National Hurling League
The National Hurling League is an annual inter-county hurling competition featuring teams from Ireland and England. Founded in 1925 by the Gaelic Athletic Association, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation within the league system; the league has 35 teams divided with either five or six teams in each division. Promotion and relegation between these divisions is a central feature of the league. Although a competition for Irish teams, teams from England – Lancashire and Warwickshire – take part, while in the past New York fielded a team for the latter stages of the league. Teams representing subdivisions of counties, such as Fingal and South Down have participated at various times; the National Hurling League has been associated with a title sponsor since 1985. Ford, Royal Liver and Church & General have all served as sponsors of the league since then; the competition is sponsored by Allianz and is known as the Allianz Hurling League. The league season runs from January to March with each team in the group playing each other once.
Division 1 of the league features the top twelve hurling teams split into two divisions of six. A knock-out stage follows for the four top-placed teams in each division; the winners of the Division 1 title are awarded the Dr. Croke Cup and are regarded as the National Hurling League champions; the National Hurling League title has been won by 10 different teams, 9 of whom have won the title more than once. The all-time record-holders are Tipperary. Limerick are the current champions. Since 1887, the All-Ireland Championship had been growing in interest and in participation; the championship, was confined to the summer months, resulting in a lack of top class inter-county action between September and April. Inter-county tournament games were popular as a way of filling the void, while some provinces organised their own pre-championship competitions, most notably the Thomond Feis in Munster. Several counties had organised inter-club leagues as a means of supplementing the county championship by providing more games.
While these had proved successful, it was decided to create a national senior inter-county league to provide games during the winter and spring months. The inaugural National Hurling League began on 27 September 1925 and ended on 16 May 1926. Seven teams - Cork, Galway. Kilkenny, Laois and Tipperary - competed in a six-game single round-robin format. At the end of the group stage the top two teams contested the league final. Cork won the 1925-26 league following a 3-7 to 1-5 defeat of Dublin in the final. While no league took place during the 1926-27 season, the 1926-27 league featured nine teams. A single round-robin format was once again used, with each team playing eight games; the second league featured no final, with Tipperary being declared champions after securing 14 points from their group stage games. The 1928-29 league featured twelve teams divided in two groups based on geographical position; the Eastern Division comprised five teams from the province of Leinster, while the Southwestern Division had seven teams from the province of Munster and Galway.
The top teams in each division played off in the final to determine the champions. This format was used on a number of occasions until the 1934-35, when the league reverted to a straightforward one-group league with the top-placed team being declared the champions; this format was used again during the leagues in 1935-36 and 1936-37. Ten teams entered the 1937-38 league, with two groups of five teams competing. A third group was added in 1938-39 as the number of teams increased to thirteen; these formats were used over the following seasons, depending on the number of teams participating. Between 1941 and 1945 the league was suspended due to the Emergency; the 1955-56 league saw the introduction of a major change in format. As a result of a lack of interest from defeated first-round teams in recent years, Central Council introduced a two-division league featuring a new system of relegation and promotion. Division 1 was confined to ten teams in two groups of five; the bottom-placed team in each group would play off to decide which of the two teams would be relegated.
Division 2 was made up of the'second tier' hurling teams and featured eight teams divided into two groups. Limerick became the first team to be relegated, while Antrim became the first team to gain promotion under the new system. Since 1985, the National Hurling League has been sponsored; the sponsor has been able to determine the league's sponsorship name. Division 1 has existed in its current form since the 2012 league. Prior to this, Division 1 had existed as a single division of eight teams; the new division, comprising two groups, was created using the final rankings from the 2011 league. The top six teams from that year's Division 1 were added to the new Division 1A; the bottom two teams from Division 1 and the top four teams from Division 2 were added to the new Division 1B. In 2012 and 2013, the top two teams in Division 1B contested a final, with the winners joining the top three teams from Division 1A in the semi-finals of the league proper; this format was abandoned. There are twelve teams in Division 1, these teams are subdivided into two groups of six - teams ranked one to six in Division 1A and teams ranked seven to twelve in Division 1B.
