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GAA Founders

In Hayes Hotel, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, the G.A.A. was founded in 1884. The Brain-child of Michael Cusack the teacher from Clare, it is to-day the largest amateur sporting organisation in Ireland. Michael Cusack (1847 - 1906), secretary 1884 - 1886. From Carron, Co. Clare; a native irish speaker. Became a national teacher, then a secondary teacher; taught in Clare, Galway, Down, Kildare, Kilkenny and Dublin. Proprietor of Cusack’s Academy, Dublin from 1877. Involved in athletics in the 1870’s and in the Irish Language movement in the 1880’s. Campaigned for the establishment of a body to get control of athletics for nationalists, later adding revival of hurling as a second aim. Got support of Maurice Davin in mid - 1884, and of leading Home Rule figures. Founded the G.A.A. in Thurles on November 1st. 1884. Although removed as secretary in 1886 he remained active in the G.A.A. for the rest of his live. Maurice Davin had the same pride in native customs that fostered manliness. His concern was to preserve the dignity and vindicate the prestige of native athleticism and rescue it from humiliating alien influences. As one of an outstanding family of athletes, he resented these, and no one was better fitted to lead the revolt against them. For this and because of his personal prowess in the arena, Maurice Davin may justly be acknowledged as the “Father of Modern Irish Athletics” and was the first President of the G.A.A. He was born in Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary, on 29th. of June 1842 and died at his home in Deerpark on the 26th. of January 1927. Dr. Croke brought a third and immeasurably powerful element of strength into the Association when he became its first Patron. As Archbishop of Cashel, his approval was of the utmost importance. It was opportunely forthcoming, and until the day of his death his interest in the well-being and success of the G.A.A. never diminished. When it was threatened with disruption he brought the dissident parties together: when it was assailed he defended it; when it was in need of practical help, he gave it. A lover of all manly outdoor sports belonging to the people, Dr. Croke realised the immense moral benefits to be gained by organisation and discipline and as an advocate of national independence, he saw in those self-disciplined ranks an invaluable force for the attainment of that long-sought goal. He was born in Mallow, Co.Cork, on the 19th. of May 1824 and died on the 22nd. of July 1902. Published in a single limited edition of 650 worldwide, each print is individually numbered and signed by Brian O'Flaherty, and comes with a Certificate of Authenticity signed by the artist.
SKU: GA 006
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