Remember & Reconcile:
GAA Museum Summer School

Sport, Peace & Reconciliation

Friday August 14th (10am - 3.30pm)

The annual GAA Museum Summer School returns and in this very important year, the theme of the day is around sport and the role it can place in the peace and reconciliation process.

A panel of distinguished speakers including historian Dr Richard McElligott, Diarmuid Marsden, Ulster GAA Head of Club and Community Development Department and Gareth Harper from Peace Players International.

Peace Players International will present talks at the seminar and offer invaluable insights. While the GAA and Irish sport will feature, the programme will also cover sport and its role in international affairs.

Tickets are for all 4 lectures and include lunch.

Ticket Prices:
Adult day ticket - €20
Student / Senior day ticket - €18


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Covid-19 Procedures

All events will adhere to government guidelines in relation to social distancing and capacity to prevent the spread of Covid-19. All visitors to the GAA Museum should familiarise themselves with our procedures in advance of their visit on crokepark.ie/tours/covid-19-procedures

GAA Museum Summer School Seminars

SpeakerSeminar TitleLecture Time
Diarmaid Marsden, Head of Club & Community Development, Ulster GAAUlster GAA - Using Sport to Unite Communities10am - 11:15am
Dr. Richard McElligott, DKITAtrocity and Atonement: The Civil War and the Rise of Kerry's Greatest Team11:15am - 12:30pm
Gareth Harper, Peace PlayersThe work of Peace Players1pm - 2:15pm
Dr. Ray BassettRecollections of the drafting of the Good Friday Agreement2:15pm - 3:30pm
Chaired by Dr. Siobhán Doyle, TU Dublin

Speaker Bios:

Diarmaid Marsden

Diarmaid Marsden is Head of the Community Development Department of Ulster GAA. He has worked for Ulster GAA for 14 years, initially as part of Coaching and Games delivery but more recently in the area of Community Development. The Community Development Department in Ulster GAA delivers Club and Volunteer support, Health and Wellbeing promotion and Community Outreach. 

Diarmaid understands first-hand the important role sport can play in people's lives as he played competitive Gaelic football for his club Clan na Gael, Lurgan and his County Armagh for many years. He now sits as a member of his club's executive committee and is an active volunteer coaching numerous underage teams.

Sport has the ability to effect change across many sectors of the community. Ulster GAA is at the forefront of using sport to break down barriers, unite people and become a force for good. Over the last 15 years Ulster GAA has been engaged in community outreach and has developed key partnerships to deliver on this. There is a perception that the Gaelic Athletic Association is "only" for the catholic, nationalist sections of the community.  Ulster GAA encourages all of its clubs to be open and welcoming to people from all sections of the community, and to demonstrate that Gaelic Games are available for anyone to participate in irrespective of their background. Initiatives like the "Game of Three Halves", "The Cuchulainn Cup" and "Club - Sport for Peace Days" are some examples where Ulster GAA works with other organisations to use sport to become a force for good. We will examine some of these initiatives and the impact they have had at a local level.

Dr. Richard McElligott, DKIT

Dr. Richard McElligott is a native of Stacks Mountain, Kilflynn in North Kerry and holds a PhD in modern Irish history from University College Dublin (UCD). In September 2019, he was appointed as the permanent lecturer in Irish/Modern History in the Department of Humanities at Dundalk Institute of Technology.

Between September 2015 and September 2019 Dr McElligott worked as a historical researcher for the Irish Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation under the direction of Professor Mary Daly and in 2017 he was appointed as one of the expert curators for RTÉ’s National Treasures project.

Dr. McElligott’s PhD examined the social, cultural, and political significance of the GAA between 1884 and 1924. His research explored the immense influence the Association had on Irish social and cultural life.

In February 2017, Dr. McElligott was awarded the prestigious McNamee Award in Irish journalism for his ‘Sport and Revolution: The GAA and the 1916 Rising’ supplement which was produced by the Kerry’s Eye newspaper.

He is a former Chairman of the Sports History Ireland Society, which was set up to organise conferences on the history of sport and encourages academic and popular study of the subject in Ireland.

Gareth Harper, Peace Players International

Gareth took up the position of Managing Director with Peace Players International – Northern Ireland (PPI – NI) in March 2009, having previously worked as Programmes Manager with Rural Community Network NI, a regional rural community development organization. He has a BSc (Hons) Degree in Geography, and an MSc in Town and Country Planning – both from the Queens University Belfast. Gareth also has a Post Graduate Certificate in Management and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA), both from the Open University. Most recently, Gareth became a Certified Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic programming. Gareth is married and has two children and hails from Co. Down.

Dr. Ray Bassett

Dr. Bassett has served as ambassador from Ireland to Canada, Jamaica and the Bahamas and as joint secretary to the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference in Belfast. He played a key role in the drafting of the Good Friday Agreement and his talk will focus on the nitty gritty of the negotiations as well as the reasons why certain decisions were made and particular paths were chosen in the reconciliation process. Dr. Bassett is a senior fellow for EU affairs at Policy Exchange.


Dr. Siobhán Doyle, TU Dublin

Siobhan Doyle at the launch of the GAA Museum's Bloody Sunday Programme to commemorate the 100th year anniversary.

Siobhán Doyle recently completed a PhD in Museums, Death and Commemoration at Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin) and received the Dean of the College of Arts & Tourism scholarship award in March 2016.

Siobhán’s doctoral research examines the challenges of depicting death through exhibition displays by analysing the types of artefacts and imagery used in commemorative exhibitions.

Siobhán has presented research papers at international conferences on historical memory and visual culture and her research has been published by Four Courts Press, European Remembrance and Solidarity Network, Arms and Armour journal and the Imperial War Museum forthcoming in 2020.

In March 2018, Siobhán convened a museum workshop Curating Conflict; at TU Dublin which brought together museum experts and leading researchers from across the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and England, to discuss best practices in collecting, curating and exhibiting conflict in museums and galleries.

In July 2018, Siobhán was one of fifteen students from around the world to participate in the 2018 Summer School Museum Objects as Evidence: Approaches to the Material World- a collaborative programme with the Rijksmuseum, the University of Amsterdam and the Bard Graduate Center, with an interdisciplinary focus on object-based research within a museum setting.

Siobhán’s other research interests include memory studies, material culture, sports history and dark tourism. Siobhán is currently working as a Tutor at TU Dublin and at The GAA Museum in Croke Park Stadium.