Croke Park

6 Apr

With a seating capacity north of 82,000 Croke Park is one of the largest stadiums that I have ever been in, and the opportunity to see  the locker rooms, run on to the field, and go up to see the field through a sky box was a great experience. One of the things that impressed me the most was the history behind the stadium.   Like most things in Ireland there is a history lesson in every corner of the stadium. One of the more intriguing stories that caught my attention was about Hill 16. Hill 16 is the standing room only part of the stadium, and does not look like it fits into the rest of the stadium almost like it was just kind of stuck at the end. Originally Hill 16 was called Hill 60, this stems from the Battle of Hill 60 where the Royal Dublin Fusiliers lost a lot of men. They changed the name to Hill 16 because they did not want to have a reference to a British Battle. They re-named it Hill 16 to reference the year 1916 when the Irish took over the General post office on O’Connell Street. Once they re-named the section as story stemmed from it, the tour guide told us it was originally built by stacking the ruble from O’Connell Street. The ruble came from the Easter Rising where the Irish Republicans took control of the Post Office on O’Connell Street. The ruble was produced by artillery fire from the Royal Navy. Like in many different occasions in Ireland the story of Hill 16 ads an extra dimension to the history of Croke Park. It makes Hill 16 a part of the stadium that looked out of place, to something that adds pride and history to a Stadium that hosts a majority the major sporting events in Ireland.Image

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