The Sligo County Board of the Gaelic Athletic Association or Sligo GAA is one of the 32 county boards of the GAA in Ireland, is responsible for Gaelic games in County Sligo. The county board is responsible for the Sligo inter-county teams. Sligo play in the Connacht Senior Football Championship but have only won three senior provincial titles, in 1928, 1975 and 2007. Sligo have never appeared in an All-Ireland final; the 1922 Championship is the closest they have come, defeating Roscommon and Galway to win the Connacht title, beating Tipperary in the subsequent All-Ireland semi-final that followed. However, "a flimsy technicality" led to a replay of the Connacht final against Galway, which Sligo lost. In club football, no Sligo team has appeared in an All-Ireland Senior Club Football Championship final. St. Mary's is the only Sligo team to have won the Connacht Senior Club Football Championship, having won it three times in 1977, 1980 and 1983. Eastern Harps and Tourlestrane have all appeared in Connacht finals.
Due to its much smaller population than both County Galway and County Mayo, the two dominant forces in the province of Connacht, competition from professional League of Ireland soccer team Sligo Rovers in the county's capital town, Sligo's Gaelic football team have never been able to break free of the shackles inherent in the provincial championship format. They have won only three Connacht championships, with about 50 years between each win; these championships came in 1928, 1975 and 2007. Sligo have never appeared in an All-Ireland final; the 1922 Championship is the closest they have come, defeating Roscommon and Galway to win the Connacht title, beating Tipperary in the subsequent All-Ireland semi-final that followed. However an objection from Galway on what is described as "a flimsy technicality" led to the Connacht decider being brought to a replay, which Sligo went on to lose. Sligo met the same fate in the inaugural National Football League campaign of 1926, beating Laois to reach the final, only for Laois to object on the grounds of a Sligo player's name being misspelled.
This gives Sligo the unique position of having qualified for an All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final and a National Football League Final, without having contested either. In 1954, Sligo reached the Connacht final against Galway, only for an equalising goal in the final minute to be disallowed. In 1962, Sligo reached the Connacht final against Roscommon, led for much of the match only to be blighted by a sudden string of injuries, miss a 50 while two points ahead in the final minute, gift soon-to-be All-Ireland finalists Roscommon a goal in what is considered "one of the great football tragedies in Connacht". In 1965, Sligo reached the Connacht final against Galway and gained a seven-point lead, only for one of their players to be "mysteriously sent to the full-forward spot", causing "the entire team momentum" and the match. Since the 2001 introduction to the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship of a qualifier system for teams eliminated from their provincial championship, despite having a poor record, has enjoyed some modest, though noteworthy, success.
The new format together with a prolonged period of competing in Division 1 of the National Football League helped bring about an upward turn in the county's fortunes. In 2002, having narrowly lost the Connacht Senior Football Final to Galway, the defending All-Ireland champions, Sligo went on to defeat Tyrone in Croke Park, turning over a seven-point deficit in the process. A similar comeback against the eventual All-Ireland champions Armagh two weeks led to a replay, but Sligo's run was halted when they had claims for a penalty in injury time of the second game turned down. On 8 July 2007, Sligo claimed their first Connacht title since 1975 with a one-point victory over Galway; the following year they were trashed by Mayo and ended up in the Tommy Murphy Cup, after a league campaign that had seen them relegated to Division 4. Star player Eamonn O'Hara said. On 27 June 2010, Sligo hosted Galway and led 1–8 to 0–2 at halftime but were shocked by an undeserved draw ending 1–10 each; the replay saw Sligo defeat the Tribesmen on the scoreline 1–14 to 0–16 to advance to the Connacht Senior Football Final.
Once there, after all their hard work and continued misfortune, Roscommon defeated them by 0–14 to 0–13. Sligo football descended to a new depth on 26 May 2013 when they were dumped out of the Connacht Championship by London in their first game; the scoreline was 1-12 to 0-14. This was London's first victory in the Connacht Championship since 1977. Lorcan Mulvey scored the vital London goal; the county Vocational Schools team reached two All-Ireland finals in 1962 and 1963, losing both to Dublin City. Four Sligo players have won All-Stars: Mickey Kearns of St. Pat's, Barnes Murphy of St. Mary's, Eamonn O'Hara of Tourlestrane, Charlie Harrison of St. John's. Sligo's club football scene is not dominated by any single team. Sligo's team colours are white. Sligo's jerseys have alternated between white over the years. In the 1990s, Sligo opted for predominantly white shirts with black shorts with exceptions in 1995 and 1996 when they wore an all-black strip. In 2001, Sligo was fined by the GAA for not wearing their registered county colours and after a win over Kildare decided to make the all-black kit their first choice.