During the course of a season each team plays the others once for a total of 15 games in each group. Teams receive one point for a draw. No points are awarded for a loss. Where two teams are level on points, t
The Armagh County Board of the Gaelic Athletic Association or Armagh GAA is one of the 32 county boards of the GAA in Ireland, is responsible for Gaelic games in County Armagh. The county board is responsible for the Armagh inter-county teams. Armagh's county colours are White, they wore black and amber striped shirts until 1926 when Dominican nuns from Omeath, in County Louth knitted the team a pair of Orange and White kits ahead of a Junior clash with Dublin which they have kept since. Armagh has a long tradition of football. Several clubs were in existence before the formation of the County Board in 1889. Armagh became only the second team to win the Ulster Senior Football Championship in 1890. In the early years of the GAA, a club that won its county championship went on to represent the county and would wear the county colours. Armagh Harps represented Armagh in the Ulster final, beating Tyrone, but losing to All-Ireland Champions Cork in the All-Ireland Semi-Final. Despite early success at provincial level, national success at junior and minor level and All-Ireland final appearances in 1953 and 1977, it took until 2002 for Armagh to win their first and only All-Ireland Senior Football Championship under manager Joe Kernan.
The county won the All-Ireland Minor Football Championship, in 1949 and again in 2009, but lost the 1957 All-Ireland Minor final to Meath. After a disappointing 2009 campaign which resulted in Armagh being defeated by Tyrone, Peter McDonnell stepped down as Armagh manager, he was replaced by Paddy O'Rourke, from the neighbouring county of Down. In his first year as manager, Armagh won the Division 2 NFL title and was promoted to Division 1 for 2011, they remained in Division 1 for 2012 but moved to Division 2 for 2013. Paul Grimley took over in 2013 and after a mixed year took the county to the quarter-final of the All Ireland losing by a point to Donegal in 2014, it was the first quarter-final appearance since 2008 and Grimley resigned afterwards allowing his assistant Kieran McGeeney to take over. All-Ireland Senior Football Championships: 1 All-Ireland Under-21 Football Championships: 1 All-Ireland Minor Football Championships: 2 All-Ireland Junior Football Championships: 1 National Football Leagues: 1 Ulster Senior Football Championships: 14 1890, 1903, 1950, 1953, 1977, 1980, 1982, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008 Ulster Under-21 Football Championships: 3 1998, 2004, 2007 Ulster Minor Football Championships: 11 1930, 1949, 1951, 1953, 1954, 1957, 1961, 1968, 1992, 1994, 2005, 2009 Ulster Junior Football Championships: 6 1925, 1926, 1935, 1948, 1951, 1985 Dr. McKenna Cup: 9 1929, 1931, 1938, 1939, 1949, 1950, 1986, 1990, 1994 Dr Lagan Cups: 1954, 1955, 1956 Armagh has a total of 24 All Star awards.
1972: P. Moriarty 1977: Joe Kernan, J. Smyth, P. Moriarty 1980: Colm McKinstry 1982: Joe Kernan 1993: Ger Houlahan 1999: Kieran McGeeney, Diarmuid Marsden 2000: Kieran McGeeney, Oisín McConville 2002: Enda McNulty, Aidan O'Rourke, Kieran McGeeney, Paul McGrane, Stevie McDonnell, Oisín McConville 2003: Francie Bellew, Stevie McDonnell 2005: Andy Mallon, Paul McGrane, Stevie McDonnell 2006: Rónán Clarke 2008: Rónán Clarke Squad as per Armagh vs Roscommon, 2018 All Ireland Senior Football Championship Like most counties outside of the game's heartland of Munster and south Leinster, hurling has tended to live in the shadow cast by Gaelic football in Armagh, with the exception of border areas such as Keady and Middletown. However, in recent years the county hurlers have shown a marked improvement under the guidance of manager Mattie Lennon and his assistant Ger Rogan. In 2006 Armagh won the NHL Division 3 championship, winning all their games in the group stages before beating Louth 3-10 to 1-11 in the final at Breffni Park in Cavan.
The step up to Division 2 proved to be a difficult one for the men from the Orchard County. While the team failed to win any of their group games they were unfortunate to lose to Meath and managed to come within a point of the 2006 Christy Ring Cup finalists Carlow. Heavier defeats were suffered at the hands of more established counties such as Laois. Armagh returned to the Ulster Senior Hurling Championship in May 2007 for the first time in 60 years with a match against Derry. Despite putting in a strong performance the team lost out on the chance of a semi-final encounter with neighbours Down to an injury-time score; the advances made in the county over the past two years placed them as favourites in the Nicky Rackard Cup encounter on August 12 against Roscommon. In 2010, Armagh won the Nicky Rackard Cup, beating London on a scoreline of 3-15 to 3-14 on 3 July in Croke Park; the Minor team won the Ulster Minor Hurling League Division One title and reached the Ulster Minor Hurling Championship Final.
