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Launch of Essay Competition for Secondary School Students

Launch of Essay Competition for Secondary School Students

13th January 2011

The GAA Museum is delighted to announce the launch of an annual National GAA Essay Competition. This competition is open to all secondary school students. Prizes will be awarded for the best essay received at both junior level and senior level.

The top prize in each category, junior and senior, will be a laptop and the runner-up will receive a €200 book token.

The aim of the competition is to encourage secondary school students to undertake a detailed inquiry into the history of the GAA.

The GAA Museum will, when requested, offer advice to all applicants on the possible sources available per essay topic; advice will also be given on how best to access these sources.

Essays will be judged on a number of criteria, including 

  • the level and depth of original research
  • evaluation and interpretation of facts and sources
  • the presentation of evidence within the essay   

Applicants can choose from the following topics:

List of Topics applicants can choose from

1.    The History of Croke Park

2.    The GAA and Irish Nationalism 1884-1921

3.    The GAA Abroad

4.    Bloody Sunday, Croke Park, 1920

5.    The work of a General Secretary of the Association, 1884-1979

6.    The history of a Provincial Council of the GAA

7.    The history of a local GAA club / county board (including camogie, ladies
       football, rounders and handball)

8.    A historical GAA figure - examples include, but are not limited to:

       - National GAA figures such as Michael Cusack,

       - Local GAA figures i.e. club or county Secretaries

       - Persons after whom clubs have been named

9.    The 1947 Polo Grounds and its significance

10.  The GAA during World War I or the GAA during World War II

Submission of entries

Essays can be submitted either by post or email:

Attn: Archivist
The GAA Museum
Croke Park
Dublin 3

All entries must be marked "Secondary Schools Essay Competition" and should include student name, contact details and the name of the school.  Please indicate if the entry is for the junior or senior level.

Closing date for receipt of entries is March 31st 2011.  Winners will be notified by late-April 2011.

For further information, please contact the GAA Museum's Archivist - email


General Rules of the Secondary Schools Essay Competition

Essays must only be on the proscribed topics. Essays submitted on
non-proscribed topics are not permitted, under any circumstances.

Essays entered by Junior Level students must be between 750 and 1,000
words in length; essays at Senior Level must be between 1,200 and 1,500
ords in length.

Junior level entrants are encouraged to use both primary and secondary sources in their essay-when judging essays the quality of the sources used will form part of the criteria in  determining the overall Junior Level winner.  

Senior level entrants must include at least two primary or specialist secondary
sources which must be clearly referenced throughout the essay. Examples of primary sources available include GAA minute books, the eyewitness accounts of Bloody Sunday, newspaper reports etc.

Appointments to use the primary records of the GAA are absolutely necessary; students who do not book in advance cannot, under any circumstance, be accommodated. 

All applications must be unique and original i.e. while individual students can enter this competition every year they must submit a new and original essay  each time. Re-submitted essays will not be considered.