Hurling is older than recorded history. The earliest written reference to the sports were in Brehon Law around the fifth century. It lays claim to be the oldest and fastest field sport in the world. It is referenced throughout Irish myths and legends, the most famous of which is Cú Chullainn.
What is Gaelic Games?
Gaelic Football | Hurling | Gaelic Handball | Unique Activity
Gaelic Games - Ireland's Best Kept Cultural Secret.
The First Written Reference To Hurling?
The Association Was Founded In?
On the 1st November 1884, the GAA formally became an association with a set of governing rules. This meeting took place in the Hayes Hotel in Thurles, Tipperary. Since then, the association has gone from strength to strength, with a thriving membership base.
Banned To Play
As recently as the 1920s, the games were actually banned and outlawed to play. Before gaining independence, members of the GAA were almost seen as threats to the British Army. If you were found taking part in the games, you could be arrested. This led to a lot of clashes, one of which was Bloody Sunday.
In 1974, the Ladies Gaelic Football Association was founded. This was the start of what is now a thriving sport, with Ladies Gaelic Football now seen as the fastest growing team sport in Europe. The 2019 All-Ireland Ladies Football final was the largest attended female sporting event ever held on the planet, surpassed by the Womens’ Soccer World Cup.
The GAA as an organisation has over 500,000 members worldwide. This includes over 2,200 clubs on our island and over 700 clubs worldwide. It is a thriving organisation that lays claim to be the largest amateur organisation in the world. Rooted in grassroots, the GAA thrives on participation, inclusion for all and volunteerism.
One can’t experience Ireland without experiencing the cultural phenomenon that is Gaelic Games and the GAA. With over 2,200 clubs throughout the island of Ireland, it truly is at the heart of every single community. The GAA is the largest amateur organisation in the world and is a vital part of our identity in Ireland.
Experience Real Ireland
These clubs, in which we bring you into the heart of the community, act as the custodians of ancient Gaelic culture. In the face of a tsunami of cultural globalisation, remarkably, these clubs thrive in modern Ireland. They combine to deliver the largest social sporting and cultural organisation on the island – and remarkably the largest amateur organisation on the planet.
In one of these clubs, Na Fianna CLG in Dublin, the club contributes €50 million in social value to the local community each year. This was verified in an independent report by Whitebarn Consulting. Add to that 2,200 other clubs and it just shows the importance of the GAA in modern Ireland.