Sligo's crest features Benbulbin in the backgroun
The Dublin County Board of the Gaelic Athletic Association or Dublin GAA is one of the 32 county boards of the GAA in Ireland, is responsible for Gaelic games in the Dublin Region and the Dublin inter-county teams. The Dublin Gaelic football team is the Best GAA team in terms of attendance, made up of 286 clubs; the team and its fans are known as "The Dubs" or “Boys in Blue”. The fans have a special affiliation with the Hill 16 end of Croke Park. Dublin GAA has jurisdiction over the area, associated with the traditional county of County Dublin. There are 9 officers on the Board including Seán Shanley. For details on the Board's clubs, see Gaelic Athletic Association clubs in County Dublin and List of Gaelic games clubs in Ireland; the Board is subject to the Leinster GAA Provincial Council. The teams of Dublin GAA play home games at Croke Park, although Parnell Park is the so-called home venue for Dublin GAA. Parnell Park hosts all the major games in the Dublin club Football and Hurling championships.
The current senior football manager is Jim Gavin. The current senior hurling team manager is Pat Gilroy. Dublin claimed five Leinster Senior Football Championships in a row following a one-point victory over Laois in 2005, a nine-point victory over Offaly in 2006, a six-point victory over Laois in 2007, a 23-point victory over Wexford in 2008 and a 3-point victory over Kildare in 2009. Meanwhile, the hurlers retained their status in the Liam MacCarthy Cup; the following members have held notable positions in the GAA: Tom Loftus, former Chairman of the Dublin County Board was appointed Vice Chairman of the GAA Leinster Council and Chairman of the GAA Leinster Council Three men from the Dublin GAA organisation have served as President of the GAA Daniel McCarthy, 1921–1924 Seán Ryan, 1928–1932 Dr. Joseph Stuart, 1958–1961 The GAA conducted a review of the structure of the Dublin GAA organisation in 2002 because of the huge population inequities, investigated the feasibility of dividing the County into more population-appropriate structures.
Plans to divide Dublin into two teams – North Dublin and South Dublin – were proposed in 2002 but rejected by the Dublin County Board. The Board has only decided to divide its development teams; these teams are not considered to be a move towards dividing the county but are in fact a move designed to identify and develop young talent for the County as a whole. The restructured developments teams are North and West. Dublin supporters are known as The Dubs, in the 1970s as Heffo's army. While songs are still popular with the Dublin fans they tend to be Dublin-centric such as Molly Malone and Dublin in the Rare Old Times or focus on the team itself singing Come on you boys in blue; the Hill 16 end in Croke Park is an area for which many Dubs hold a special affection and it is not uncommon to see the Hill filled with Dubs. Dublin supporters have been known to chant "Hill 16 is Dublin only" as a humorous jibe at supporters from rival teams; the Dublin team are sometimes called The Jacks with the ladies called The Jackies.
These names came from a shortening of the word Jackeen. Notable fans include Jim Stynes, golfer Pádraig Harrington, rugby union star Brian O'Driscoll and actor Colm Meaney. In 2003/4, the Dublin County Board tried unsuccessfully to copyright the Dublin crest in use at the time; the crest at the time was declared to be in the public domain by the Irish High Court as it was too similar to other crests in use by Dublin City Council and other Dublin sports bodies. In line with other county boards and in order to prevent further loss of revenue, the county board designed a new crest drawing from the county's historical past which could be copyrighted and registered as a trade mark; the symbolism of the crest is: three castles in flame. The name Áth Cliath in Irish replaces the previous name "Dublin". Till 1918, Dublin wore the colours of the Club Champions as many other counties. In 1918 they adopted the well-known sky shirt with the Dublin shield if the kit has been for many years different compared to the actual one: collar and shorts were in fact white and the socks hooped and blue.
