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An Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D. officially launches refurbished GAA Museum at Croke Park

An Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D. officially launches refurbished GAA Museum at Croke Park

17th May 2013

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An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, T.D. has officially unveiled the newly-refurbished GAA Museum at Croke Park.

The final phase of renovation now includes the official GAA Hall of Fame, a modern-day heroes and legends gallery, eight exciting interactive skill zones and dedicated sound booths showcasing clips from the association’s oral history archive. The museum boasts a vast collection of objects that illustrate the development of Gaelic games from ancient times to the present day.  

The state-of-the-art visitor experience, which offers a unique insight into Irish social and political history of the past 150 years, has been consistently rated in the top five out of 221 Dublin visitor attractions by the TripAdvisor website over the past two years. Visitor numbers have increased from 67,000 in 2008 to an expected 108,000 in 2013, with 35% coming from overseas markets such as France, Britain, Spain and the USA.

Liam O’Neill, President of the GAA said; “We are delighted that An Taoiseach is here today to officially unveil the refurbished museum. For many, a visit to the GAA Museum is a living realisation of their life’s passion. For others, it is a reminder of the GAA’s momentous role in Ireland’s sport, culture, politics and society. For others still, it must act as an introduction to the most successful and effective amateur sporting organisation in the world, with a focus on participation and commitment that transcends sport. This cascades through generations to reinforce Irish identity and pride at parish/club, county, provincial, national and international level.  The newly-refurbished museum with all its interactive zones and historic memorabilia helps bring this alive in a fun and engaging way for both Irish people and tourists alike”. 

An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, T.D. said "The GAA has a very special place in the lives and hearts of Irish people and local GAA clubs, energised by dedicated volunteers, are its backbone. The GAA Museum at Croke Park provides a marvellous insight into the unique place the Association has in our country, in every county and in every parish. The museum clearly illustrates how deeply ingrained the GAA is in our social fabric as well as performing a vital role in curating historical material. It has proven to be extremely popular with visitors of all ages from home and abroad and its latest enhancement is a great addition to our tourism offering in the year of the Gathering 2013. I want to thank and pay tribute to the GAA who are contributing significantly to the overall Gathering initiative this year and these gatherings may well develop into annual traditions or create lasting connections with other parts of the world."

Mark Dorman, GAA Museum Director commented, “Since 2008, we have continuously invested in building a state-of-the-art visitor attraction at Croke Park. Last year, we opened the Etihad Skyline Tour which has been extremely successful in attracting extra visitors. All the new additions will ensure that the GAA Museum becomes a must-see attraction for anybody visiting Dublin and interested in gaining a unique insight into Irish culture and society.”

A host of GAA players, past and present were in attendance. This included former Tipperary hurler Tony Reddin - the oldest living member of the hurling Team of the Millennium who was accompanied by three generations of his family - ladies football star Sinead Goldrick (Dublin) and former recipients of the GAA All Star Footballer of the Year Award Stephen O’Neill (Tyrone) and Marc Ó Sé (Kerry). 

The newly-refurbished museum, which is also open on match days, offers visitors an interactive experience like never before. Refurbished galleries focusing on modern heroes of the GAA feature Four-in-a-Row Teams, Replays and Rivalries, Camogie, Ladies Football, Handball and International Rules. Other new features include a touch screen poster exhibit of the hurling and football All-Stars,  oral history sound booths and interactive games zone where visitors can see how fast they can react, test their passing skills and practice a fingertip save or the art of the high catch.  

Visit our Photo Gallery for more images of the refurbished GAA Museum.