GAA 125

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The logo of GAA 125
Lights display in Croke Park to mark the Gaelic Athletic Association's 125th anniversary, after the opening game of the 2009 National Football League

GAA 125 refers to several events which took place during the 125th year of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) in 2009. The organisation was founded at Hayes' Hotel in Thurles, County Tipperary on 1 November 1884.[1][2]

The Irish Film Institute showed a film series to commemorate the occasion.[3] A special exhibition was also held.[4]

The Late Late Show hosted a special episode dedicated to the 125th anniversary of the foundation of the GAA. The episode, presented by Pat Kenny, was aired on RTÉ One on 9 January 2009 and was planned well in advance as soon as the 2008 Toy Show had ended.[3] The Athlone Advertiser said the show was "a shocker. A genuine shocker. So much of the show lacked élan and panache that it became very difficult to stop switching the bloody thing off".[5]

The Evening Herald put together a list of "125 New Year Resolutions " for the GAA in January 2009.[6]

Events were launched at Croke Park, Dublin, with the opening match of the National Football League 2009 between Dublin and Tyrone on 31 January 2009. It was also only the second football match to take place under floodlights, following its predecessor in February 2008.[7] The event included a fireworks display as well as commentary from Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh, with the festivities being hosted by Hector Ó hEochagáin.[8] A soundtrack of Irish music featuring bands such as The Cranberries and Snow Patrol was put together by Larry Mullen, Jr. for the fireworks display, whilst Mundy and Sharon Shannon performed during half-time.[9][10] The match ended with a victory for Tyrone by a score of 1-18 to 1-16.[9]

President of Ireland Mary McAleese gave the Ó Fiaich Lecture in March 2009, speaking about the significance of the organisation's history.[3] On 17 March 2009 (Saint Patrick's Day), the GAA was a central feature of the Dublin parade.[10]

A conference occurred in Croke Park one day in April.[3] 24 April 2009 was designated GAA 125 Schools Day and those of school-going age were encouraged to wear costumes related to the GAA.[10]

In May, two matches were held in Grangemockler, County Tipperary, to remember Michael Hogan who was shot dead by authorities while on the field of play.[3] At least 400,000 people from around the world took part in events held for Lá na gClub on 10 May 2009.[10][11]

Avondale's Parnell Summer School examined the connections between sport and society in August.[3] A conference titled "The birth of Croke Park in the Ballyhoura mountains" took place that month in honour of Frank Dineen, a unique man in that he was a former president and secretary of the Gaelic Athletic Association.[12]

RTÉ Radio 1 broadcast original commentary from its archive footage of All-Ireland Football Finals and All-Ireland Hurling Finals on Sunday mornings between June and September.[13] Guinness, a major sponsor of hurling and itself celebrating its own 250th anniversary in 2009, donated €250 per goal scored during the 2009 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship, which led to nearly €25,000.[14]

The GAA 125 Quiz Final took place in Croke Park's Museum on 18 September 2009. Jimmy Magee was quizmaster on the night.[15] The winner received a prize of a trophy, dinner, overnight stay in a hotel and tickets to the 2009 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final on the night of which they were also to appear on The Sunday Game television highlights package on RTÉ One.[15][16] A qualifying round previously took place at the same venue three weeks earlier on 28 August 2009.[17] Irish language television channel TG4 also conducted a similar quiz on its website in association with Jimmy Magee.[18]

A special book dedicated to the 125th year of the GAA will be released in November.[3][10] It is titled The GAA—A People’s History.[19][20][21] The book includes journal entries and photographs from the 125-year period of the GAA's existence.[22]

On the anniversary on 1 November there was a Mass at Thurles Cathedral, a ceremony at Thurles's Dr Croke monument, celebrations at the GAA Museum in Croke Park and a day of GAA television programming on TG4.[2]