The change to the present look, with dark blue details and socks, was made in 1974. The following is a list of sponsors of the Dublin Senior Football team In October 2013, Dublin signed a new sponsorship deal with insurance firm AIG in excess of €4m over a five-year period; the deal will incorporate ladies football and camogie for the first time. Dublin first won the All-Ireland in 1891 beating Cork by a 2–1 to 1–1 margin, they won the All-Ireland the following year with victory over Kerry. Because of their record, the Dublin team of the 1970s are considered by many to be one of the greatest team of all time; the team of that era won 7 Leinster titles. They were the first team to play in 6 All-Ireland Football Finals in a row from 1974 to 1979, a feat matched by Kerry in 2009. On 25 March 2017, when beating Roscommon by 2–29 to 0–14 in a National League game at Croke Park, Dublin set a new record of playing 35 games in League and Championship without defeat; the previous record, held by Kerry, had stood for 84 years.
Dublin and Meath were involved in one of the most famous of Leinster championship encounters in 1991, the Dublin and Meath 4 in-a-row tie. The teams had to go to three replays in their Leinster Senior Footb
Gaelic Athletic Association
The Gaelic Athletic Association is an Irish international amateur sporting and cultural organisation, focused on promoting indigenous Gaelic games and pastimes, which include the traditional Irish sports of hurling, Gaelic football, Gaelic handball and rounders. The association promotes Irish music and dance, the Irish language; as of 2014, the organisation had over 500,000 members worldwide, declared total revenues of €65.6 million in 2017. Gaelic football and hurling are the most popular activities promoted by the organisation, the most popular sports in the Republic of Ireland in terms of attendances. Gaelic football is the second most popular participation sport in Northern Ireland; the women's version of these games, ladies' Gaelic football and camogie, are organised by the independent but linked Ladies' Gaelic Football Association and the Camogie Association of Ireland respectively. GAA Handball is the Irish governing body for the sport of handball, while the other Gaelic sport, rounders, is managed by the GAA Rounders National Council.
Since its foundation in 1884, the association has grown to become a major influence in Irish sporting and cultural life with considerable reach into communities throughout Ireland and among the Irish diaspora. On 1 November 1884, a group of Irishmen gathered in the Hayes' Hotel billiard room to formulate a plan and establish an organisation to foster and preserve Ireland's unique games and athletic pastimes, and so, the Gaelic Athletic Association was founded. The architects and founding members were Michael Cusack of County Clare, Maurice Davin, Joseph K. Bracken, Thomas St George McCarthy, a District Inspector in the Royal Irish Constabulary, P. J. Ryan of Tipperary, John Wise-Power, John McKay. Maurice Davin was elected President, Wyse-Power and McKay were elected Secretaries and it was agreed that Archbishop Croke, Charles Stewart Parnell and Michael Davitt would be asked to become Patrons. In 1922 it passed over the job of promoting athletics to the National Athletic and Cycling Association.
The association has had a long history of promoting Irish culture. Through a division of the association known as Scór, the association promotes Irish cultural activities, running competitions in music, singing and storytelling. Rule 4 of the GAA's official guide states: The Association shall support the Irish language, traditional Irish dancing, music and other aspects of Irish culture, it shall foster an awareness and love of the national ideals in the people of Ireland, assist in promoting a community spirit through its clubs. The group was formally founded in 1969, is promoted through various Association clubs throughout Ireland; the association has many stadiums scattered throughout Ireland and beyond. Every county, nearly all clubs, have grounds on which to play their home games, with varying capacities and utilities; the hierarchical structure of the GAA is applied to the use of grounds. Clubs play at their own grounds for the early rounds of the club championship, while the latter rounds from quarter-finals to finals are held at a county ground, i.e. the ground where inter-county games take place or where the county board is based.
The provincial championship finals are played at the same venue every year. However, there have been exceptions, such as in Ulster, where in 2004 and 2005 the Ulster Football Finals were played in Croke Park, as the anticipated attendance was to far exceed the capacity of the traditional venue of St Tiernach's Park, Clones. Croke Park is the association's flagship venue and is known colloquially as Croker or Headquarters, since the venue doubles as the association's base. With a capacity of 82,300, it ranks among the top five stadiums in Europe by capacity, having undergone extensive renovations for most of the 1990s and early 21st century; every September, Croke Park hosts the All-Ireland inter-county Hurling and Football Finals as the conclusion to the summer championships. Croke Park holds the All-Ireland club football and hurling finals on every St. Patrick's Day. Croke Park is named after Archbishop Thomas Croke, elected as a patron of the GAA during the formation of the GAA in 1884; the next three biggest grounds are all in Munster: Semple Stadium in Thurles, County Tipperary, with a capacity of 53,000, the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick, which holds 50,000, Páirc Uí Chaoimh, County Cork, which can accommodate 45,000.
