concert. Largest attendance of the tour. Part of the concert was filmed for the group's documentary and concert DVD 10 Years of Westlife - Live at Croke Park Stadium.
    14 June 2008 Neil Diamond
    13 June 2009 Take That The Script Take That Present: The Circus Live
    24 July 2009 U2 Glasvegas, Damien Dempsey U2 360° Tour 243,198
    25 July 2009 Kaiser Chiefs, Republic of Loose
    27 July 2009 Bell X1, The Script The performances of "New Year's Day" and "I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight" were recorded for the group's live album U22 and for the band's remix album Artificial Horizon and the live EP Wide Awake in Europe, respectively.
    5 June 2010 Westlife Wonderland, WOW, JLS, Jedward Where We Are Tour 86,500 Largest attendance of the tour.
    18 June 2011 Take That Pet Shop Boys Progress Live 154,828
    19 June 2011
    22 June 2012 Westlife Jedward, The Wanted, Lawson Greatest Hits Tour 187,808[24] The 23 June 2012 date broke the stadium record for selling out its tickets in four minutes. Eleventh largest attendance at an outdoor stadium worldwide. Largest attendance of the tour and the band's music career history. Part of the concert was filmed for the group's documentary and concert DVD The Farewell Tour - Live in Croke Park.
    23 June 2012
    26 June 2012 Red Hot Chili Peppers Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, The Vaccines I'm with You World Tour
    23 May 2014 One Direction 5 Seconds of Summer Where We Are Tour 235,008
    24 May 2014
    25 May 2014
    20 June 2015 The Script & Pharrell Williams No Sound Without Silence Tour 74,635
    24 July 2015 Ed Sheeran x Tour 162,308
    25 July 2015
    27 May 2016 Bruce Springsteen The River Tour 2016 160,188
    29 May 2016
    9 July 2016 Beyoncé Chloe x Halle, Ingrid Burley The Formation World Tour 68,575
    8 July 2017 Coldplay AlunaGeorge, Tove Lo A Head Full of Dreams Tour[25] 80,398
    22 July 2017 U2 Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds The Joshua Tree Tour 2017 80,901
    17 May 2018 The Rolling Stones The Academic No Filter Tour 64,823
    15 June 2018 Taylor Swift Camila Cabello, Charli XCX Taylor Swift's Reputation Stadium Tour 136.000 Swift became the first woman headline two concerts in a row there.
    16 June 2018
    7 July 2018 Michael Bublé Emeli Sandé
    24 May 2019 Spice Girls Jess Glynne Spice World - 2019 UK Tour
    5 July 2019 Westlife James Arthur Wild Youth The 20 Touror The Twenty Tour The 5 July 2019 date sold out its tickets in six minutes. Second date released were also sold out in under forty-eight hours.
    6 July 2019

    Non-Gaelic games

    There was great debate in Ireland regarding the use of Croke Park for sports other than those of the GAA. As the GAA was founded as a nationalist organisation to maintain and promote indigenous Irish sport, it has felt honour-bound throughout its history to oppose other, foreign (in practice, British), sports. In turn, nationalist groups supported the GAA as the prime example of purely Irish sporting culture. Until its abolition in 1971, rule 27 of the GAA constitution stated that a member of the GAA could be banned from playing its games if found to be also playing association football, rugby or cricket. That rule was abolished but rule 42 still prohibited the use of GAA property for games with interests in conflict with the interests of the GAA. The belief was that rugby and association football were in competition with Gaelic football and hurling, and that if the GAA allowed these sports to use their ground it might be harmful to Gaelic games, while other sports, not seen as direct competitors with Gaelic football and hurling, were permitted, such as the two games of American football (Croke Park Classic college football game between The University of Central Florida and Penn State, and an American Bowl NFL preseason game between the Chicago Bears and the Pittsburgh Steelers) on the Croke Park pitch during the 1990s.[27] On 16 April 2005, a motion to temporarily relax rule No. 42 was passed at the GAA Annual Congress. The motion gives the GAA Central Council the power to authorise the renting or leasing of Croke Park for events other than those controlled by the Association, during a period when Lansdowne Road – the venue for international soccer and rugby matches – was closed for redevelopment. The final result was 227 in favour of the motion to 97 against, 11 votes more than the required two-thirds majority. In January 2006, it was announced that the GAA had reached agreement with the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) and Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) to stage two Six Nations games and four soccer internationals at Croke Park in 2007 and in February 2007, use of the pitch by the FAI and the IRFU in 2008 was also agreed.These agreements were within the temporary relaxation terms, as Lansdowne Road was still under redevelopment until 2010. Although the GAA had said that hosted use of Croke Park would not extend beyond 2008, irrespective of the redevelopment progress, fixtures for the 2009 Six Nations rugby tournament saw the Irish rugby team using Croke park for a third season. 11 February 2007 saw the first rugby union international to be played there. Ireland were leading France in a Six Nations clash, but lost 17–20 after conceding a last minute (converted) try. Raphael Ibanez scored the first try in that match; Ronan O'Gara scored Ireland's first ever try in Croke Park. A second match between Ireland and England on 24 February 2007 was politically symbolic because of the events of Bloody Sunday in 1920.There was considerable concern as to what reaction there would be to the singing of the British national anthem "God Save the Queen". Ultimately the anthem was sung without interruption or incident, and applauded by both sets of supporters at the match, which Ireland won by 43–13 (their largest ever win over England in rugby). On 2 March 2010, Ireland played their final international rugby match against a Scotland team that was playing to avoid the wooden spoon and hadn't won a championship match against Ireland since 2001. Outside half, Dan Parks inspired the Scots to a 3-point victory and ended Irish Hopes of a triple crown. On 24 March 2007, the first association football match took place at Croke Park. The Republic of Ireland took on Wales in UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying Group D, with a Stephen Ireland goal securing a 1–0 victory for the Irish in front of a crowd of 72,500. Prior to this, the IFA Cup had been played at the then Jones' Road in 1901, but this was 12 years before the GAA took ownership. Negotiations took place for the NFL International Series's 2011 game to be held at Croke Park but the game was awarded to Wembley Stadium.