See also


  1. ^ "Celebrating 125 Years of The GAA". Gaelic Athletic Association. Archived from the original on 2 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-24.
  2. ^ a b "GAA celebrates 125th anniversary". RTÉ. 1 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-01.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Seán Moran (2 December 2008). "'Late Late show' special and floodlit Croke Park match to start celebrations". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2009-10-24. Next month the anniversary year begins with two major events. On 9 January the GAA will be the exclusive focus of RTÉ's Late Late Show. According to Burns this will mark the start of the year's events. "The Late Late Show reaches into many thousands of homes in Ireland and that will be the throw-in event for us." Larry Masterson, the programme's executive producer, who attended the announcement, said: "It (the programme's 2009 schedule) will kick off with a Late Late Show special, which we can kick into full-time now that the toy show is over. It will be a big show." [...] At the end of the month the 2009 National Football League opens with the meeting of Leinster champions Dublin and All-Ireland champions Tyrone under lights at Croke Park, a revisiting of the first - and to date only - scheduled floodlit intercounty match at the venue, which took place in February of last year. [...] Other events lined up include the publication in November of the 125th anniversary book, the first release of the GAA Oral History Project and in May two Michael Hogan memorial matches in his home club of Grangemockler in Tipperary. The football match between Tipperary and Dublin will commemorate the 1920 challenge match on Bloody Sunday when Hogan was among those killed. [...] The Irish Film Institute will be screening a series of films celebrating the anniversary. In March the President of Ireland, Mary McAleese will deliver the Ó Fiaich Lecture on the subject of the importance of the GAA in the past 125 years. In April a one-day history conference will be held in Croke Park. Then in August, the Parnell Summer School in Avondale will look at the history and contemporary relevance of sport in Irish society.
  4. ^ "GAA anniversary exhibition". Carlow People. 1 September 2009. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 2009-10-24.
  5. ^ "Dire late late show falls flat for GAA celebration". Athlone Advertiser. 16 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-24.
  6. ^ Frank Roche and Conor McKeon (14 January 2009). "125 birthday wishes for the GAA". Evening Herald. Retrieved 2009-10-24.
  7. ^ Cite error: The named reference Late Late show' special and floodlit Croke Park match to start celebrations was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  8. ^ "Brennan looking forward to 'GAA 125'". RTÉ. 22 January 2009. Archived from the original on 29 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-24.
  9. ^ a b "GAA celebrates 125 years with Croker celebration". The Irish Times. 31 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-24. The GAA tonight celebrated its 125th anniversary with a spectacular lights and fireworks show in Croke Park following a closely fought game between Dublin and Tyrone that the visitors won by 1-18 to 1-16. An “Iconic moments” show, featuring GAA highlights, over the years was screened, as part of the 125 Spectacle Event, and this was followed by a 20-minute lighting and fireworks extravaganza that saw the stadium bathed in a range of colours to a musical accompaniment. U2 drummer Larry Mullen produced the soundtrack for the lighting and fireworks display, which included tracks from, among others, U2, Snow Patrol, the Cranberries, and the Waterboys. A bilingual tribute to the GAA was provided by commentator Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh, and at one point an extract from former US president John F. Kennedy's speech to the Dáil was played over the PA system. [...] Half-time entertainment came from Sharon Shannon and Mundy.
  10. ^ a b c d e "125 years of the GAA!". The Afternoon Show. 30 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-24.
  11. ^ "Clubs celebrate GAA 125". Newry Democrat. May 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-24. [permanent dead link]
  12. ^ Barry Duggan (6 July 2009). "GAA event to honour pioneer of Croke Park". Irish Independent. Archived from the original on 17 February 2013. Retrieved 2009-10-24.
  13. ^ "GAA 125 - All-Ireland Final Replay". RTÉ. 1 June 2009. Archived from the original on 25 September 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-24.
  14. ^ Seán Moran (12 October 2009). "Hurling symposium to begin consultative process". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2009-10-24. As part of long-term hurling championship sponsor Guinness’s 250th anniversary, the company offered as recognition of the GAA’s 125 celebrations to contribute €250 for every goal scored in this year’s championship, a total that raised nearly €25,000. Central Council accepted a proposal to spend the money on a symposium to consider the future of the game, which will be attended by officials and players from all counties.
  15. ^ a b "Offaly man to contest GAA 125 Quiz Final". Offaly Independent. 18 September 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-24.
  16. ^ Marisa Reidy (16 September 2009). "Rathmore man sails into GAA quiz final". The Kerryman. Retrieved 2009-10-24.
  17. ^ "Louth people encouraged to enter All-Ireland GAA quiz". The Argus. 5 August 2009. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 2009-10-24.
  18. ^ "Jimmy Magee @ 125". TG4. Archived from the original on 12 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-24.
  19. ^ Seán Moran (2009-10-06). "RTÉ unable to televise draw". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2009-10-24. RTÉ television would usually have broadcast the draws but on this occasion is unable to tie in with the GAA’s date. Instead the business will go ahead in Croke Park next Tuesday on the same evening as the official launch by association president Christy Cooney of the 125 anniversary publication, The GAA—A People’s History.
  20. ^ Colm Keys (2009-10-13). "TV draw U-turn delights Delaney". Irish Independent. Retrieved 2009-10-24.
  21. ^ "Championship draw will be live on RTÉ". RTÉ. 2009-10-12. Archived from the original on 15 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-24.
  22. ^ Keith Duggan (2009-10-03). "Uncommon images of common GAA people". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2009-10-24. Take this journal entry from a 1926 publication by Thomas J Kenny, Tour of the Tipperary Hurling Team in America, 1926: “Saturday May 15th: ‘Not much sleep last night when Nealon and Kennedy called on their rounds with notebook and pencil, asked if we jazzed with the Germans, thereby suspending ourselves from the GAA and if we took the meat sandwiches, thereby excommunicating ourselves from the Catholic Church’.”

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