Other grounds with capacities above 25,000 include: Fitzgerald Stadium, in Killarney, a capacity of 43,180 MacHale Park in Castlebar, the largest stadium in Connacht, a capacity of 42,000 St Tiernach's Park in Clones, County Monaghan, hosts most Ulster finals, a capacity of 36,000 Kingspan Breffni Park, in Cavan Town, County Cavan, which hosted International rules football series games in 2013, a capacity of 32,000 Casement Park, in Belfast, a capacity of 32,600 O'Moore Park, in Portlaoise, County Laois, a capacity of 27,000 Healy Park, in Omagh, County Tyrone, a capacity of 26,500 Pearse Stadium in Galway, which has hosted International rules football series games, a capacity of 26,197Research by former Fermanagh county footballer Niall Cunningham led to the publication in 2016 by his website, gaapitchlocator.net, of a map of 1,748 GAA grounds in Ireland, ranging from 24 grounds in his own county to 171 in Cork. The association has, since its inception, been associated with Irish nationalism, this has continued to the present in relation to Northern Ireland, where the sports are played exclusively by members of the ma
Croke Park is a Gaelic Athletic Association stadium located in Dublin, Ireland. Named in honour of Archbishop Thomas Croke, it is called Croker by some GAA fans and locals, it serves both as the principal headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association. Since 1891 the site has been used by the GAA to host Gaelic games, most notably the annual All-Ireland finals in football and hurling. Both the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2003 Special Olympics, as well as numerous music concerts by major international acts, have been held in the stadium. During the construction of the Aviva Stadium, Croke Park hosted games played by the Ireland national rugby union team and the Republic of Ireland national football team. In June 2012, the stadium was used to host the closing ceremony of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress during which Pope Benedict XVI gave an address over video link to eighty thousand people. In 2012, Irish pop vocal group Westlife had their record-breaking tour date in the stadium with tickets sold out in less than 5 minutes.
Following a redevelopment programme started in the 1990s, Croke Park has a capacity of 82,300, making it the third-largest stadium in Europe, the largest not used for association football. 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 used by the Bohemian Football Club. In 1901 Jones' Road hosted the IFA Cup football final. 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 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 as Hill 60 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, was built in 1927. 1936 saw the first double-deck Cusack Stand open with 5,000 seats, concrete terracing being constructed on Hill 16. In 1952 the Nally Stand was built in memorial of another of the GAA founders. Seven years to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the GAA, the first cantilevered "New Hogan Stand" was opened; the highest attendance 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. During the Irish War of Independence on 21 November 1920 Croke Park was the scene of a massacre by the Royal Irish Constabulary.
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 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. 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. A specific requirement was to ensure; 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 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 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 an upper concourse. One end of the pitch was closer to the stand after this phase, as the process of re-aligning the pitch during the redevelopment of the stadium began.
1916 Phase Two of the development started in late 1998 and involved extending the new Cusack Stand to replace the existing Canal End terrace. It is now known as The Davin Stand, after Maurice Davin, the first president of the GAA; this phase saw the creation of a tunnel which was
The Clare County Board of the Gaelic Athletic Association or Clare GAA is one of the 32 county boards of the GAA in Ireland, is responsible for Gaelic games in County Clare. Clare plays its home games at Cusack Park in Ennis; the Clare Hurling team compete in the Munster championship which it has won six times, most in 1998. Clare has won the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship four times in its history, they won their first title in 1914 and it took another 81 years for them to win their next title in 1995, which remains the record wait for a successive title in Senior Championship history. Clare won their most recent two titles in 1997 and 2013. Clare compete in Division 1 of the National Hurling League. Cusack Park is the primary home of the Clare Hurling, Gaelic Football and Peil na mBan teams at all grades. Named after the founder of the GAA, Michael Cusack, the ground had an original capacity of about 28,000, but following a 2011 safety review, the certified capacity was reduced to 14,864.
Three sides of the ground are terraced - the two areas behind the goals and one terraced length of the pitch, covered. In 2006 there were media reports of substantial offers from property developers to buy the stadium and relocate it to a new 42,000 capacity site outside the town centre; however by 2009 it appeared unlikely given the recent Celtic Tiger crash. Between 2009-12, Clare GAA invested over €500,000 in refurbishment works including pitch drainage and fencing around the pitch. In 2015 a major renovation started, this included the demolition and re-erection of the main stand and construction of a new entrance/exit at the north side of the stadium. Once completed in late 2017 the official capacity was increased to 19,000 people for the start of the 2018 season. On the 17th June 2018 the stadium was sold out for the first time since re-opening for the visit of local rivals Limerick GAAThe knockout stages of the Clare Senior Hurling Championship and the Clare Senior Football Championship are held annually in the stadium.