    World record attendance

    On 2 May 2009, Croke Park was the venue for a Heineken Cup rugby semi-final, in which Leinster defeated Munster 25–6. The attendance of 82,208 set a new world record attendance for a club rugby union game.[35] This record stood until 31 March 2012 when it was surpassed by an English Premiership game between Harlequins and Saracens at Wembley Stadium which hosted a crowd of 83,761.This was beaten again in 2016 in the Top 14 final at the Nou Camp which hosted a crowd of 99,124

    Skyline tour

    A walkway, known under a sponsorship deal as Etihad Skyline Croke Park, opened on 1 June 2012.From 44 metres above the ground, it offers views of Dublin city and the surrounding area.The Olympic Torch was brought to the stadium and along the walkway on 6 June 2012.

    GAA Hall of Fame

    Statue of Michael Cusack outside the Croke Park GAA Museum
    On 11 February 2013, the GAA opened the Hall of Fame section in the Croke Park museum. The foundation of the award scheme is the Teams of the Millennium the football team which was announced in 1999 and the hurling team in 2000 and all 30 players were inducted into the hall of fame along with Limerick hurler Eamonn Cregan and Offaly footballer Tony McTague who were chosen by a GAA sub-committee from the years 1970–74.New inductees will be chosen on an annual basis from the succeeding five-year intervals as well as from years preceding 1970. In April 2014, Kerry legend Mick O'Dwyer, Sligo footballer Micheál Kerins, along with hurlers Noel Skehan of Kilkenny and Pat McGrath of Waterford became the second group of former players to receive hall of fame awards.
  • 40cm x 33cm Co Cork  

    Every country has its own slang terms or local colloquialisms and Ireland is no different. Many of the country's famous sayings are well-known worldwide, but there may be one or two you're not familiar with. No doubt you'll be wanting to experience the 'craic' for yourself as you explore your new surroundings, so we've put together this 'bang-on' guide to the local lingo!

    Craic is probably the most popular and familiar slang phrase, simply meaning ‘fun’ or ‘banter’, just good times. It has origins with the Ulster Scots, who told of the crack, the Gaelic spelling not fully popularised in Ireland until the 1970s, when it was the catchphrase of the Irish-language TV show SBB ina Shuí.

    Some other slang phrases might not be quite as familiar, and each region of Ireland has its own particular lingo, but here are some of the weird and wonderful words and phrases that might come in handy, and save you from making an eejit or a gowl of yourself!

    Gowl: An annoying person. Ah, ye GOW-EL ye!

    Wisht: Shush! A handy one for in the cinema, or for chatterboxes in lectures.

    Scarlet: Embarrassed. Hopefully not because you’ve been a gowl. I was such an eejit, I was scarlet!

    Wired to the moon: Maybe you’ve been out late, enjoying the craic a little too much, and you’ve grabbed a triple espresso on the way to the lecture theatre? You’re wired to the moon.

    Wee: Small, but everything in Ireland is wee. If Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson were to visit Ireland, he’d be Wee Dwayne.

    Quare: Meaning ‘great’. It’s quare weather out today! Also used for ‘very’. It’s quare warm today!

    Savage: Something excellent. Was it a good craic last night? Oh, it was savage!

    The Jacks: The toilets, fir jacks for the mens, ban jacks for the ladies, not to be confused with…

    Banjaxed: Broken. Ruined.

