The GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) was founded in 1884 and is responsible for the four national games of Ireland: hurling, Gaelic football, camogie (hurling for women) and handball. Croke Park - the Association's magnificent showcase stadium (cap. 82,500) and HQ - is home to a museum celebrating the GAA’s unique historic, sporting and cultural significance in Ireland. Daily Tours bring you behind-the-scenes at this vast sporting facility. Check ahead for times and availability.
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Many of the GAA's members played a pivotal role in Ireland's struggle for Independence and, to this day, the Association acts as an important conduit for Ireland's indigenous heritage. Forty audiovisual shows bring players and past memories to life, from goalkeepers to the women's game, provincial stadia to the stadium's darkest hour when, in 1920, the British Army's Black and Tans murdered 13 spectators and player Michael Hogan in an indiscriminate attack.
A relaxation of rules banning non-GAA sports has recently seen Ireland's soccer and rugby teams using Croke Park while their home - Lansdowne Road - underwent a major redevelopment (and a name change to the Aviva Stadium). Two American Football matches, the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2003 Special Olympics (the first outside the USA) and the Mohammed Ali v Al 'Blue' Lewis 1972 boxing match have also been staged here. And Antipodean visitors will revel in the International Rules exhibit highlighting Gaelic and Aussie Rules Foootball matches. The Museum Café is open Mon-Sat 10:00-15:00 and on match days.
The Etihad Skyline Tour offers a great bird's eye tour, with unique access to the stadium's rooftop walkway. Starting in the dressing rooms, a tour guide will bring you all the way to the roof of the GAA world, to a walkway with five viewing platforms offering spectacular views not only of the grounds themselves but the entire city as far as the Dublin Mountains. Brave souls can also walk out onto a walkway suspended above the pitch, if they dare...