My Favorite Dublin Landmark! (so far…)

6 Nov

Last weekend, our class finally went to the place I’d been most looking forward to visiting – Croke Park! I’m a sports fanatic so I’m always excited to learn about the local sports in every country I go to. I had the opportunity to go to the GAA at the beginning of the semester and we learned how to play Gaelic Football and Hurling. It was so much fun but hurling was a lot rougher than I expected! I’m a rugby player and I’m pretty tough but hurling scared me! I loved watching the football and hurling finals on TV in September, but it was even more fun to walk through the park and walk the same way the players walk through the stadium and onto the field. At one point, me and 3 other students got so into looking at the field that we completely lost our tour group! Croke Park is so big that if we took a wrong turn anywhere we could be lost for a while. After running around for what seemed like hours, we found someone with a walkie-talkie and they helped us relocate our group. I didn’t feel bad about it though because a group of freshmen got lost too and they ended up on the other side of the stadium!

 

Like I said in one of my blog posts before, I’m so surprised there aren’t more movies made about Irish history. The story behind Croke Park is so intense and powerful; its no surprise Irish people have so much pride for the park and their sports.  During the war for independence, the royal army entered the park during a game, opened fire and killed 14 people. Because of this, “English” sports could not be played in Croke Park and anyone in the GAA could not be a part of a rugby, cricket or soccer club. In 2005, the GAA Annual congress voted to allow the Irish rugby and soccer teams to lease out Croke Park for games while their stadium was being redeveloped. Although we learned a lot about this before going to Croke Park, I still learned a lot from the tour. I thought our tour guide was great and she told us a lot about the history of the stadium as well as some fun facts. When my parents come to Dublin in a few weeks, I’m definitely going to take them to Croke Park because I want to go again and do the skyline tour!

 

Sources: 
Our tour guide Siobhan!

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