Gaelic Athletic Association

The Gaelic Athletic Association ( ir Cumann Lúthchleas Gael ), short GAA is an Irish Sports Association, the Gaelic sports such as hurling, Gaelic football, Irish Handball, Camogie and Rounders promotes and supports.


On November 1, 1884 in Miss Hayes 's Commercial Hotel in Thurles, County Tipperary, the Gaelic Athletic Association for the Preservation and Cultivation of National Pastimes founded. The founding members were Michael Cusack, Maurice Davin ( as president ), John Wyse Power, John McKay, JK Bracken, Joseph O'Ryan and Thomas St. George McCarthy. 1885, the rules for hurling and Gaelic football were established and in 1887 there was the first All-Ireland Championships in these sports.

The founding of the GAA is to be seen in close connection with the gaining strength from the mid-19th century nationalist movement in Ireland. In addition to the pure sport should the GAA especially an incentive to identify with the Irish culture out. To this end, the apparent contrast between ( "really" - Hurling, or " allegedly" - Gaelic Football) offered traditional Irish sports and the English sports, than to have so that the GAA quickly became a great success. Furthermore, there were hardly any opportunities for sports activities for the majority of the population in 19th century Ireland. Modern sports events with fixed rules of the game were, as throughout the UK, a phenomenon of mostly English upper class. So tournament games traditionally found on Saturdays and so remained the working class denied. The Games of the GAA, however, therefore usually take place on Sundays, which was then the only free day of the week the majority of the population, which was considered by the English upper class as a fraction of Sunday rest. Inseparable from this cultural-political aspect, however, the GAA was in a directly political context: it formed a reservoir for political nationalists of many shades whose ultimate goal in one form or another of the political independence of Ireland from Great Britain was. The founding of the GAA was therefore also a political signal to nationalist -minded Irish on the one hand and the British occupiers on the other. Members of the GAA were involved during the Easter Rising in 1916 and the War of Independence in a leading position.

So it should also be understood that the GAA refused radically different particular " English " sports in previous years. So had in 1939, the Irish President Douglas Hyde after 30 -year-old patron of the GAA withdraw from this function because he had attended "normal" football game as a President. By the year 1972, participants were penalized at a football game with a lifelong exclusion from all Gaelic sports and clubs. Only in September 2001, Rule 21 was deleted from the statute of the GAA, the members of British security forces denied membership. Until recently the GAA refused that " English" in their seats sports are played. Thus, by far the largest stadium in the Republic, Croke Park in Dublin, exclusively for the few final games of hurling and Gaelic football and used the annual International Rules Football matches against Australia. The at least as popular games of the Irish rugby and soccer teams were held in much smaller and dilapidated Lansdowne Road Stadium. The disputes, if Croke Park is to be opened for other sports or not, was one of the reasons for the failure of the joint application of Scotland and the Republic of Ireland to host the UEFA European Football Championship in 2008, since then the Irish Football Association not sufficient appropriate venues in could provide views. A change in the GAA association statute allows it, that in 2007, may use the Irish soccer and rugby associations for some games Croke Park, Lansdowne Road is being rebuilt.

Irish sports today

Gaelic Football and Hurling and Camogie played by women variant are widely used in the Republic of Ireland and predominantly Catholic parts of Northern Ireland. 2,800 clubs with 180,000 players of Gaelic football and about 100,000 Hurlingspielern form with about 800,000 members, the backbone of the GAA. The All-Ireland Championships, where to play and Northern Irish counties, are an event that will be discussed throughout the country. The finals will be played in Dublin at Croke Park Stadium.