    Happy out: Simply happy. You’re enjoying the craic, having a quare old time, you’re happy out.

    Sure look at it: A suitable reply to nearly any statement. Isn’t this weather grand? Ah, sure look at it!

    Ossified: Very drunk. Regretfully so. See also: langers, blathered, locked.

    The messages: If you hear people referring to doing the messages, they're going shopping. Does anyone need anything? I’m heading out to do the messages.

    The press: An Irish term for the cupboard. You might want to check you’ve enough biscuits in the press, before you set off to do the messages.

    Are you okay?: If the barman is asking you this, he’s not checking on your state of being, simply wanting to know what you want to order.

    I’ve a throat on me: Thirsty. Just don’t get too ossified and make an eejit of yourself!

    Me ould segotia, me ould sweat, me ould flower: Best friend.

    Aculsha: An old term of affection, from a chuisle mo chroí, ‘pulse of my heart’

    A soft day: A drizzly rainy, misty day.

    Acting the maggot: Being silly, making a nuisance. An annoying person.

    Making a bags of it: Making a mess of something.

    Cat altogether: Something bad. If the weather is terrible, it could be cat altogether out there.

    Even if you’re apprehensive about using some of these phrases in your conversations, it’ll certainly help you understand what your new Irish friends are saying. Ah, it was quare warm yesterday, I’d meant to do the messages, but I’d quite the throat on me. I got utterly langers, made a right gowl of meself acting the maggot, and I’m totally banjaxed today. Savage!  
  • Framed copies of both the An Post sponsored Gaelic Football & Hurling Teams of the Millennium in the form of commemorative postage stamps of each of the nominees. Dimensions: 36cm x 29cm      Glazed

    "The An Post-GAA Team of the Millennium was unveiled at Croke Park yesterday. The selection which serves as the first 15 inductions into the GAA's new Hall of Fame has also been marked by an issue of 15 commemorative stamps by An Post. The stamps will be available in a variety of combinations from today. Next year, a similar exercise will take place to honour 15 hurlers.

    There was some comment on the absence of Dublin's Brian Mullins and Jack O'Shea from Kerry but it seemed generally appreciated that there were only two centrefield slots on the team and someone had to lose out. Tommy Murphy, the Boy Wonder of the 1930s Laois team which won three Leinster titles in a row, who was included ahead of Mullins and O'Shea had the added distinction of being the only player honoured who had not won an All-Ireland medal.

    Not surprisingly, Kerry - who top the All-Ireland roll of honour with 31 titles - lead the way on the team with six selections. Despite being clearly second behind Kerry with 22 All-Irelands, Dublin provide only one player, Kevin Heffernan at left corner forward. Galway and Mayo have two players each with one from Cavan, Down, Meath and Laois making up the balance.

    Joe McDonagh, President of the GAA, described the project as a reflection "on the history and evolution of our association, its games and its central characters, the players who have left such giant footprints in the sands that is the chronicle of the GAA".

    The Hall of Fame which is inaugurated by this team will be represented all through Croke Park, according the GAA director general Liam Mulvihill. He said that the Hall will be added to with a small number of inductions on an annual basis.

    "We decided that this team would be the initial members of the Hall of Fame and we were planning to honour those selected around the main areas of the concourse of the re-developed stadium, in the bottom tier and the upper tier. We wanted those ordinary tiers where ordinary supporters gather as the most appropriate place to honour those players.

    "The inductions will be in very small numbers, we're probably talking about two a year. Two footballers, two hurlers or one footballer and one hurler. It has to be made very, very special."

    Paddy Downey, formerly GAA correspondent of The Irish Times, was one of the adjudicators and confirmed the widespread feeling that the task of selecting such a team wasn't an enviable one.

    "It's nearly impossible because there's so many players, particularly in what you might call the big, central positions: midfield, centre-back, full back. Already people are saying to me: `why isn't Brian Mullins on, why isn't Paddy Kennedy of Kerry, Jack O'Shea - above all at the present time' and so on.

    "We also had the problem of not picking a half-century team of people we had seen ourselves. You could also argue how could we pick someone we hadn't seen - Dick Fitzgerald, apparently one of the greatest players of all time, Paul Russell of Kerry, Jack Higgins of Kildare, from the earlier part of the century.

    "I was conscious that we could have gone further back and taken the word of our predecessors in journalism who had praised these players and done so in print. Inevitably it came to be more a team of the second half of the century than the early years."

    Martin O'Connell of Meath was the only player of what might roughly be called contemporary times - one whose career was largely after the selection of the 1984 Centenary Team - to earn a place.

    "I was surprised," he said. "I didn't even know until I came up here. I arrived a bit late and Micheal O Muircheartaigh was just reading out the names. I was absolutely delighted."