The Under 21 team reached the Ulster U21 Championship Final. In 2011 the senior side reached the Ulster Senior Hurling Championship final for the first time since 1946 and made it to the Ulster Under-21 Hurling Championship final for the second year in a row for the first time in their history. Armagh won Division 2B in 2016 earning promotion to Division 2A, they were subsequently relegated. They beat Down in the Ulster Hurling championship semi final giving them a place in the final where they were beaten, they are in the final. They were beaten in the 2016 Nicky Rackard cup by Mayo on a score line of 2-16 to 1-15. In 2012, Armagh won the Nicky Rackard Cup for the second time, beating Louth 3-20 to 1-15 on 9 June in Croke Park. Nicky Rackard Cups: 2 2010, 2012 All-Ireland Senior
The Irish News
The Irish News is a compact daily newspaper based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. It is available throughout Ireland, it is perceived as being broadly Irish nationalist in its viewpoint, though it features unionist columnists. The Irish News is the only independently owned daily newspaper based in Northern Ireland, has been so since its launch on 15 August 1891 as an anti-Parnell newspaper by Dr Patrick MacAlister, it merged with the Belfast Morning News in August 1892, the full title of the paper has since been The Irish News and Belfast Morning News. The Irish News saw a dramatic growth in its circulation with the beginning of The Troubles in 1968. In June 1982 the paper came under the control of the company’s present owners; the paper has an average daily circulation of 34,082. The Irish News online
Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy. Rome serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2, it is the country's most populated comune, it is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio, along the shores of the Tiber; the Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been defined as capital of two states. Rome's history spans 28 centuries. While Roman mythology dates the founding of Rome at around 753 BC, the site has been inhabited for much longer, making it one of the oldest continuously occupied sites in Europe; the city's early population originated from a mix of Latins and Sabines.
The city successively became the capital of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, is regarded by some as the first metropolis. It was first called The Eternal City by the Roman poet Tibullus in the 1st century BC, the expression was taken up by Ovid and Livy. Rome is called the "Caput Mundi". After the fall of the Western Empire, which marked the beginning of the Middle Ages, Rome fell under the political control of the Papacy, in the 8th century it became the capital of the Papal States, which lasted until 1870. Beginning with the Renaissance all the popes since Nicholas V pursued over four hundred years a coherent architectural and urban programme aimed at making the city the artistic and cultural centre of the world. In this way, Rome became first one of the major centres of the Italian Renaissance, the birthplace of both the Baroque style and Neoclassicism. Famous artists, painters and architects made Rome the centre of their activity, creating masterpieces throughout the city.
In 1871, Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, which, in 1946, became the Italian Republic. Rome has the status of a global city. In 2016, Rome ranked as the 14th-most-visited city in the world, 3rd most visited in the European Union, the most popular tourist attraction in Italy, its historic centre is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The famous Vatican Museums are among the world's most visited museums while the Colosseum was the most popular tourist attraction in world with 7.4 million visitors in 2018. Host city for the 1960 Summer Olympics, Rome is the seat of several specialized agencies of the United Nations, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Food Programme and the International Fund for Agricultural Development; the city hosts the Secretariat of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean as well as the headquarters of many international business companies such as Eni, Enel, TIM, Leonardo S.p. A. and national and international banks such as Unicredit and BNL.
Its business district, called EUR, is the base of many companies involved in the oil industry, the pharmaceutical industry, financial services. Rome is an important fashion and design centre thanks to renowned international brands centered in the city. Rome's Cinecittà Studios have been the set of many Academy Award–winning movies. According to the founding myth of the city by the Ancient Romans themselves, the long-held tradition of the origin of the name Roma is believed to have come from the city's founder and first king, Romulus. However, it is a possibility that the name Romulus was derived from Rome itself; as early as the 4th century, there have been alternative theories proposed on the origin of the name Roma. Several hypotheses have been advanced focusing on its linguistic roots which however remain uncertain: from Rumon or Rumen, archaic name of the Tiber, which in turn has the same root as the Greek verb ῥέω and the Latin verb ruo, which both mean "flow". There is archaeological evidence of human occupation of the Rome area from 14,000 years ago, but the dense layer of much younger debris obscures Palaeolithic and Neolithic sites.
