Croke Park, Not Just A Stadium- Clayton Franzoni

24 Sep

Croke Park Medium cropped

When I first heard about our tour of Croke Park coming up in the near future, I was excited to see a massive stadium that was home to Hurling and Gaelic football. I did not realize the background of Croke Park nor the GAA, so I was only expecting a shallow tour about sports and the fans that admire these games. We entered the lobby area and watched a replay of a Hurling match and then proceeded to go on a tour of the stadium. Our tour guide was very informative and what she told us about Croke Park and the GAA’s history really shed light on how important this place was to the Irish people. The GAA was started by a man named Michael Cusack who wrote an article titled “A word about Irish Athletics.” This article was was published in the United Ireland and the Irishman on October 11, 1884. One week later, Maurice Davin showed his support for Cusack’s article and they held a meeting in the Haye’s Commercial Hotel on November 1st of that year. This meeting started the “Gaelic Athletic Association for the Preservation and Cultivation of National Pastimes.” I believe the history behind Croke Park, specifically “Bloody Sunday,” is why the Irish people take so much pride in this stadium. “Bloody Sunday” occurred on November 21st, 1920 during a match between Dublin and Tipperary. At 3:15 pm, British forces raided Croke Park and began firing their weapons into the crowd and killed 14 people, one of which was Michael Hogan, a player for the Tipperary team. The Irish people were not the only people affected by this act of terrorism, the British public was also in awe of this unforgettable event. Croke Park is more than just a stadium. It is a national monument that is admired by people all over Europe. This day is remembered mainly by people all over Ireland and how it was a key factor in Ireland’s fight for independence.

Clayton Franzoni


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