My earliest memory is … where I should start with this one ! But I have so many memories of the GAA & my childhood whether it was football or hurling. The playing fields of North Tipperary- Kilcoleman, Cloughjordan, Toome or Borrisokane it didn’t matter we were there, in the back of the blue escort – regardless.
I remember having to cut short our holidays in Dingle to come back to (I think it was Cashel or Cahir) because Nenagh Eire Óg were “in the final” … It could have been minors or U21’s I can’t recall but some of my fathers fledglings at under age training were on the field. The game was a draw.
I remember crying my eyes out in Clough field when our boyfriends on the U16’s lost the North final (inconsolable!)
Now as I sit here typing & the mother of two small boys who are stone mad for hurling & football I wonder how will they handle their first loss on the field – won’t I have some job keeping in my own tears ! But sure where would they be got …
Steeped in the history & folklore of our national game … They have three second cousins who got All Ireland medals with Kerry last year … 2 minors & 1 senior. Then there’s himself and not to mention the generation before ! I’ve lost all interest in that era because I simply can’t keep up with the talk of the Tom’s, Pat’s & Micks, the Dinnys & Jackies ! The talk filters through no matter where the men are … he has a minor in ’54 and he has 8 medals at no 6 on the field.
Not to mention himself on the sideline with Tipp these days and his All Ireland Club medal in 1986 (funny I remember the celebrations the night after more than the match ) & it’s very few that will know that his Uncle before him won an All Ireland medal with Tipp in 192?
So you see as the man in the stand says in his flat Tipperary accent … You can’t beat breeding… So at the minute the young guns are avid Legion, Ghaeltacht, Dingle, Kerry & Tipp followers … They don’t quite get the parish rule just yet !!
Who needs the parish rule because the GAA has built itself as a family … A family that spreads the width of the globe with the theme tune from the Sunday Game spinning in the heads !
So this GAA community is not just community its family …
⚽️ It’s where lately an acquaintance dropped everything to be with her GAA son who lost a classmate tragically.
⚽️ It’s where an old friends family have started a scholarship with the GAA in memory of her late father who was the GAA in her parish.
⚽️ It’s where the Daddy of two small U8’s in rural Ireland is going to his first coaching session next week so he can help them get to know their GAA family.
It’s all of these things and lots more but it’s family at the end of the day …
Herself in cork married a lad … He’s coaching young lads every second night of the week not to mention schools teams … The lot … They’ve two daughters 👭
Himself in Dublin married the Mrs … She’s the team doc for her beloved Corofin as the line out in Croker tomorrow! Her in laws are bringing the 10 day old baby … Now if that’s not breeding … I’m hanging up my boots !