HomeFootballPhoenix Park commemorates 130 years of GAA with new exhibition

Phoenix Park commemorates 130 years of GAA with new exhibition

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Minister of State Kieran O’Donnell TD with members of St Oliver Plunkett Eoghan Ruadh and St Brigid’s GAA clubs in the Phoenix Park. Pic: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

A new exhibition has opened marking the playing of the GAA All-Ireland finals in Dublin’s Phoenix Park 130 years ago.

The All-Ireland Senior Football and Hurling Championship finals were both played in the park grounds in 1893.

Representatives from the clubs and counties who competed in those finals were in attendance for the launch of the new exhibition, Clann of Gaelic Games.

The collaboration between the GAA Museum at Croke Park and the OPW, showcases centuries of hurling, camogie and football activity in Phoenix Park.

“You cannot tell the story of the GAA without talking about Phoenix Park, such was the pivotal role it played in the years before the GAA’s foundation, and in its formative years,” GAA Director General Tom Ryan said.

“The park’s links to Gaelic games go back much further and so it is fitting that, in remembering the heroes of the 1893 All-Ireland finals played in the Phoenix Park, that we also commemorate the role the park has played for several centuries facilitating Gaelic games and the importance it continues to have as a venue for football, camogie and hurling.”

The new plaque was unveiled yesterday in Phoenix Park. Pic: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

Michael Cusack founded the GAA in November 1884, after trying to revive interest in hurling with training sessions and matches in Phoenix Park. Hurling has been played in the park since the 1700s.

The first inter-county match in 1886 between Tipperary and Galway in Phoenix Park led to the creation of the All-Ireland senior championships.

The delayed 1893 All-Ireland finals were held in Phoenix Park in 1894, with Blackrock of Cork winning in hurling and Young Irelands of Wexford winning in football.

For 140 years, Phoenix Park has been significant for hurling and football for Dublin clubs and schools, as well as for camogie and ladies’ Gaelic football.

A plaque was unveiled yesterday to mark the 1893 finals, and an oak tree was planted to symbolise the strong link between Gaelic games and the park. Children from local GAA clubs played exhibition games at the event.

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