  • Charming framed postcard of the famous John Keating R.H.A painting The Aran Fisherman and his wife . 20cm x 15cm

    he Paintings of Sean Keating

    • 1 January 1978
    • test
    He sustained a belief in the dream world that could be created out of ordinary life as it surrounded him, writes Bruce Arnold in an evaluation of the work of the late Sean Keating. SEAN KEATING'S place in Irish art was, to a large extent, defined for him. As a traditional realist he responded to events; he painted historyo individual people, 'types', and the small worlds with" which they care associated. It was fortunate for him that his early life coincided with moomentous events, and it was natural, given his direct and forceful personnality, that he should attempt to grapple with such events and turn them into art.. His equipment for doing so was simple, traditional, and more or less unchanging throughout his long life. And it was acquired virtually from one source., William Orpen. Keating met Orpen in 1907 when he came from Limerick to Dublin as a student at the Metropolitan School of Art. He was Orpens favourite pupil, his friend, and then his studio assistant. The association lasted until the introduction of conscription in the second year of the first world war. At that point, having failed to persuade Orpen to leave England' and return to Ireland for the sake of Irish painting, Keating came home on his own and em barked on a career as a painter thatwas governned by intense nationalism, love of the language, a belief in the purity of the simple peasant life - which, for Keatting, was epitomised by the Aran Islands - and a repudiation of modernism in all its forms. He may be said to have learnt only the last of these from Orpen. What he had learnt, however, was a simplicity of line, a perfected co-ordination of hand and eye, and an understanding of paint, all of which provided a firm foundation for the increasingly hard task of sustaining realism through a very long life. Who shall judge his work finally? At times mawkish, at times sentimental, there is at the same time alway, ..I thread of truth and innocence III Keating's vision, a devastating cornbin ation when one is thinking of possterity. In his turn, Sean Keating inspu ,.: fresh generations of Irish artists. VIrrtually alone in the genera non of pam ters taught by Orpen , he sustained a belief not only in the principle, of sound draughtmanship , good technique, well primed canvasses. and an ancient and traditional use of paint. but also in the dream world that could he created out of the stuff of or dinar y life as it surrounded him. Like John Synge, Keating recognised .m the Irish character that propensity towards self-dramatisation that rescues humanity from the fearful boredom that surrrounds so much of life. And it Cd me to form a central part of his art Wheether he is painting a flying column resting during the War of Independence, a fisherman facing the western seas, or simply a farmer facing the eternal and unending struggle with the land, Keating was able to see forms of herooism and to paint them into the eyes and gestures. It is this that distinguishes his art, at its best, from what is loosely called the academic tradition in Irish art. In a rough and ready way, directly, instinctively, sometimes with inexcussable gaucheness, but rarely if ever with any loss of the essentials of line and colour, Sean Keating painted a record of his own time. He repudiated modernism because, for him, it departted from truth, and truth was something for which he had unqualified admiration. ' He admired beauty in women, characcter in men. He knew that, for both men and women, the best was often made out of threadbare essentials: yet he also knew that the beauty . and the character were often that much more exciting and dramatic because of the simplicity in achieving them. This is very often the message of his work. It is love that strikes fire in the heart of Christy Mahon, in 'The Playboy of the Western World', and makes him into a hero. And there is something of the same instinct, an instinct towards self-preservation, in the faces of Sean Keating's men and women. There was something of it in Keating himself. It made him a more forceful and dynamic artist that contemporaries like Leo Whelan and Patrick Tuohy, and pushed hini into an undisputed leadership of traditional realism in the period between the wars. For Irish art itself this was probably unfortunate. Keating's uncompromising lack of. sympathy with alternative traditions in art, when throughout Europe diversity and fragmentation was greater than at any other period in history, meant that divisions and antagonisms weakened still further the tread bare texture of Irish art. Organisations like the RHA and Living Art were set against each other; so were people; and 'all this at a time of public indifference, when few works by anyone were being bought.  
  • 30cm x 35cm These atmospheric prints dating from the early 20th century are from the Aran collection,a series of superbly photographed images depicting life on the Aran Islands at the turn of the last century. "The early part of the 20th century saw little change come to the Aran Islands so far removed from outside influences off the west coast of Ireland.As if time had stood still ,these unique photographs depict the islanders going about their daily lives as they had done for centuries in almost complete self sufficiency from the outside world and as a result form an integral part of our national heritage.
    Aran Islands: on the road to Synge’s Chair, on Inishmaan. Photograph: Andy Haslam/New York Times

    Aran Islands: on the road to Synge’s Chair, on Inishmaan. Photograph: Andy Haslam/New York Times

     
     
