In May 2013, the GAA Museum completed the final phase of a major refurbishment programme. In addition to a dedicated temporary exhibition area that was added in 2010 as part of the first phase of refurbishment, the museum now boasts all-new permanent exhibition galleries featuring displays which vividly illustrate the history and development of Gaelic games from ancient times to the present day.
Refurbished galleries focus on modern heroes of the games and feature Four-in-a-Row teams, great Replays and Rivalries, Camogie, Ladies Football, Handball and International Rules, as well as dedicated displays on the current Hurler and Footballer of the Year and All-Ireland Club Championship winners.
The museum is also home to the official GAA Hall of Fame, which celebrates former players who have made a unique and exceptional contribution to hurling and football. Offaly's Tony McTague and Limerick's Eamonn Cregan became the first players inducted into the GAA Hall of Fame in 2013, along with the hurling and football Teams of the Millennium.
Other new developments include a touch screen poster exhibit of the hurling and football All-Stars featuring every poster since the scheme's inception in 1971. There are oral history sound booths showcasing clips from the Association's oral history archive, as well as touch screen exhibits that give visitors the opportunity to watch highlights of All-Ireland football and hurling finals from as far back as 1931, as well as a new exhibit of radio commentaries featuring the unique voices of Michael O Hehir and Michael Ó Muircheartaigh.
As well as its permanent exhibitions, the GAA Museum has hosted a number of temporary exhibitions.
The GAA - A Global Phenomenon is our latest temporary exhibition and provides an overview of the history and development of the GAA overseas from 1884 to the present day. The exhibition covers the GAA worldwide, focusing on the Association’s development in key regions - Britain, North America, Australasia, Asia, Europe and Canada. The exhibition includes artefacts from the museum’s own collection and material from the GAA Archive, in addition to material from other institutions including Kerry County Museum, Lár na Páirce in Thurles and the Association's clubs and units overseas.
One of the most successful exhibitions in the GAA Museum in recent years opened in June 2011. Dermot Earley - Leader & Legend honoured the late Dermot Earley, former Roscommon footballer and Chief-of-Staff of the Irish Defence Forces. Dermot Earley - Leader & Legend celebrated Dermot's life and featured souvenirs from his career as a hugely successful gaelic footballer, playing for both Roscommon and Connacht, and from his distinguished military career in the Irish Defence Forces. The exhibition was a great success and attracted many visitors during its one year-tenure in Croke Park. Items from this exhibition, including Dermot Earley's medal collection, Roscommon jersey and All-Star Awards, are now on permanent display in the museum's first floor "Legends of the Game" display.
In 2010, the GAA Museum hosted Fighting Irishmen - Celebrating Celtic Prizefighters 1820 to present. This exhibition, organised by the Irish Arts Centre, NYC under the direction of Jim Houlihan, told the story of Irish emigration through the sport of boxing.