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Gaelic Athletic Association - Oral History Project

Theme: Women

gaa oral history project

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The captain of the Scoil Mhuire Camogie Team,
Cashel, is carried shoulder high by supporters.
Courtesy of Cumann Camógaíochta na nGael.
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Founded as it was, by men, and at the height of the nineteenth-century obsession with masculinity and fitness, it is unsurprising that those meeting in Hayes Hotel in 1884 gave little thought to the women of Ireland. The early years of the GAA was dominated by male players and officials, and the rare times that women appeared in newspaper reports were as spectators (and with the journalist usually making some comment about their dress and appearance).

All this began to change as women started organising themselves and began carving out a space on the playing field. While the two main women’s games still remain officially independent, camogie and ladies football have become part and parcel of the world of the GAA. ... More

Fiona McConnell

Fiona McConnell, 25, Cavan
Fiona discusses the difference in the number of supporters who turn out for men and women's games.
© GAA Oral History Project

Blaithín Fitzgerald

Blaithín Fitzgerald, 49, Dublin
Blaithín recounts some of her earliest Camogie memories, including getting her first pair of boots and playing in the Phoenix Park.
© GAA Oral History Project

Patrick Maher

Patrick 'Musha' Maher, 47, Connecticut
Patrick outlines the advantages of female involvement in club administration.
© GAA Oral History Project

Elizabeth Flynn

Elizabeth Flynn, 26, Galway
Elizabeth, an All-Ireland medal winner with Galway, talks about her involvement in third-level Camogie.
© GAA Oral History Project

Nollaig Cleary

Nollaig Cleary, 40, Fermanagh
Nollaig believes that closer integration between men and ladies clubs at a local level is the way forward, despite their differences at national level.
© GAA Oral History Project

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‘I couldn’t imagine my mother ever attending a match. Now there are women who are officers of clubs. It’s for the better also. The mother is usually the one who is bringing the players to training/matches, so her input is vital. If she is not on the GAA club’s side, then the whole thing will fall down.’
—Adrian Hession, 31, Mayo
© GAA Oral History Project

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