At senior level, Clare have won 4 All-Ireland championships. Early Successes In 1889, Clare won their first provincial title after receiving a walkover from Kerry in the final. Clare contested the All-Ireland final, but lost to Dublin 5-1 to 1-6. 1914 saw Clare claim another Munster title when they beat Cork by 3-02 to 3-01. Clare defeated Galway in the All-Ireland semi-final by 6-06 to 0-00 to reach the All-Ireland final for the first time their history. In the final Clare beat Laois by 2-04 to 1-02 and Amby Power became the first man to captain Clare to an All-Ireland hurling title. In 1932, Clare captured another provincial title, defeating Cork on a scoreline of 5-02 to 4-01, they went on to contest the All-Ireland final, but lost to Kilkenny by 3-03 to 2-03. The Revolutionary Years Under Ger Loughnane After losing Munster finals in 1993 and 1994, Len Gaynor was replaced as manager by Ger Loughnane. Clare made a return to the provincial decider in 1995 after a 2-13 to 3-09 victory over Cork in the semi-final.
In the final minutes of the game, Cork were leading by two points when Clare earned a sideline, taken by Fergie Tuohy. It travelled to the edge of the square, where Ollie Baker doubled on the sliotar, scoring a goal, to put Clare through. In the final, Clare faced Limerick. Clare dominated the game and ran out easy victors by 1-17 to 0-11; this was Clare's first Munster title in 63 years. In the All-Ireland semi-final, Clare played Galway. 2-01 from Ger O'Loughlin and 0-07 from Jamesie O'Connor saw Clare account for the tribesmen by 3-12 to 1-13. Offaly, reigning All-Ireland champions, awaited Clare in the final. In the second half, an Anthony Daly free rebounded off the post and fell to Eamonn Taaffe at the edge of the square, who sent the ball crashing to the back of the Offaly net. Clare ran out 1-13 to 2-08 victors. In 1996, Clare were defeated in the opening round of the Munster Championship by Limerick on a scoreline of 1-13 to 0-15; this put an end to Clare's championship. In 1997, Clare defeated Cork to qualify for the Munster final against Tipperary.
The match was held in Cork and Clare edged a tight affair by 1-18 to 0-18. Clare defeated Kilkenny by 1-17 to 1-13 in the All-Ireland semi-final. In the subsequent All-Ireland final, Clare were faced by Tipperary who went through the back door to reach the final. A late Tipperary goal saw the Premier county take lead but the teams were tied at 2-13 to 0-19 entering the closing stages. Jamesie O'Connor scored a point to win Clare the All-Ireland, he finished the match with 0-07 and his outstanding performances throughout the year would see him win the Hurler of the Year award. In 1998, Clare retained the Munster title. Clare defeated Cork by 0-21 to 0-13 to qualify for the final. A late goal from a Paul Flynn sent the match to a replay. Clare won out 2-16 to 0-10 winners. In the semi-final of the All-Ireland Clare faced Offaly; the game ended 1-13 apiece. In the replay Clare were leading in the closing stages by 2-10 to 1-16, however the referee accidentally blew the match up early; when the whistle blew there was disarray in Croke Park as the disgruntled Offaly supporters began a sit-down protest on the pitch.
As the game hadn't been completed to 70 minutes, the semi final had to be replayed. On this occasion, Offaly won out by 0-16 to 0-13. In 1999, Clare defeated Tipperary to qualify for the Munster final, set up the possibility of Clare winning their third successive Munster title. Cork won on a scoreline of 1-15 to 0-14. In the All-Ireland quarter-final against Galway, Clare ran o
Cusack Park (Ennis)
Cusack Park is a GAA stadium in Ennis, County Clare, Ireland. It is the primary home of the Clare Hurling, Gaelic Football and Peil na mBan teams at all grades. Named after the founder of the GAA, Michael Cusack, the ground had an original capacity of about 28,000, but following a 2011 safety review, the certified capacity was reduced to 14,864. Three sides of the ground are terraced - the two areas behind the goals and one terraced length of the pitch, covered. In 2006 there were media reports of substantial offers from property developers to buy the stadium and relocate it to a new 42,000 capacity site outside the town centre; however by 2009 it appeared unlikely given the recent Celtic Tiger crash. Between 2009-12, Clare GAA invested over €500,000 in refurbishment works including pitch drainage and fencing around the pitch. In 2015 a major renovation started, this included the demolition and re-erection of the main stand and construction of a new entrance/exit at the north side of the stadium.
