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Gaelic Athletic Association - Oral History Project


gaa oral history project

In keeping with the experience of many counties, the GAA in Limerick suffered a decline in the late nineteenth century. Its recovery would be quicker than most, however. The establishment of a new county board in 1894 was quickly followed by All-Ireland success in both football and hurling. Of the two codes, hurling would establish its pre-eminence in the county in the early decades of the twentieth century. The county won All-Ireland titles in 1918 and again in 1921, but the 1930s represented the true heyday of Limerick hurling.  Five National League titles in a row were won, as were two All-Ireland titles, with a third added in 1940. Owing to emigration and other factors, this tradition of success could not be maintained and it was only in 1973 that Limerick’s hurlers won their next All-Ireland title. This remains their most recent national title. Despite the stiff competition faced by the GAA from rugby, particularly since the onset of professionalism and the success of the Munster Rugby team, important steps have taken by the local Association – manifest in the improvements to club and county facilities – to secure a healthy future for Gaelic games in the city and wider county.


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Limerick face Tipperary in the 1937 Munster final in Cork. Tipperary were winners on the day.
©GAA Oral History Project


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Members of St Munchin's GAA Club appeal for money for their new field, Seoirse Clancy Memorial Park.
©GAA Oral History Project

Liam Lenihan
Paul Herr

Liam Lenihan, b. 1950

Liam talks about his involvement in the 'Lifting the Treaty' project; a project aimed at encouraging the playing of hurling in Limerick City.
©GAA Oral History Project

Paul Herr, b. 1973

Paul discusses the popularity of handball in his home town of Hospital and in the rest of Limerick.
©GAA Oral History Project

'Have great memories of going to games all six of family – parents, two sisters and brother in a small Anglia.  Food would be consumed on the side of the road. Colours hung out and horns etc. blown at friend and foe. Many tears were shed on days of disappointment but the joy of winning was unbelievable and the Munster Hurling Final of 1973 will never be forgotten.'
- Gearóid Ó Súilleabháin, b. 1956
©GAA Oral History Project

'The highlight of our day, our week and our night was to go out for a puck, you’d have your stick stuck at the back of the gate somewhere because if someone found it he’d take it and you’d have no stick to go out for a puck.... It’s our stamp, the GAA is really our stamp it’s the rural man’s stamp, right, it says who he is like, what you stand for, right, where your spirit comes from, you know, ‘tis your freedom, you know, there’s nothing as good to hear or to do than to have a fair clash with the ash there like and to win an aul ball, d’you know and the other fell will enjoy it even though he might lose it, it doesn’t matter, but that’s the way it is like.'
- Micheál Mac an tSaoir, b. 1946
©GAA Oral History Project

'Ceapaim go bhfuil an CLG an-tábhachtach dúinn mar chlann, réitimid go maith lena chéile agus is é mo thuairim go bhfuil sé sin de bharr an páirt a bhí ag an CLG inár saoil.'
- Theresa Corbett, b. 1988
©GAA Oral History Project

Click here to read a sample of a full length questionnaire: Ger Cleary, b. 1948