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  • GAA

GAA to mark centenary of Gaelic Sunday

Wednesday, 18th July, 2018 11:09am
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GAA to mark centenary of Gaelic Sunday
GAA to mark centenary of Gaelic Sunday

August 4, 1918 will be remembered as one of the most remarkable and significant days in the history of the GAA.

Known as Gaelic Sunday – it was a day when the clubs of the GAA stood against the British Empire and triumphed in a peaceful protest.

In 1918 the British authorities in Ireland were trying to impose conscription to supplement the war effort but there was massive opposition to this. British authorities blamed the GAA in part for this opposition and hit back by preventing matches from taking place, stopping the provision of special trains to carry supporters to matches and insisting that a written permit was required granting permission for any GAA match to take place.

In response the GAA declared a national day of defiance and called on GAA clubs all over Ireland to refuse to seek a permit and instead organise club activity for 3pm on Sunday, August 4. The result was that an estimated 54,000 took part with more than 100,000 watching and such was the success of the initiative that the attempt to impose a requirement for a license to play Gaelic games was scrapped.

Gaelic Sunday was not just an act of defiance but also an expression of the pride of GAA members in their clubs, their games, their players and their communities. Although much in life has changed in Ireland over the last 100 years - that pride is very much still in place, and still worth celebrating. Gaelic Sunday was in effect the first ever Lá na gClub.

2018 marks the centenary of that courageous act and GAA Clubs all over Ireland are encouraged to show a similar level of pride in their club, their games and the area they represent.

Across the weekend of August 4&5, clubs are invited to hold their own club events as part of these commemorations. It could be an internal club tournament, family day or club history exhibit. What matters is that 100 years on we still have games and GAA clubs we are proud of.

Clubs who want to advise Croke Park of their Gaelic Sunday activities can do so via clubnewsletter@gaa.ie.

The below account is from the Freeman's Journal details how Gaelic Sunday unfolded in North Tipperary on August 4, 1918.

In North Tipperary the arrangements made by the division were loyally carried out and practically every village was a centre of Gaelic activity on Sunday.

Fourteen matches were fixed, and at 8 o’clock (old time) the North Tipperary Gaels, in common with their brother Gaels in all parts of the country, went into action in support of the National Pastimes Offensive.

The attitude of the authorities was in sharp contrast in their action a week previously when one dare not participate in or attend a hurling contest.

At Kilruane, a few miles from Nenagh, there was a large attendance for the contest between Nenagh and Ballymackey.

Sometime prior to the match the local police sergeant applied for admission which was refused without payment of the customary fee. The sergeant having taken the name of the gentleman on the gate withdrew with a constable to the roadside, from where they viewed the match.

While the play could have been better the contest was, nevertheless, a good one, and great interest was taken in it. The teams were well matched, and the score of Nenagh, 3 goals 2 points, and Ballymackey, 2 goals 5 points, gives a fair indication of the play.

At Park, Toomevara and Moneygall went into action. There was a very large attendance, and three police and a military officer viewed the game from the roadside. The match resulted in a draw of 12 points each.

The following North Tipperary teams took the field on Sunday: Ballina v Ballywilliam, Newport v Birdhill at Clare Glens, Portroe v Garrykennedy, Shallee v Foilnamuck, Kiladangan v Ardcroney at Ardcroney, Finnoe v Kilbarron at Finnoe, Abbeyville v Eglish and Lorrha v Glenahilty at Abbeyville, Roscrea v Coolderry at Roscrea, Toomevara v Moneygall at Park, Toomevara v Gurtagarry at Gurtagarry, Ballymackey v Nenagh at Kilruane, Templederry v Curreeny, Newport Shamrocks v Ballinahinch

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