The Croke Park Trilogy – Part Six

 Posted by on February 14, 2007  Add comments
Feb 142007

Some of our overseas readers might be wondering at all the fuss about a rugby match being played at Croke Park, and so I thought maybe a little background would be in order.

The GAA is the Gaelic Athletic Association, which is a vast, nationwide, amateur sporting organisation, with clubs in every tiny village in every corner of Ireland. Its first two official sports are hurling and Gaelic football. Hurling is a traditional game, while Gaelic football was conceived in the late nineteenth century by Michael Cusack, founder of the GAA, combining the rules of rugby and soccer. (Rugby in Ireland pre-dates the GAA). The GAA’s main stadium is the huge Croke Park in Dublin, capable of holding 82,000 people.

Both rugby and soccer have long been viewed as “foreign games” by the GAA (in reality, meaning “English” games) and banned from all GAA facilities. This is, in a certain sense, unsurprising, considering the events of 21st November, 1920, when British forces entered Croke Park and machine-gunned the crowd, killing fourteen civilians. The incident came to be known as Bloody Sunday. Therefore, it was a hugely symbolic gesture when the GAA allowed its flagship stadium to host an international rugby match against – of all people – England. The reason for it was to allow the Lansdowne Road stadium to be redeveloped, for joint use by rugby and soccer.

Imagine: God Save the Queen to be sung in Croke Park!

Now, personally, I don’t see what all the objections were about. After all, the Irish Rugby Football Union didn’t machine-gun the people, and neither did the Football Association of Ireland. In recent times, there has been much talk of a gesture, to mark the occasion when Ireland and England line out against each other, and much speculation of the form this gesture will take. Some speak of laying wreaths. Others talk of an official apology.

I have a great idea.

Instead of wreaths and apologies, why not have a joint detachment of British and Irish soldiers drive onto the pitch in armoured cars, and machine-gun the staff , management and players of the FAI? It would be a great symbol of our new-found solidarity. It would rid us once and for all of the FAI gobshites, and we could move forward with the one international sport we’re any good at: rugby.


FÓGRA SPEISIALTA: Name the third official sport of the GAA.

Part Five
Part Four

Part Three
Part Two

Part One

kick it on

  17 Responses to “The Croke Park Trilogy – Part Six”

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    I think that would be Liathróid Láimhe of the field sport kind.

    Love your suggestion for Son of Bloody Sunday.

    I preferred the alliterative version of “Garrison Games”, sounds less racial and has a bit of the explanation in the ring.

    Glad to vote for you in Blogcontest – your winning would be a blow for sanity, Irish freedom and the revival of effing Dublinese.




    Handbollock would be da turd one.Thanks for the awards nod tip-off…I hadn’t a clue.Sound.


    The amount of feckers that have asked me about this in the past week since the France match. “Man, what an awesome stadium! Why don’t you guys use that all the time?”

    Now I can just direct them to this post to have everything explained.


    george: I suspect you’re wrong. thank you and welcome. You speak a lot of sense.

    owen.moriarty: I think not

    devin: no, I don’t think that’s right either

    kav: what a great plan




    Bingo! Well done Nautiman!

    Your prize of a giant latex Bock head with integral vibrating tongue should arrive in the post within twenty four hours.


    Sé sin ‘Baseball’, nach ea? Nó saghs ‘cricket’ gaeleach? Or was it some loodramawn game played by Niall of the Nine Hostages when he cut their nine eponymous heads off? Rounders me arse!


    Tá an ceart agat a Chonáin, mar is gnáth. Cach tairbh go léir é.


    Hah? Ní hea, surely? Cac tarbh ceart más ‘sea!!!! Cad is ainm don cluiche Gaelach / Sasanach seo? Ceapas liathróid láimhe leis…..


    Let’s not exclude the wide world here.

    Rounders is correct.


    Rounders was included in the original charter of the GAA in 1884 along with hurling, footy and handball.


    I hear that the GAA are giving out about having to fertilise “croker” after the six nations…..but are friend John came to the rescue and rang the GAA and told them that every thing would be OK because Stan will be putting out a pile of shite in March..


    By all means machine-gun the FAI etc., but please spare the eL players. I’d also put in a special plea for the new eL promotion officers.


    Slom: I must watch out for that.

    Bohsnews: aren’t you glad you’re not Shelsnews?

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