    Aran Islands: the pub on Inishmaan. Photograph: Andy Haslam/New York Times
    Aran Islands: the Man of Aran Fudge shop, at Kilmurvey Craft Village, on Inishmore. Photograph: Andy Haslam/New York Times
  • 30cm x 35cm These atmospheric prints dating from the early 20th century are from the Aran collection,a series of superbly photographed images depicting life on the Aran Islands at the turn of the last century. "The early part of the 20th century saw little change come to the Aran Islands so far removed from outside influences off the west coast of Ireland.As if time had stood still ,these unique photographs depict the islanders going about their daily lives as they had done for centuries in almost complete self sufficiency from the outside world and as a result form an integral part of our national heritage.
    Aran Islands: on the road to Synge’s Chair, on Inishmaan. Photograph: Andy Haslam/New York Times

    Aran Islands: on the road to Synge’s Chair, on Inishmaan. Photograph: Andy Haslam/New York Times

     
     
    Aran Islands: the pub on Inishmaan. Photograph: Andy Haslam/New York Times
    Aran Islands: the Man of Aran Fudge shop, at Kilmurvey Craft Village, on Inishmore. Photograph: Andy Haslam/New York Times
  • 30cm x 35cm These atmospheric prints dating from the early 20th century are from the Aran collection,a series of superbly photographed images depicting life on the Aran Islands at the turn of the last century. "The early part of the 20th century saw little change come to the Aran Islands so far removed from outside influences off the west coast of Ireland.As if time had stood still ,these unique photographs depict the islanders going about their daily lives as they had done for centuries in almost complete self sufficiency from the outside world and as a result form an integral part of our national heritage.
    Aran Islands: on the road to Synge’s Chair, on Inishmaan. Photograph: Andy Haslam/New York Times

    Aran Islands: on the road to Synge’s Chair, on Inishmaan. Photograph: Andy Haslam/New York Times

     
     
    Aran Islands: the pub on Inishmaan. Photograph: Andy Haslam/New York Times
    Aran Islands: the Man of Aran Fudge shop, at Kilmurvey Craft Village, on Inishmore. Photograph: Andy Haslam/New York Times
  • Superb historical,anti conscription poster from 1918 publicising an event at the sports filed in Ballaghaderreen on Sunday June 23rd 1918 with Countess Plunkett amongst others in attendance . Ballaghaderreen Co Roscommon  48cm x 38cm The Conscription Crisis of 1918 stemmed from a move by the British government to impose conscription (military draft) in Ireland in April 1918 during the First World War. Vigorous opposition was led by trade unions, Irish nationalist parties and Roman Catholic bishops and priests. A conscription law was passed but was never put in effect; no one in Ireland was drafted into the British Army. The proposal and backlash galvanised support for political parties which advocated Irish separatism and influenced events in the lead-up to the Irish War of Independence.

    Background

    In early 1918, the British Army was dangerously short of troops for the Western Front. In the German Spring Offensive of 1918, German troops broke through the Alliedlines in several sectors of the front in France, with a local advantage in numbers of four to one, putting severe strain on the Allied armies.The British Army, in one day, suffered a major setback, with the Imperial German Army over-running 98 square miles (250 km2) of territory and penetrating, at the furthest point, to a depth of four and a half miles (7 km). Conscription in Great Britain had already been established by the Military Service Act of January 1916, which came into effect a few weeks later in March 1916. By 1918 David Lloyd George was Prime Minister, leading a coalition government, and in addressing a very grave military situation it was decided to use a new 'Military Service Bill' to extend conscription to Ireland and also to older men and further groups of workers in Britain, thus reaching untapped reserves of manpower. Although large numbers of Irishmen had willingly joined Irish regiments and divisions of the New Army at the outbreak of war in 1914, the likelihood of enforced conscription created a backlash. This reaction was based particularly on the fact that, in a "dual policy", Lloyd George controversially linked implementation of the Government of Ireland Act 1914 or a new Home Rule Bill (as previously recommended in March by the Irish Convention) with enactment of the Military Service Bill. This had the effect of alienating both nationalists and unionists in Ireland. The linking of conscription and Home Rule outraged the Irish nationalist parties at Westminster, including the IPP, All-for-Ireland League and others, who walked out in protest and returned to Ireland to organise opposition.Despite opposition from the entire Irish Parliamentary Party (IPP), conscription for Ireland was voted through at Westminster, becoming part of the 'Military Service (No. 2) Act, 1918'  Although the crisis was unique to Ireland at the time, it followed similar campaigns in Australia (1916–17) and Canada (1917). In Australia, Irish Catholics mostly opposed conscription; in Canada (and the US), Irish Catholics supported conscription. The threat of conscription resulted in a plan, proposed by Cathal Brugha, to assassinate British cabinet members in April 1918, before they could vote on conscription (or as reprisal for having done so). Though the plan was never carried through, the stress of the plan reputedly had a significant impact on the republicans involved.

