Recent G.A.A. Publications - 1999

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2000, pp 59


The only new club history I've heard about is the Galtee Rovers book. A long time in gestation, this work is expected to appear next April or May. So, the author, Seamus McCarthy, told me recently. The book will be much more than an account of G.A.A. activities in Galtee Rovers-St. Pecaun's. It will incorporate a history of the parish of Bansha and Kilmoyler and accounts of the lives of its famous people. 

Another book, to be published in November, is Raymond Smith's mammoth production, The Millennium Book of Gaelic Games. Over 500 pages long and retailing at £10, this reference book of G.A.A. information, winning teams and results, is a must for anyone involved in Gaelic games. It is an updated edition of the 1993 volume, with additional information on junior championships, university competitions and other areas not covered in the previous book. A great effort has been made to make the book comprehensive and complete and as accurate as it is possible to be in an area of hundreds of teams and thousands of results. 

A handy reference book is The Wolfhound Guide to Hurling by Brendan Fullam, published by Wolfhound Press for £4.00. The author is one of hurling's greatest enthusiasts and has spent many years travelling the hurling counties, meeting and speaking with many of the hurling greats. The result is the hurling trilogy, Giants of the Ashl Hurling Giants & Legends of the Ash. A Wexford man, he lives in New Ross, where he was branch manager with Bank of Ireland. The present publication guides us through the origins and evolution of hurling. He discusses its requirements and its attractions, the competitions and grades, the G.A.A. founders and the great players. 

A delightful publication is Horse and Jockey: All Ireland Hurling Champions 18991 a booklet published in connection with the centenary celebrations held in Horse and Jockey on August 29. This is more than an account of the celebrations, it is a mini history of the Horse and Jockey, beautifully illustrated, artistically designed and a most interesting read. The booklet was so popular that the complete edition may be gone by now and, if it is, I would advise you to risk breaking and entering in order to get your hands on a copy. It sells for £5. 

Another publication of note is a booklet remembering the 1974 minor football and hurling heroes of Cashel King Cormacs. In that year a total panel of twenty-two players won the minor hurling and football double for the first time in the county. The booklet introduces the reader to the team, tells their story and traces their progress to an historic double. Available at Cashel, it retails at £3. 

A second edition of The GAA: A History by Marcus de Burca appeared in October. Published by Gill and Macmillan, it retails at £19.95. The book has an interesting history. First published by the G.A.A. in 1980, it was the first history of the Association. A large edition of 10,000 was published and it became the definitive work on the Association. Even though the present volume is called the second edition, another edition was published for Irish Life Assurance plc by Wolfhound Press in 1990, in the Irish Life Classic Collection. It brought the story up to 1990, reviewing the impact of the eighties on the G.A.A. and examining the future direction of hurling and football. The edition also included a fine selection of photographs, in colour as well as black and white. 

The present edition takes the story up to the end of the century and covers the changes and challenges faced by the Association in the 1980s and 1990's. Among the matters addressed in the new edition are the changed player rules in Gaelic Football, the astonishing revival of public interest in hurling aad the introduction of the 'back door' format in the championship, the develop- ment of Croke Park as a stadium of truly international standard, and many other matters. The book remains, not only the sole reference book on the history of the Gaelic Athletic Association, but a must for anyone who wishes to be informed about the greatest amateur association in the country.