Croke Park

3 Nov

Croke Park combines two of my favorite subjects, history and sports. Since Croke Park was opened in 1913, it has hosted hundreds if not thousands of different games, including hurling, rugby, Gaelic football, American football, soccer and other sports. When we toured it, our guide told us many different stories about the hurling and Gaelic football matches that have taken place there. We listened to the story of the 2011 All-Ireland Gaelic Football Final, where the defender Kevin Nolan scored to tie the game in the closing minutes for his first point ever and how the goalkeeper, Stephen Cluxton, took possibly the most pressured penalty kick in sports history, made it and won the championship for Dublin. He also told us about the 19 year old Shane O’Donnell who, not finding out he was playing until an hour and a half before the game started, scored a hat trick in the first 19 minutes of the first half. He went from a nobody to an MVP in the span of a few hours and is now a hero in Clare. All of these stories bring the place to life, but there is still more of a historical aspect to it. On Bloody Sunday in 1920, British troops open fired into a crowd at Croke Park, killing 14 civilians. Despite this dark day in Irish history, Croke Park is one of the most magnificent places in the world, and it has made me love Irish sports all the more.

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