Evidence of stone tools and stone weapons attest to about 10,000 years of human presence. Several excavations support the view that Rome grew from pastoral settlements on the Palatine Hill built above the area of the future Roman Forum. Between the end of the bronze age and the beginning of the Iron age, each hill between the sea and the Capitol was topped by a village. However, none of them had yet an urban quality. Nowadays, there is a wide consensus that the city developed through the aggregation of several villages around the largest one, placed above the Palatine; this aggregation was facilitated by the increase of agricultural productivity above the subsistence level, which allowed the establishment of secondary and tertiary activities. These in turn boosted the development of trade with the Greek colonies of southern Italy; these developments, which according to archaeological ev
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
All-Ireland Senior Club Hurling Championship
The GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Club Championship, known as the All-Ireland Club Championship, is an annual inter-county hurling competition organised by the Gaelic Athletic Association. It is the highest inter-county club hurling competition in Ireland, has been contested every year since the 1970-71 championship; the final held on St. Patrick's Day, is the culmination of a series of games played between October and February with the winners receiving the Tommy Moore Cup; the All-Ireland Championship has always been played on a straight knockout basis whereby once a team loses they are eliminated from the championship. Qualification is limited to teams competing in the Galway Championship, the Leinster Championship, the Munster Championship and the Ulster Championship. Four teams participate in the All-Ireland semi-finals; the most successful teams are from Galway – seven different Galway clubs have won the All-Ireland title on 13 separate occasions. The title has been won by 26 different clubs.
The current holders and all-time record-holders are Ballyhale Shamrocks, who have won the championship on 7 occasions. Since the foundation of the Gaelic Athletic Association in 1884, challenge and tournament matches between clubs on an inter-county level were commonplace. Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, Glen Rovers of Cork and Ahane of Limerick clashed in off-season games. In the 1950s the Cork Churches Tournament came to be recognised as the unofficial All-Ireland Club Championship; the tournament was an initiative by the Bishop of Cork and Ross, Cornelius Lucey, to raise money to build five new churches in the fast developing suburbs of Cork. Participation was extended to the country's current best hurling teams; this tournament lasted for five years, however, by the 1960s there was a growing appetite for a similar competition. In 1965 the Munster Council organised the Munster Senior Club Hurling Championship. Following the success of this provincial championship, Donegal and Wexford put down a motion for the introduction of All-Ireland club championships in both codes at the GAA's Congress in 1969.
The motion was successful and the competition began in 1970-71. The difficult nature of qualifying for the All-Ireland Championship via the individual county and provincial championships has meant that individual clubs have dominated for prolonged periods of time, there have been exceptions; the first decade of the All-Ireland Championship was dominated by the “big three” clubs from Cork, with Blackrock, Glen Rovers and St. Finbarr’s sharing every All-Ireland title bar one between 1972 and 1979. Blackrock became the preeminent team of the championship by winning three All-Ireland titles from four final appearances during this time. Glen Rovers and St. Finbarr’s claimed two titles apiece during the same period; the second decade saw a greater spread of counties represented, with the club champions of Antrim, Galway, Kilkenny and Wexford all claiming the All-Ireland title. Kilkenny clubs were dominant by winning five championship titles between 1981 and 1991. Ballyhale Shamrocks won three of these titles with victories in 1981, 1984 and 1990.
The resurgence of non-traditional teams at inter-county level was prevalent in the club championship during the 1990s. Galway clubs came to the fore during this decade, with Sarsfields becoming the first team to retain the All-Ireland title with back-to-back wins in 1993-94, their success was followed by Athenry who won a lone title in 1997 before claiming back-to-back championships in 2000-01. Clare clubs, buoyed by the inter-county success of the county team, claimed All-Ireland titles in 1996 and 1999. Offaly club Birr became the most dominant team at the turn of the century. Between 1995 and 2003 the club became the first to win four All-Ireland titles, this record was bettered by Ballyhale Shamrocks who won a record-breaking fifth championship in 2010. Portumna of Galway dominated the new century by winning four All-Ireland titles between 2006 and 2014; the All-Ireland Championship has always been played as a single elimination tournament whereby once a team loses they are eliminated from the championship.
Participation is open to the four champion clubs of the four provinces of Ireland and has remained the same since the inaugural championship in 1971, there have been some minor changes throughout. In 1976 the All-Ireland Championship was extended to five clubs as the winners of the London Senior Hurling Championship were allowed to enter, they entered the All-Ireland series at the newly-created quarter-final stage and played one of the four provincial champions in rotation. This system lasted until 2004. Since the London champions have contested the All-Ireland Intermediate Club Hurling Championship. After several years of being regarded as the most uncompetitive of the four provincial championships, the Connacht Championship was discontinued in 2009; this has meant that the Galway champions represent the province unopposed and gain automatic entry to the All-Ireland semi-final stage. The GAA All-Ireland Senior Club Hurling Championship features four teams in the final tournament; the champions of Leinster and Ulster and the Galway champions qualify for the All-Ireland semi-finals.
Each of Ireland's 32 counties play their own championship between all the hurling clubs in the county – depending on the county, it can be league, knockout, or a mixture of both. The 32 county champions play in the 4 provincial championships, with the four winners of these advancing to the All-Ireland Semi-Finals; until the introduction of the Intermediate and Junior Championships on
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