    Conferences and pledge

     
    The nine Anti-Conscription Committee members
    On 18 April 1918, acting on a resolution of Dublin Corporation, the Lord Mayor of Dublin (Laurence O'Neill) held a conference at the Mansion House, Dublin. The Irish Anti-Conscription Committee was convened to devise plans to resist conscription, and represented different sections of nationalist opinion: John Dillon and Joseph Devlin for the Irish Parliamentary Party, Éamon de Valera and Arthur Griffith for Sinn Féin, William O'Brien and Timothy Michael Healy for the All-for-Ireland Party and Michael Egan, Thomas Johnson and William O'Brien representing Labour and the trade unions. On the evening of the same day, the Roman Catholic bishops were holding their annual meeting and declared the conscription decree an oppressive and unjust law, calling on the Church's adherents to resist "by the most effective means at our disposal" (if "consonant with the law of God.") The Anti-Conscription Committee and bishops proposed an anti-conscription pledge that was to be taken at the church door of every Roman Catholic parish the next Sunday, 21 April, which read:
    Denying the right of the British government to enforce compulsory service in this country, we pledge ourselves solemnly to one another to resist conscription by the most effective means at our disposal.

    Strikes and other actions in Ireland

    Following their representation at the Mansion House, the labour movement made its own immediate and distinctive contribution to the anti-conscription campaign. A one-day general strike was called in protest, and on 23 April 1918, work was stopped in railways, docks, factories, mills, theatres, cinemas, trams, public services, shipyards, newspapers, shops, and even Government munitions factories. The strike was described as "complete and entire, an unprecedented event outside the continental countries". In the following weeks, anti-conscription rallies were held nationwide, with 15,000 people attending a meeting in County Roscommon at the start of May, where John Dillon, leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party and Éamon de Valera of Sinn Féin shared the platform. This in itself is notable as, while sharing nationalist views, Dillon and de Valera's parties had previously been divided in opinion as to the means of gaining legislative or complete independence from the United Kingdom. On 11 June Dublin's Lord Mayor, Laurence O'Neill, in a letter to the President of the United States Woodrow Wilson called for support against conscription:In the fourth year of a war ostensibly begun for the defence of small nations, a law conscribing the manhood of Ireland has been passed, in defiance of the wishes of our people .... To warrant the coercive statute, no recourse was had to the electorate of Britain, much less to that in Ireland. Yet the measure was forced through within a week, despite the votes of Irish representatives and under a system of closure never applied to the debates, which established conscription for Great Britain on a milder basis. Over a year earlier Wilson had introduced the Selective Service Act of 1917; by June 1917 it enabled the registration of all American men aged between 21 and 31 for conscription.

    "German plot"

    Dillon on platform during Roscommon anti-conscription rally in 1918
    Nervous of growing unrest and still with dire need to progress conscription in Ireland, Lloyd George's government undertook several initiatives to quell the backlash. As Sinn Féin was publicly perceived to be the key instigator of anti-government and anti-conscription feeling, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland Lord French, claiming evidence of a treasonable plot between Sinn Féin and the Germans, ordered the arrest of 73 Sinn Féin leaders, including Griffith and de Valera, on 17 May. The heavy-handed response by the Dublin Castle authorities did little to defuse the situation. In fact, because of the lack of evidence, the German Plot was little believed in Great Britain, Ireland or the United States, but aggravated opinion and increased support for Sinn Féin.

    Hay Plan

    Simultaneously, a more subtle effort (and assessed by later historians as having more potential for success)was undertaken from the offices of Lord Northcliffe under the Minister of Information. The "Hay Plan" was conceived by Stuart Hay—a British Army Captain, who was under orders to establish a proposal to work around widespread anti-conscription feeling and to persuade Irish nationalists to join the French army (initially as labourers in specialised battalions). Hay's plan relied on the power of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland (and empathy among its supporters for fellow Catholics in Belgium and France suffering from German invasion), to sway opinion:
    If the church were definitely or even in a large measure converted and the support it has given to disloyal elements be not taken away but thrown on to the other side in the controversy [the conscription crisis], much would be done for the future of the peace in Ireland.
    — Stuart Hay
    The plan simply called for a letter (drafted by Hay and approved by Edward Shortt and then Chief Secretary for Ireland) to be sent by the French Primate to the Irish bishops, requesting that they soften their opposition to conscription to aid the war effort in France. Despite some progress in August in persuading Primate of All Ireland Cardinal Logue, the "Hay Plan" was delayed and ultimately stymied by complications in diplomatic channels and by political rivalries. The latter included concerns by some in the British Parliament that reciprocal French support of Irish interests would not be to Britain's advantage after the war. In France, the German Spring Offensive and its following attacks had failed by July, and the Allies counterattacked successfully at the Second Battle of the Marne and the Hundred Days Offensive. Recruitment efforts through September and October continued to have very limited success, and by the time of the November Armistice, marking the end of World War I, conscription had still not been implemented in Ireland.

