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Gaelic Athletic Association - Oral History Project

Publications — The GAA: A People's History

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Montage of images from book
Cover of The GAA: A People's History

Ireland without the GAA is unimaginable. As the Association moves past its 125th anniversary, The GAA: A People’s History tells the story of how it has carved for itself a unique place at the heart of Irish life. Commissioned by the GAA, this is a people’s history. It outlines how Gaelic games, and the social world which revolves around the Association, has shaped the lives of generations of Irish people at home and abroad. From parades and ballads to epic journeys across land and sea, this history of the GAA is as much about what happened off the field as what happened on it.

Lavishly illustrated with previously unseen photographs and original historical documents, this is a book with absorbing insights into a world that is uniquely Irish, yet has a global reach. It sets the GAA experience in the context of an island in the midst of significant change. Political revolution, social upheaval, and a shifting cultural landscape are all reflected in the story of the GAA. It documents the successes and failures, the controversies, the diversity, the passion, and the sheer fascination of life with the GAA. In short, this book is about how generations of Irish people have spent their time in the hours between work and sleep in thrall to their games and the Association that organises them.
Table of contents of The GAA: A People's History
Click here to access the Table of Contents of 'The GAA: A People's History'.

The GAA: A People’s History is authored by Mike Cronin, Mark Duncan, and Paul Rouse, all directors of the GAA Oral History Project. Commissioned by the GAA and based at Boston College-Ireland, this project aims to record the rich, diverse and complex history of the Association through the words of local people in every parish of the country and among Irish communities overseas. It is the largest sports history project of its kind, and one to which anyone can contribute.

Your story is our history. For more information on the project or to participate, please click here to return to our home page.

Reviews of The GAA: A People’s History

Listen to John Bowman's Sunday Shows from 11th and 18th October 2009, featuring segments on The GAA: A People’s History.

The GAA: A People’s History is available to buy NOW in all good bookshops, or visit The Collins Press web site at