GAA Museum celebrates 20th Birthday with new exhibition and anniversary programme of events

There was a lot going on in Ireland when the GAA Museum first opened its doors under the new Cusack Stand in 1998. The signing of the Good Friday Agreement and the first meeting of the Northern Irish Assembly took place, while we bid farewell to the punt and the legendary Bosco and said hello to new television station TV3. On the GAA scene, Offaly were crowned hurling champions and Galway carried Sam Maguire over the Shannon.
The GAA Museum’s new annual exhibition, which launched today, takes us back to that time and traces the key moments in GAA and Croke Park history over the ensuing twenty years. Topics covered include the completion of the Croke Park redevelopment, the introduction of the football qualifiers, the first All-Ireland final under floodlights, Kilkenny’s four-in-a-row, the deletion of Rule 21, the suspension of Rule 42 that paved the way for international rugby and soccer to be played in Croke Park, the Special Olympics World Summer Games in 2003 and the GAA 125 festivities in 2009.
A highlight of the exhibition is a collection of jerseys including those from the 1998 All-Ireland finals as well as the one worn by Stephen Ireland when he scored the first international soccer goal in Croke Park in March 2007. Also on display is memorabilia from the 2003 Special Olympics alongside hurls signed by artists who have performed at Croke Park including Ed Sheeran, Bruce Springsteen, Coldplay’s Christ Martin and U2.
Speaking at today’s launch Uachtarán Chumann Lύthchleas Gael, John Horan said:
I’m delighted to officially open the ’20 Years’ exhibition here at the GAA Museum. It’s a remarkable achievement to reach the 20 Year mark and this new collection is the perfect way to commemorate the journey so far. It also serves as a launch pad for a fantastic season of celebratory events which we are all very much looking forward to. I’d encourage all sports fans to visit the GAA Museum during this very special year and take time to experience this exhibition. I wish the team at the GAA Museum the best of luck with their anniversary programme which I’m sure will attract big crowds over the summer months and beyond.                
GAA Museum- 20 Years is curated by GAA Museum curator Joanne Clarke and is housed on the ground floor of the GAA Museum under Croke Park’s Cusack Stand. It will run until May 2019.  Entry to the exhibition is included with tickets purchased for Croke Park Stadium Tours, Ericsson Skyline Tours or the GAA Museum.

Full details of the GAA Museum 20 programme of events can be found at www.crokepark.ie/gaamuseum20. Highlights include a free family evening, a photography competition, a midsummer performance and, of course, some birthday cake!

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