    After-effects

    By June 1918 it had become apparent to most observers in Britain and Ireland that following American entry into the war the tide of war had changed in favour of the Allied armies in Europe, and by 20 June the Government had dropped its conscription and home rule plans, given the lack of agreement of the Irish Convention. However the legacy of the crisis remained. Completely ineffectual as a means to bolster battalions in France, the events surrounding the Conscription Crisis were disastrous for the Dublin Castle authorities, and for the more moderate nationalist parties in Ireland. The delay in finding a resolution to the home rule issue, partly caused by the war, and exaggerated by the Conscription Crisis in Ireland, all increased support for Sinn Féin. Sinn Féin's association (in the public perception at least) with the 1916 Easter Rising and the anti-conscription movement, directly and indirectly led on to their landslide victory over (and effective elimination of) the Irish Parliamentary Party, the formation of the first Dáil Éireann and in turn to the outbreak of the Anglo-Irish War in 1919. This opposition also led in part to Sinn Féin being ignored by the subsequent victors at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, despite its electoral success. It appointed representatives who moved to Paris and several times requested a place at the conference, with recognition of the Irish Republic, but never received a reply. The crisis was also a watershed in Ulster Unionism's relations with Nationalist Ireland, as expressed by Unionist leader James Craig: "for Ulster Unionists the conscription crisis was the final confirmation that the aspirations of Nationalists and Unionists were irreconcilable.

    Voluntary enlistment

    Memorial to casualties of Irish volunteer regiments at Island of Ireland Peace Park
    The bulk of opposition to the Great War in Ireland was to compulsory conscription, not to the war nor to voluntary enlistment in the British Army. In fact, many Irish supported the war and Irish involvement. Support and enlistment were more prominent amongst Irish Unionist and Protestant traditions, but nationalist and Roman Catholic enlistment was also common, as the war was seen to be fought in defence of smaller Catholic countries like occupied Belgium. In this cause, those who would later become detractors of conscription (including John Dillon, William O'Brien and the Roman Catholic bishops) were prominent on recruitment platforms at the outbreak of the war. In all, 200,000 to 300,000 Irishmen served with British forces during the Great War, and, of the 680,000 fatalities from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, some 40,000 to 49,000were from Ireland. In all about 12.3 per cent of Irish men of service age actually served, approximately 25 per cent of the rate in the rest of the UK; 57 per cent of them were Roman Catholics.
  • Beautiful depiction of Blarney Co Cork. These beautiful quaint scenes from six individual towns were originally table and have been superbly mounted and framed to create a memorable souvenir collection.Originally painted by talented local artist Roisin O Shea,the prints depict everyday scenes of streetlife in Killarney,Kilkenny,Blarney,Galway,Kinsale and Youghal. Lahinch Co Clare 33cm x 39cm
  • Beautiful depiction of Galway City. These beautiful quaint scenes from six individual towns were originally table and have been superbly mounted and framed to create a memorable souvenir collection.Originally painted by talented local artist Roisin O Shea,the prints depict everyday scenes of streetlife in Killarney,Kilkenny,Blarney,Galway,Kinsale and Youghal. Lahinch Co Clare 33cm x 39cm
  • Beautiful depiction of Kilkenny City. These beautiful quaint scenes from six individual towns were originally table and have been superbly mounted and framed to create a memorable souvenir collection.Originally painted by talented local artist Roisin O Shea,the prints depict everyday scenes of streetlife in Killarney,Kilkenny,Blarney,Galway,Kinsale and Youghal. Lahinch Co Clare 33cm x 39cm
  • Beautiful depiction of Youghal Co Cork. These beautiful quaint scenes from six individual towns were originally table and have been superbly mounted and framed to create a memorable souvenir collection.Originally painted by talented local artist Roisin O Shea,the prints depict everyday scenes of streetlife in Killarney,Kilkenny,Blarney,Galway,Kinsale and Youghal. Lahinch Co Clare 33cm x 39cm
  • 45cm x 30cm Thurles Co Tipperary Classic commentary quote from the great Micheal O'Muircheartaigh. Micheal Ó Muircheartaigh (born 20 August 1930) is an Irish Gaelic games commentator for the Irish national radio and television, RTÉ. In a career that has spanned six decades he has come to be regarded as the "voice of Gaelic games." His prolific career has earned him a place in Guinness World Records Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh was born in Dún Síon just outside Dingle, County Kerry in 1930.Ó Muircheartaigh grew up on the family farm and was educated locally in Dingle. In September 1945 he began studying at Coláiste Íosagáin in Baile Bhúirne in the County Cork Gaeltacht where he was in training to be a teacher. It was at this all-Irish school that his name changed from Michael Moriarty to the Irish version Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh. In September 1948 he began the final year of his teacher training at St Patrick's College of Education in Drumcondra, Dublin.

