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Tailteann Games Committee Minute Book, 1921-1925

Reference Code: GAA/TG/01
Title: Minute Book of the Tailteann Games Committee, 1921-1925
Covering Dates: December 1921 – June 1925
Level of Description: Item/Collection Level
Extent: 267pp


Biographical History
Originally planned for 1922, but postponed due to the outbreak of the Irish Civil War, the 1924 Tailteann Games were presented as a celebration of ancient Irish custom and tradition with a focus on a newly emerging Irish Free State. While the history of the Tailteann Games dates back to 632 B.C., and are associated with the ancient Queen Tailté, the games in the 20th century became representative of an international expression of Irish independence that intended to restore national identity. The games can be perceived as a Celtic Olympics with the programme showcasing the best in Irish sport. Aonach Week, as it is often referred, took place from the 2nd of August 1924 until the 18th of August 1924 with events spread throughout the city of Dublin. However, a majority of the events took place at Croke Park, as it was intended to be the centrepiece of the festival, with the GAA receiving a grant of £10,000 from the Irish Provisional Government to make the stadium suitable for the festival.

Great Britain, Scotland, Wales, the United States, Canada, South Africa and Australia – primarily English-speaking countries with large Irish immigrant populations – took part in the Aonach Tailteann.

While the games were to be played again in 1928 and 1932 it was the 1924 games that are considered to be the most successful. The disappointing turnout of the 1932 games led international participants, as well as Irish organisers, to question the importance and ability of the games to function as an international event.

Content and Structure

Scope and Content
The Tailteann Committee (also known as the Executive Council) was established in 1921 with the purpose of organising the Tailteann Games. The minute book contains a record of all the decisions taken by the Committee in regard to the organisation of the Aonach Tailteann. Topics recorded throughout the minute book include the general rules of the festival; the programme of events for the festival, and the rules governing individual sports and events. The minute book also records the formation of various sub-committees, and the meeting minutes of these sub-committees.

The minute book also includes progress reports from the various countries participating in the games, both from teams within Ireland and overseas.

The Executive Committee was also responsible for establishing venues; events took place throughout Dublin with a majority of the programme being held at Croke Park.

The financial management of the festival is recorded throughout the minutes including grant applications, the application of grants, and the allocation of funds, including the refurbishment of Croke Park.

Conditions of Access and Use

Conditions governing access:  Access is strictly by appointment only using the 
                                                          provided application form.
Language:                                      English, Irish
Finding Aid:                                    Descriptive list