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Remembering Bloody Sunday
The new Remembering Bloody Sunday exhibition provides a factual account of the tragic day through artefacts, documents and photographs. Some of the artefacts and documents on display include:
Original Match Ticket
Original match ticket from Dublin vs Tipperary in Croke Park, November 21st 1920
In 1920, Tipperary and Dublin were two of the best teams in the country. The political situation at the time saw very few GAA championships completed.
Tipperary had qualified for the 1920 Munster semi-final but the military refused to grant permission for the match to take place. Tipperary needed a challenge game and looked to Dublin, a team that had already qualified for the All-Ireland final.
November, a letter from the Tipperary team appeared in the Freemans Journal
“We understand that Tipperary’s superiority over Dublin in football, despite two decisive victories is being questioned by Dublin. We, therefore, challenge Dublin to a match on the first available date, on any venue and for any object”.
Dublin agreed to accept the challenge and Central Council fixed the date for Sunday 21st
Bootlace Mick Hogan gave to Bill Ryan before they took the field.
The Tipperary team had travelled by train to Dublin on the day before the match, with Tipperary player Bill Ryan boarding at Templemore. At Ballybrophy, a group of soldiers boarded the train and after one of the soldiers insulted a priest on board, a brawl ensued involving some of the Tipperary players. Bill Ryan had his football boots thrown out the train window.
The following day, as the players were in the Croke Park dressing room getting ready for the game, Bill Ryan complained to his team mate Mick Hogan that his replacement boots were too loose. Mick Hogan gave Bill Ryan a spare lace to tighten his boots before they took to the field.
Bill Ryan kept the bootlace for the rest of his life. It is currently on loan to the GAA Museum and displayed as part of the Remembering Bloody Sunday
Glasses Annie Burke wore to Croke Park on Bloody Sunday
In November 1920, Annie M. Burke from Sligo was working in Tipperary. On her way home to Dromore West she stopped off in Dublin to meet friends and accompanied them to the match in Croke Park.
When the shooting broke out and chaos ensued, Annie’s glasses got damaged. One of the Tipperary players told them Mick Hogan was dead and pointed to where he was lying, not far from the goal-posts. As soon as she heard this, Annie Burke ran across the field to where Mick Hogan’s body was lying and covered it with her coat, kneeling beside him until after he had received the Last Rites. She then returned to where her friends were waiting and they left Croke Park in silence.
Annie never wore her glasses again; they were never repaired and never cleaned after the events in Croke Park on Bloody Sunday.
Annie Burke later married William Looby of Cashel, Co, Tipperary. The glasses were presented to the GAA Museum in June 2019 by Annie’s daughter, Sr. Margaret Looby.
Thomas Ryan Prayer Book and Silver Cross
Thomas Ryan's prayer book and silver cross
Miniature prayer book and leather pouch which belonged to Thomas Ryan from Glenbrien in County Wexford and which he had with him in Croke Park when he attended the game on 21st
November 1920. The small silver cross was made from a coin that was also in his pocket when he died.
As an IRA section commander, Thomas Ryan received word at home on the morning of Bloody Sunday of the earlier events on the other side of the city. Despite a warning to stay away from Croke Park that day, Thomas went along to the game. When the gunfire started, he ran to downed Tipperary player Michael Hogan and whispered an Act of Contrition in his ear before he was hit with a bullet himself and slumped to the ground.
Letters sent to the family of Michael Hogan in aftermath of Bloody Sunday
Letter sent to the family of Mick Hogan in the aftermath of Bloody Sunday
The exhibition features a selection of letters and telegrams that were sent to the family of the late Michael Hogan in the immediate aftermath of Bloody Sunday.
It includes letters written by one of the priests who administered the last rites to Mick Hogan as he lay dying on the field. Another letter from the Ballyneale Sinn Féin Club conveys the sympathy of its members on the death of Mick Hogan. It refers to Mick Hogan as “physically a giant, he was as simple as a child, earnest and sincere, he was amicable, jolly and cheery. A good sportsman, a great Gael, a strong lover of the Motherland, a loving son”.
Bloody Sunday Commemorative Medal (1921)
Commemorative medal given to Bill Ryan of Tipperary following the game on the first anniversary of Bloody Sunday (Front of medal)
In 1921, on the first anniversary of Bloody Sunday, the footballers of Dublin and Tipperary met again in Croke Park. Mick Sammon, from Kildare, was again the referee and Tipperary won by 18 points, holding Dublin scoreless.
After the match the players converged at the spot where Michael Hogan had been shot, close to Hill 60 (now Hill 16).
The players were presented with a gold medal. The one pictured here was given to Tipperary’s Bill Ryan and is inscribed “Presented by the Irish National Assurance Co. 1921 Anniversary Tournament Won by Tipperary W. Ryan”.
Commemorative medal given to Bill Ryan of Tipperary following the game on the first anniversary of Bloody Sunday (Back of medal)
All-Ireland Medal (1920)
1920 All-Ireland medal won by Tom Ryan of Tipperary
The 1920 All-Ireland Final did not take place until 11th June 1922. While Dublin had qualified for the All-Ireland final by October 1920, the Munster championship did not resume until February 1922. Tipperary emerged as Munster champions, defeated Mayo in the All-Ireland semi-final and set up an All-Ireland final encounter with Dublin in Croke Park.
Dan Breen, who was involved in the first incident of the War of Independence at Soloheadbeg in January 1919, threw in the ball for the game and is seated third from left in the middle row. Tipperary defeated Dublin on a final score-line of 1-6 to 1-2.