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Gaelic Athletic Association - Oral History Project


gaa oral history project

While there was GAA activity in Roscommon in the late nineteenth century, it took until the early twentieth century for the county to enjoy success at a representative level. Several Connacht football titles were won during this period, as was a hurling title in 1913 – this remains the county’s only Provincial hurling success.  Football was, and remains, the Gaelic sport of choice in the county, its popularity bolstered in the 1940s by the winning of back-to-back All-Ireland football titles in 1943 and 1944. Such success, yet to be repeated, was helped by administrative improvements in the county and the emergence of Roscommon CBS as a serious conveyor belt of local football talent. Efforts to build on the achievements of the 1940s were undoubtedly hampered by a declining agricultural economy and emigration.  So while Roscommon managed to win at least one Connacht championship in each decade since the 1940s, no further All-Ireland titles have followed. Against that, the county’s hurlers have twice won an All-Ireland junior title while the ladies’ football team claimed a senior All-Ireland title in 1978.


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The Sam Maguire rests on a stool in the village of Knockcroghery after Roscommon's All-Ireland win in 1943.
©GAA Oral History Project


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A letter from the 'Roscommon exiles in Manchester' to Jimmy Murray congatulating him on the county's All-Ireland win in 1944.
©GAA Oral History Project

Tony Whyte
Frank Kenny

Tony Whyte, b. 1937

Tony recalls Clann na nGael's journey to the All-Ireland club football final in 1982.
©GAA Oral History Project

Frank Kenny, b. 1934

Frank discusses the history of St Brigid's GAA and talks about how the club came close to disbanding in the 1950s.
©GAA Oral History Project

'No Sunday dinner for there was always a GAA match to attend. Not much work done on evenings as training was number one.'
- Martin Hynes, b. 1937
©GAA Oral History Project

'I always loved football but unfortunately there were no girl’s teams in our area in the '60's or '70's. When Roscommon got to the All-Ireland in 1980 we had a great time going to Croke Park for the matches. In recent years, I encouraged my children to play and we are always planning some trip to a match.'
- Anne (Née McHugh) Walshe, b. 1959
©GAA Oral History Project

'Many people criticise the participation of London and New York in the championship but when one travels to either Ruislip or Gaelic Park you will meet thousands of Roscommon people in these places who will turn up to the matches as they never get to see their team play at home.'
- Frank Dennehy, b. 1944
©GAA Oral History Project

Click here to read a sample of a full length questionnaire: Mary Moran-Regan, b. 1965