Munster Council Centenary

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2002, P 224


On the last day of June, 1901 in Moran's Hotel, now the Mallow Park, representatives of the six counties in the province came together to form the Munster Council. The Tipperary representatives were E.J. Delahunty of Clonmel and Richard Cummins of Fethard, who at the age of thirty-nine years was elected the first chairman. 

Pride of place at the celebrations on the night was given to Dick Cummins of Fethard, the son of the original chairman. At the civic reception afforded the Munster Council by Mallow U.D.C., Dick was called upon to speak. He spoke of his delight at being present with his fellow Gaels. He stated his pleasure at being invited and his pride that the people who were present one hundred years previously had considered his father worthy to be chairman of the new body. 

Later at the Mass in the parish church celebrant, Fr. Declan Hennessy, in greeting the many members of the Munster Council present, singled Dick out. When it came to the sign of peace at the Mass, Fr. Hennessy called on all the Tipperary and Limerick people present to shake hands! 

There was a very strong Tipperary presence apart from Dick at the celebrations. Fr. Seamus Gardiner, P.P. Ballina and Munster Council P.R.O. for the past twenty-five years, was a concelebrant of the Mass. Dr. Clifford, Archbishop of Cashel and Patron of the G.A.A. presided at the Mass. Before the final blessing he said a few words and recalled the contribution of his predecessor, Mallow born, Dr. Croke, to the G.A.A. He particularly referred to his strictures on drink and the difficulties facing people today when there's such a culture of drink. 

After the Mass, a centenary plaque was unveiled outside the Mallow Park Hotel by Sean McCague, President of the GAA. The MC for the ceremony was Donie Nealon of Burgess, who is secretary of the Munster Council. Prominent among the dignatories was Sean Fogarty, Moyne- Templetuohy, who is vice-chairman of the Council. Afterwards a photograph of Council officers and members was taken and it included the two Tipperary representatives, Paul O'Neill of Cappawhite and John Ryan of Holycross. 

The launch of the Munster Council History, Part II was the final item of a packed agenda. This took place before the meal for Council members, distinguished visitors and guests. The book is a follow-up to the Council history published in 1984. It brings the history up to 2000 and includes personal reminiscences of players from the six counties. The Tipp piece was written by Babs Keating.