What are Gaelic Games
Gaelic Games are Ireland’s ancient national games and are made up of four main sports – Hurling, Gaelic Football, Rounders (a bat and ball, strike and fielding game that preceded Baseball) and Handball (a court or alley based game that uses the hand to strike a ball off a wall and outscore an opponent).
Go Gaelic concentrates on the two most popular Gaelic Games of Hurling and Gaelic Football due to their uniqueness and spectacular nature.
They are distinctly amateur sports, governed by the Gaelic Athletic Association or GAA which has blossomed into the largest amateur sporting organisation in the world. The GAA was founded in 1884 by a Clare man Michael Cusack for the preservation and promotion of Gaelic Games, culture and pastimes. It has over 300,000 players and 800,000 members, with over 2,000 clubs in Ireland alone and another 300 outside of Ireland.
Ireland has 32 counties, with each one represented by a county team. Each county is sub-divided into parishes which are represented by club teams. The best club players in each county therefore make up the county team and compete against other counties to become All-Ireland champions.
The headquarters of the GAA is Croke Park in Dublin in which the national or All-Ireland finals are played each year. Croke Park is currently the fourth largest stadium in Europe with a capacity of 82,500.