GAA Museum Director
Niamh hails from the Meath gold coast and is an ardent supporter of the Royal County. She has fond memories of growing up during a period when Meath were the team to beat and especially remembers Sam Maguire paying a visit to her primary school. Niamh also keeps an eye on how Armagh are progressing as her Dad is a proud Armagh man.
As director, Niamh is responsible for all the activities in the GAA Museum & Tours so she has a very busy schedule. She loves the variety of the work with no day every the same. When asked what her favourite object on display in the GAA Museum is, she chooses Pat Davin's hurley from the 1888 Invastion Tour.
“It’s over 130 years old and in really good condition,” she says.
“You can see the names of the places in the USA that Pat Davin and the teams visited etched into the hurley. The invasion tour is a fascinating story from the early years of the GAA.”
GAA Museum Curator
Joanne comes from a proud Louth GAA family and her home club Newtown Blues are the current county champions. Joanne’s late Dad had a long association with the Blues as a player and senior mentor. While Joanne now lives in Meath and her kids are playing for underage teams with Moynalvey, she remains a staunch Louth supporter!
As museum curator Joanne is responsible for managing the museum’s collections, researching and developing new exhibitions and displays, liaising with museum lenders and donors, ensuring that the GAA Museum adheres to standards set out under the Museum Standards Programme for Ireland and working with the wider team on events. When asked to tell us something we don’t already know about the GAA Museum, Joanne tells us that “between the museum and archives, the GAA Museum has almost 20,000 items in its collection.”
Events & Education Manager
A proud Offaly woman, Julianne also has a fondness for the Galway hurlers as her Dad is from Kiltormer. She’s been going to hurling matches since before she could walk and says that working in the GAA Museum is a job unlike any other because you never know what each day will bring.
“My role varies quite a bit and one week I could be running a family Halloween event before welcoming our Friends of the GAA Museum on a tour while the next I could be on the Skyline walkway for our yoga classes” she says. “I’m also responsible for the GAA Museum giftshop and I’m enjoying learning about retail and developing new products.”
Julianne’s favourite memory of working at the GAA Museum is being part of the successful Guinness World Record attempt for the World’s Largest Hurling Lesson in 2018 when 1772 children took part on the Croke Park pitch.
Front of House Manager
Paul hails from Carlow and played senior football with his county for 10 years, during which he was also captain. While he has never won an All-Ireland title in Gaelic games, he was an All-Ireland champion in Bridge!
Paul is responsible for the day-to day running of the museum and tours and he loves chatting to all our visitors. He especially enjoys a good conversation about football and is always on hand to defend Carlow!
Despite all the hard work it takes, Paul loves the Croke Park Santa Experience. He explains: “For a whole month our museum and dressing rooms are transformed into a Santa/GAA experience. Kids get to see the pitch and meet Santa and his elves. It’s hard to beat the feeling when you see the happiness on all the faces.”
Our resident archivist Adam is from Meath and his GAA loyalties remain with the Royal county. When he’s not working at the GAA Museum, Adam spends the second half of his week in the Russell Library at Maynooth University working with their pre-1850 collections. He says that juggling the two jobs definitely has its challenges, but he sees it as a great opportunity to work with two wonderful collections.
On an average day at the museum, Adam runs our library and reading room, spends time cataloguing new collections and preserving the archives and he’s also on hand to respond to queries.
One of Adam’s favourite memories of work was the Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 2019. He says: “It was my first one since joining the team and it was great to see how the GAA celebrates its great players. I didn’t enjoy the full day it took to catalogue all of Ogie Moran’s medals for the exhibition as much though!”
Ailís hails from Tyrone and is from a family of GAA fanatics in a GAA mad parish. Her local club is Kildress Wolfe Tones and Ailís says it has always been a case of GAA, all the way in her life! As well as knowing everything there is know about Gaelic football, Ailís is a keen runner and in 2016 she took part in the same half marathon as Mo Farah – he won, she didn’t!
Ailís describes her job as ‘the sweeper’ of the GAA Museum and she works across our diverse events programme. She’s also preparing to launch a new programme of dementia inclusive tours of Croke Park.
Working at the GAA Museum is a ‘dream job’ for Ailís and her favourite item on display is a pair of boots which belong to Down hero Seán O’Neill. She says: “Not only are Seán’s boots fascinating to look at, as they’re so big and bulky, compared to modern, streamlined boots, but the history contained within them is incredible. What Seán and his ground-breaking Down team-mates achieved in the 1960s and the legacy that they left behind is phenomenal.”
Senior Tour Guide
Aran is from Loughshinny in North County Dublin. He’s a loyal Dublin supporter and has an artistic background. He worked in animation for sixteen years, back when there were no computers!
Aran says his favourite part of the day job is bringing groups pitchside. “It’s fantastic to see people’s expressions, especially kids as they run out the players’ tunnel to the crowd noise,” he explains.
Unsurprisingly, seeing as he’s a Dub, Aran’s favourite object in the GAA Museum is the original Sam Maguire Cup! He says this is “because of its beautiful details, how iconic it is and when I think of all the different people that have held Sam. It’s properly the most famous trophy in Irish sport.”
Senior Tour Guide
Cian has seen it all over his long time working with us! He’s from Blackrock in Co. Dublin and is a sports fanatic who knows everything about every sport! Cian once commentated on a Scarlets v Leinster rugby match for BBC Wales. Interestingly, as he has worked in the GAA Museum for 13 years Cian could fill all 82,300 places in Croke Park with all the people who have taken his tour!
