On our recent trip to Croke Park we learned about it’s cultural significance in Ireland. Rather than being a typical American sports stadium, it is home to unique to Gaelic sports such as Gaelic football and hurling. The objective of Gaelic Football is to pass the ball into to the other teams goal (played with both hands and feet) and it is a strictly amateur sport. The final matches for these games can be widely noticed through out the country, as they are a huge part of the culture. Another sport, Hurling, is a traditional Irish sport that has been being played for over 3,000 years. The object is for players use a wooden stick called a “hurley” to get a ball between the opposing teams goal posts, with the major championship game being the All-Ireland Hurling Final. Most recently the teams in the All-Ireland Hurling Final were Cork v. Claire.
Croke Park was also historically the scene for the 1920 Bloody Sunday, two years before Ireland was able to gain independence. The event took place during a Gaelic football match, in which the British Police shot and killed/fatally wounded 14 people. Since the tragic event, there was a stand built for the Tipperary team captain Hogan who was killed during the events.
Croke Park, being so large in size and with a plethora of seating (80,000) has also been an ideal spot for some of the most famous stadium concerts in history. Some of these concerts include Tina Turner, Elton John, U2, Bon Jovi, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and One Direction. Croke Park has clearly made itself more than just a significant sporting stadium, but an ideal part of Ireland’s grown history.