    Broadcasting career

    In early March 1949 Ó Muircheartaigh, along with ten other students from the college, and several from other colleges, did a test commentary on a hurling game at Croke Park. Each student had to commentate for five minutes in Irish and the most successful would be selected for further commentary work. Ó Muircheartaigh had never seen a game of hurling before in his life. But he knew that those adjudicators judging his commentary were not able to see the game:
    'Twas a new game to me. But I knew one person. He was in goal for UCD and his name was Tadhg Hurley. He went to school in Dingle and he had hurling because his father was a bank manager and had spent time in Tipperary or Cork. The moment my minute started, he was saving a fantastic shot. And he cleared it away out, I can still see it, out over the sideline, Cusack Stand side of the field, eighty yards out. But it was deflected out by a member of the opposition. The adjudicators couldn't see that that didn't happen. Who was called out to take the line-ball? The only person I knew, Tadhg Hurley. And he took a beautiful line-ball - Christy Ring never took better. He landed it down in front of the Railway goal, there was a dreadful foul on the full-forward, and there was a penalty. And who was called up to take the penalty? Tadhg Hurley. 'Twas the best individual display ever seen in Croke Park. It took him at least a minute to come from the Canal goal up. And while he was coming up I spoke about his brother Bob, who was in Donal's class, and his sister who used to come out to Dún Síon strand during the summer. So eventually he took the penalty. I've seen DJ Carey, I've seen Nicky Rackard, I've seen Christy Ring. None of them could ever equal the display he gave that day... Sin mar a thosaigh sé!
    Ó Muircheartaigh was the one selected and his first assignment was to provide an all-Irish commentary on the 1949 Railway Cup final on St. Patrick's Day. He graduated from St. Patrick's College a little later and also completed a Bachelor of Arts degree from University College Dublin. He taught economics, accountancy and Irish in both primary and secondary schools throughout Dublin, the majority of which were run by the Christian Brothers. He continued teaching up until the 1980s, when he became a full-time broadcaster with Raidió Teilifís Éireann. For the early part of his broadcasting career Ó Muircheartaigh commentated on Minor GAA matches, in the Irish language. He also replaced the legendary Micheál O'Hehir when he was not available to commentate. Eventually when O'Hehir was forced to retire in the mid-1980s Ó Muircheartaigh took over as the station's premier radio commentator. He developed his own inimitable style of commentary and his accent is unmistakably that of a native Irish speaker. He is a true lover of Gaelic Athletic Association and it is reflected in the enthusiasm he brings to matches. His unusual turn of phrase has made him a much loved broadcaster and often imitated character. He has become particularly famous in Ireland for his unusual turns of phrase in the heat of the moment while commentating. Today he commentates on RTÉ Radio 1. In 2004 he published his autobiography, 'From Dún Sion to Croke Park'. Ó Muircheartaigh's commentaries for RTÉ Radio 1's Sunday Sport show won him a Jacob's Award in 1992. He was also the Parade Grand Marshal for the 2007 St. Patrick's Festival, having been given the honour by the chairman of the Festival in recognition and appreciation of his unique contribution to Irish culture. He will be the Parade Grand Marshal for the 2011 St. Patrick's Parade in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, also in recognition and appreciation of his unique contribution to Irish culture. On 16 September 2010 he announced his retirement from broadcasting. The last All-Ireland he commentated on was the 2010 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final on 19 September 2010.On 29 October 2010 it was announced that the 2nd International Rules test at Croke Park would be Ó Muircheartaigh's final broadcast as commentator on RTÉ Radio 1. On 30 October 2010 Micheál commentated his final commentary alongside RTÉ's pundit and former Meath footballer Bernard Flynn. He is contracted to officiate at the 2011–12 Volvo Ocean Race finish in Galway when he will commentate on the finish to the round the world race, to give it a uniquely Irish conclusion. Sailing has been a long time hobby of O Muircheartaigh. Ó Muircheartaigh writes a weekly sports column for Foinse, the Irish-language newspaper free with the Irish Independent each Wednesday. Ó Muircheartaigh was invited to read out a piece in Irish and in English at an event called "Laochra" in Croke Park on 24 April 2016 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising.  

    Other media

    He is the main commentator in the 2005 video game Gaelic Games: Football for the PlayStation 2 and its 2007 sequel He was featured in the video "Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh - Making a ham sandwich" which was posted on a Reddit forum, noting his "relaxing" voice.

    Honours

    Mícheál was awarded an honorary doctorate by NUI Galway in 1999 for his lifetime service to broadcasting.
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