Once completed in late 2017 the official capacity was increased to 19,000 people for the start of the 2018 season. On the 17th June 2018 the stadium was sold out for the first time since re-opening for the visit of local rivals Limerick GAAThe knockout stages of the Clare Senior Hurling Championship and the Clare Senior Football Championship are held annually in the stadium. List of Gaelic Athletic Association stadiums List of stadiums in Ireland by capacity Stadium Location World Stadiums Article
The Fitzgerald Stadium is the principal GAA stadium in Killarney, is the home championship venue for the Kerry senior football team. Named in honour of one of the first great players of the Gaelic Athletic Association, Dick Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald Stadium was opened on May 31, 1936 by Dr O'Brien, the Bishop of Kerry, J. M. Harty, Archbishop of Cashel; the attendance at its first match was at least 20,000, reputed to have been 28,000. Within one year, the new Killarney stadium was to host the All-Ireland Hurling Final between Tipperary and Kilkenny due to the unavailability of Croke Park because of the construction of the first Cusack Stand; the capacity of the ground was tested in 1950 when the stadium, hosted the Munster hurling final between Cork and Tipperary, when an estimated crowd of 50,000 turned up and in the closing stages large numbers of Cork supporters encroached on the pitch, making life difficult for Tipperary goalkeeper, Tony Reddan. The claustrophobic atmosphere prompted ace Tipperary defender, John Doyle to remark that it was the first time he hurled in the midst of about 5,000.
Further developments took place at the stadium in the 1970s with the erection of the Dr. O’Sullivan stand and a pavilion. All of this raised the capacity to 39,120; this stadium is regarded as one of the finest outside of Croke Park, situated under the gaze of the picturesque Kerry mountains. The Stadium Committee has plans to redevelop both ends of the ground to the standard of the Michael O’Connor Terrace incorporating new dressing rooms and covered areas, to increase the capacity of the ground to 50,000. In the winter of 2008/2009 the first phase in the redevelopment was finished. Among the changes are the following: Extension of terracing at Lewis Rd end as far as the stand; the terracing is designed in such a way as to allow its continuation along the stand side if and when the stand is upgraded. Spectators will enter new terracing through a tunnel at ground level or through stairways to the centre of the terrace. There is additional entrance/exit stairs to the old terracing at the rear of the Lewis Rd goal.
The new terracing will accommodate an additional 4,000 spectators bringing stadium capacity to 43,000. Further development will be undertaken to raise this to 50,000. There are 4 large dressing rooms underneath the new terrace with individual showering and toilet facilities; each player will have individual changing areas as in Croke Park. There is provision for medical and physio staff as well as a separate area for mentors. Players will now exit the dressing rooms via a tunnel. There are 3 levels in all underneath the new Terrace. Level 1 has the dressing shops at the rear of the terrace. Level 2 has spacious meeting rooms for Stewards, Gardaí, Drug Testing and a Press Room for post-match interviews which has a stairway direct to dressing room area; the top level, accessed by lift or stairs, is made up of a Control Tower for crowd control and monitoring and there is a spacious room overlooking the pitch for TV match analysis. The main entrance area from Lewis Rd has been extended with facilities for selling match tickets on match day.
On the stand side, there are new entrance/exit stairs at the scoreboard end of the stand. New wheelchair facilities are located in the stand with lift access. There is a new seating area for substitutes/mentors in the stand adjacent to the VIP area in the middle of the stand; the pitch itself is in absolute pristine condition following a six-month break from playing activity. All entrance areas adjacent to the new terracing have been tarmacked; the next phase of development will consist of new terracing at the scoreboard end. On November 15, 2016, Fitzgerald Stadium was announced as one of 12 possible venues in Ireland to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup Westlife - June 28, 2002 Elton John - July 7, 2002 Counting Crows - June 27, 2003 Bryan Adams - June 25, 2004 The Corrs - June 26, 2004 P!nk - July 15, 2007 Westlife - June 22, 2008 Pussycat Dolls - July 18, 2009 List of Gaelic Athletic Association stadiums List of stadiums in Ireland East Kerry Webpage http://www.kerrygaa.ie/