Four Provinces and Beyond

Four Provinces and Beyond

Donal Hanley

USD 29,99

Format: 13.5 x 21.5 cm
Number of Pages: 338
ISBN: 978-3-99064-833-9
Release Date: 03.03.2023
Insightful and in depth… Donal Hanley’s Four Provinces and Beyond traces the detailed story of the Gaelic Athletic Association(GAA) from its inception in 1884 to the present, highlighting its achievements, its aims and its characters.

I want to thank the following people for making this publication possible:

To Bianca, Gergő and the team at novum publishing for all their help, guidance and the opportunity to realise my dream.
I want to say a huge thank you to Ray McManus from Sportsfile for kindly supplying all the photographs and permission to use.

I would also like to sincerely thank the following county boards for permission to us GAA photos:

- Limerick
- Tipperary
- Louth
- Wexford
- Kildare
- Roscommon

To Dessie Boland for help along the way. To Alan Milton and Adam Staunton at Croke Park and GAA Museum and Archive for any advice that was needed and their kind permission to use photos.
I also want to say a big thank you to my best friend Liam Maher for believing in me and to my mum Maura for constanly encouraging me.
Thanks to Breda Center Jonstownbridge and Michael from All Inks Edenderry.

And finally compliments to the artist Mick Mooney for all his artwork thats illustrated in this book and for permission to use his work.

Synopsis of the GAA

It is my opinion, from what we learned and witnessed down through the years in the GAA, that it’s a young person’s game. It’s become much faster than ever before. Since the Sin Bin was scrapped and the black card introduced, I don’t agree with it. All it’s doing is slowing down the game and taking out the opposition’s best player which he’s taking for the team and being replaced by a better player. God be with the days when the goalkeeper would kick out the ball to midfield who would make a clean catch, deliver the ball into the forward line and over the bar. Now it’s gone like basketball. The art of catching and kicking is slowly dying out and 30 to 40 passes used before a score is even taken. While the GAA has gone professional with its approach it’s still an amateur sport. There are more training sessions, physio, (sport physiologists), team doctors and fitness gurus becoming more involved. Doing a deal with Sky was good promotion for the organisation home and abroad. And Hawkeye was money well spent. But they should introduce it to Munster, Ulster and Connaught finals. The back door would create revenue and give teams extra games, but it won’t do them any good when facing tougher opposition. There should be a Champions League format put in place from the four divisions. But provincial finals should always remain. The GAA is changing, and I can see names of the players on the County jersey, two referees used instead of one, a hooter replacing the whistle, not to confuse extra time, and with an age limit implemented but remaining an amateur sport. Only time will tell.

Michael Cusack

1847 Carron the Burren, Co. Clare
Born of Irish speaking parents

Profession: National School Teacher

Location: Blackrock

One of the founder members of the GAA
Established the Civil Service as an academy for students doing exams

- A Fenian
- A Nationalist
- Had a great bonding with the Gaelic League

1879: Met Pat Nally of the IRB to revive Irish Athletics
November meeting in Hayes Hotel alongside Maurice Davin and formed the GAA.
Davin, President
Cusack, Secretary

Patrons: Archbishop William Croke, Charles Stewart Parnell

He played a big part in the Irish language and formed the renowned Celtic Times newspaper.

Died: 27th of November 1906, aged 59.

Railway Cup - The Interprovincial Championships

Competition: Opened to Gaelic Football and hurling teams.

Teams: – Four Provinces:
- Munster
- Ulster
- Leinster
- Connaught

Original Name: Railway Shield
Present Name: Railway Cup
First Winners:
Munster football 1927
Leinster hurling 1927

Most wins – Ulster 30 football
Munster 43 hurling

Longest Winning Streak: – Munster 1948 – 53 hurling
Ulster 1991 – 95 football

Martin Donnelly
Clare Businessman

Hurling Roll of Honour
- Munster 45
- Leinster 29
- Connaught 11
- Ulster 0

Football Roll of Honour
- Ulster 31
- Leinster 28
- Munster 15
- Connaught 10

The finals of the Railway Cup are played on St. Patrick’s Day.

Colours: Munster: – blue and white
Ulster: yellow and black
Leinster: green and white
Connaught: white and blue


- All-Ireland Football and Hurling Finals
- A brief History
- 1887–2021 History

A Brief look at All-Ireland Football Finals

1887 – Limerick 1–4 Louth 0–3
On 29 of April 1887, anticipation, experimentation, and uniqueness were words to describe this very first All-Ireland football final played in Clonkeagh in front of 7,000 people. Whatever the outcome and playing with a pig’s bladder which didn’t really travel fast, Limerick won the Croke Cup for the first time.

Championships were not played in Ireland that year as they were promoting the game to the USA.

1895 Tipperary 0-4 Meath 0-3
This was the year history was made as it was the first time Jones Road held an All-Ireland football final. It was Tipperary’s second Croke Cup victory and Meath’s first appearance to appear and twice as quick to disappear.

The Kingdom was going for their sixth All-Ireland win while the Slaneysiders were trying to win their second, in front of the highest attendance in Croke Park up to now. Revenge is a dish best served cold as Wexford overcame the kerry team by winning by 3 points and stopped Kerry’s three in a row that year.

1920 Tipperary 1–6 Dublin 1–2
Not since the 1800s had the men from Tipperary made an All-Ireland appearance. The Premier wore green and white compared to the colours they wear today. It was the year Bloody Sunday occurred but Tipperary still managed to win their fourth All-Ireland title and by 3 points that day.

1928 Kildare 2–6 Cavan 2–5
On 30 of September 1928, 24,700 people witnessed history in the making at Croke Park. The Sam Maguire Cup replaced the Croke Cup as Kildare won the Sam for the first time by a point. They also put All-Irelands back to back and used the same fifteen players during those years 1927-1928.

1936 Mayo 4–11 Laois 0–5
On 27 of September 1936 both these teams had a chance to win the Sam Maguire for the first time. Some 50, 168 people saw Mayo win 4- 11 to 0–5. This was the first time Laois had appeared in a final, while it was Mayo’s fourth attempt to win Sam and they did it in style.

1942 Dublin 1–10 Galway 1–8
On 20 September 1942 at HQ in front of 37,105, it took nineteen years for Dublin to win the All-Ireland but they also reached nineteen finals. Galway reached nine finals but they were coming off bad defeats from 1940 and 1941, so it was the worst in living memory for the Tribesmen. Dublin didn’t care as they won their 14th All- Ireland crown by two points.

1947 Cavan 2–11 Kerry 2–7
On 14 September 1947, 34,491 supporters travelled back to the Polo Grounds, New York to watch Kerry and Cavan do battle. It was to promote the GAA, not done since 1888. The record showed Kerry won sixteen and lost eight while Cavan won two and lost five. Cavan made the long boat journey home with the cup under their arms and a third Sam Maguire victory.

1951 Mayo 2–8 Meath 0–9
On 23 September 1951 Mayo were going for back to back All-Irelands and trying to win their 3rd Sam Maguire. Meath were trying to win their second All-Ireland title. This would be Mayo’s seventh appearance and an historic back to back was achieved by beating the Royals by five points.

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