Cian’s favourite item on display in the GAA Museum is a letter written to Maurice Davin (first President of the GAA) by a rival English athlete to ask if he was competing in an upcoming event. The letter suggested that if Davin was taking part, then the writer wouldn’t even bother training because Davin would win anyway!
Annette is one of our most well-known tour guides and is Kildare’s number one supporter. She’s from Kilcullen and says she was born and reared on Kildare football. Annette is fiercely loyal to the Lilywhites and amazingly she attended her 67th consecutive All-Ireland football final in 2019.
Undoubtedly Annette’s favourite part of the job is chatting with all the GAA fans who visit. Her favourite item on display in the museum is the original Sam Maguire Cup which was first won by her beloved Kildare in 1928. Her finest memory of working in the GAA Museum was the Bord Gáis Energy Legends Tour she hosted with the ‘inimitable and quite magnificent’ Kerry footballer Maurice Fitzgerald who is one of her all-time favourite players.
Gerry hails from Clones in Co. Monaghan and is a former player with his county. He made his senior debut for the Farney Army at 17 and despite living in Dublin, his GAA loyalties will always lie with his beloved home county.
Gerry really enjoys showcasing the wonderful stadium to visitors from Ireland and overseas. His favourite object on display in the GAA Museum is the original Proclamation of the Irish Republic because he says “it was written by good, intelligent people with a beautiful vision of the Ireland they wanted to be part of.”
When asked to reveal something we may not know about Croke Park or the GAA, Gerry says: “It’s going to be the venue where Monaghan win their first All-Ireland in 2021!”
Martin hails from Dublin in the rare oul times! He spent the late 1970s and early 1980s travelling across Ireland maintaining the country’s lighthouses and staying for long periods at these stark and remote locations.
Martin’s favourite memory of working in the museum is meeting and chatting with the legendary Mícheál O’Muircheartaigh on several occasions.
When asked to tell us something we don’t know about Croke Park, Martin chooses the following story: “On the night of Bloody Sunday, 21st November 1920, a mob of mainly women, girls and young men from the Dublin slums rushed the gates of Croke Park and overran the officials present and carried out wholesale looting of the belongings left behind by spectators in the aftermath of what happened there that afternoon.”
Siobhán is from Wexford and is the county’s most loyal supporter. “Purple and gold, heart and hand, always!” she says. Interestingly Siobhán once played on stage with Ronnie Drew at the Point Depot!
Siobhán enjoys the friendly debate and banter about the latest matches with all our visitors and she has chosen a silver whistle that is on display in the Bloody Sunday exhibit as her favourite item in the GAA Museum. She explains: “It was the whistle that referee Mick Sammon used to officiate the game. Not only is it a powerful, tangible reminder of the darkest day in GAA history, but it is also a style of whistle that is no longer used in our games, as today’s referees use plastic types.”
Another Dub on the team, John has supported the Boys in Blue since the days of Heffo’s Army. He’s fluent in French and Irish and is a keen hillwalker going on trips all over Europe to different and challenging terrains.
John loves learning new things from the museum’s different visitors and his favourite object on display is the letter that Michael Cusack sent to Maurice Davin proposing the founding of the GAA. He says: “It shows the visionary nature of the Association’s founding members.”
Museum Assistant & Tour Guide
As well as being the museum assistant, Magda also loves to host the Skyline tour. Her role involves everything from selling tickets to stock takes and she doesn’t like to leave any job unfinished.
Magda comes from Romania but has given her support to the Mayo footballers. “I would love to see Mayo win Sam because since I moved to Ireland, I have totally fallen in love with the passion of the Mayo fans. After working at the All-Ireland Final in 2017 and seeing the tears of the fans, I really want them to feel the happiness of victory.”
Magda describes the GAA Museum team as ‘a big family’ and says she has so many favourite memories of her time here.
Aaron haills from Dublin and is a member of the Round Towers Club in Clondalkin. He plays both hurling and football and supports the Dubs, but says his club always comes first. When he was aged 14 he won an U17 All-Ireland gold medal for music.
Aaron’s favourite objects on display in the GAA Museum are Mohammed Ali’s signed boxing gloves and shorts from his fight in Croke Park and his favourite memory of working in the museum is the tour he led with Kilkenny legend Tommy Walsh. “Growing up I idolised the Kilkenny hurlers and to hear the stories told from one of the main leaders from that team, along with the laughs and the craic on that tour was very special,” he explains.
John was born in Derry but now lives in Slane, Co. Meath. He supports both Derry and Meath as he has been living in Slane for almost 20 years. John also lived in the USA and was in the United States Marine Corps.
The job of being a tour guide is perfect for John as he loves meeting people from all over the world. He also has a fondness for radio broadcasting and his favourite exhibition in the museum is ‘Tuning in from Wireless to Wifi’ where he says there are some great old radios and videos on display.
He has a list of favourite memories from his time at the museum including giving a guided tour to Max ‘Blessed’ Holloway, an American mixed martial artist and former UFC Featherweight Champion. He also enjoyed giving a tour to Wexford All-Ireland medal holder Larry O’Gorman and his club.
Ann comes from Wexford and loves being part of the GAA Museum team. She says there’s no other sports organisation quite like the GAA where everyone can get involved regardless of age or ability. Ann is responsible for managing the museum at weekends, including match days and she’ll occasionally come out of retirement as a tour guide when needed!
To keep herself busy, Ann is also a student primary school teacher training in St Patrick’s campus just up the road from Croke Park. Her interesting fact about Croke Park? With the grass being cut so often (every day in the summer), Ann says that new white lines need to be painted on the pitch for each match day. “This has to be done twice to cover both halves of each blade of grass and it takes 23 litres of paint to mark out the field for one match!” she explains.