Digital archive reveals very special moments in history

Digital archive reveals very special moments in history
Arthur Griffith, Eamon De Valera, Lord Mayor Laurence O’Neill and Michael Collins at Croke Park April 6, 1919 

Geraldines minute book and Bloody Sunday records included in fascinating GAA digital archive unveiled online as part of Association’s 1916 commemorations

The minute book of a former London GAA club have been released online for the first time, as Croke Park launched a fascinating archive of videos, tickets, images and documents from over a hundred years ago. As part of the GAA’s centenary celebrations the new section on their website covers the decade between 1913-1923.

Among the historic artefacts is the Association’s statement after 1916, as well as the jersey worn by Michael Hogan who was killed during Bloody Sunday, along with the statement by Croke Park manager of the time Luke O’Toole, and the ball and whistle from the ill-fated match on November 21. For London GAA fans there is a fascinating insight into how bi-annual club meetings went, and the topics of contention discussed.

 Digital archive reveals very special moments in history
Kathleen Clarke, widow of the executed 1916 leader Thomas Clarke, presenting the Irish Republican Prisoners’ Dependents Fund Cup to the Kildare captain, George Higgins, in February 1992.

First match

The former Geraldines club’s minute book from its meetings is published on the website and includes material between 1909 and 1915. In fact, in almost all meetings a M. Collins is registered as being present at the London club, the last record of which, in April 1915, less than 12 months before the 1916 Rising.

Topics of note include a motion that the Geraldines passed, to ban any player from joining their club if they had represented England in the Olympics. Other sources available online include Mr O’Toole’s statement after Bloody Sunday, as well as other eye witnesses.

 Digital archive reveals very special moments in history
Michael Collins, Commandant McKeown and Harry Boland at the 25 September 1921 hurling match between Dublin and Leix in aid of the Irish Republican Prisoners’ Dependents Fund.


The newspapers from the first match at Croke Park after Bloody Sunday is also included, along with pictures of Michael Hogan (below) and his jersey. He was one of 14 people killed that day, and had been representing Tipperary in the game against Dublin.

The Hogan stand, which was built four years after his death, was named after him. The GAA’s statement after the events of Easter 1916 is also able to be viewed online. There they say that: “Since the Gaelic Athletic Association is non-political it follows that members are at perfect liberty to join any political organisation they may choose to be identified with. And hence the Central Council finds that many members of the Association are attached to the United Irish League, All-for-Ireland League, Irish Volunteers, National Volunteers, and various other national associations.

Digital archive reveals very special moments in history
A game of Gaelic football being played in Stafford Jail in 1916. Following the 1916 Rising those imprisoned and interned played Gaelic football (Gaelic football and handball) in the internment camps and prisons.

“The statements, therefore, that the Gaelic Athletic Association has been used in furtherance of the objects of the Irish Volunteers are as untrue as they are unjust. It is perfectly inaccurate to say that police and military are not admitted to gatherings under the rules of the Gaelic Athletic Association. They have always been admitted to all such gatherings provided they were prepared to pay the fee charged the general public.”

Launching the archive Aogán Ó Fearghail, Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael, said: “This is a fantastic resource for anyone who has an interest in our history – and not just the history of Cumann Lúthchleas Gael. “It features a wide array of photographs, articles and documentation that have been gathered in the same place for the first time ever and this is available to everyone, not least students of history who may want to focus in on the period. As an Association we have been proactive in celebrating our history in this significant milestone year and I am delighted that this resource compliments the host of activities we have organised.”

Digital archive reveals very special moments in history
From left, Mark Reynolds, GAA Museum Archivist, Uachtarán Chumann Lúthcleas Gael Aogán Ó Fearghail, and John Bowman, RTÉ broadcaster 

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