Friday 23 March 2018

GAA icon brought fields of dreams to the masses

Diarmaid Ferriter

ONE of the great challenges faced by the GAA throughout its existence has been that of communicating its message and its games. It was not until 1926, some 40 years after the association's establishment, that Irish radio, 2RN, arrived.

That year, an All-Ireland Hurling semi-final became the first radio commentary outside America on a field game. In subsequent decades, newspapers began to give more space to GAA games; in 1931 the GAA correspondent of the Irish Independent was breathless, having watched the All-Ireland Hurling final: "The speed was simply terrific. There is nothing to be found anywhere in the world like it."

But while the games were being played, it was live radio coverage that was to make important games immediately accessible.

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