Speaking ahead of this weekends Gaelic Sunday, County PRO Eugene Mc Conell has called on all Tyrone Gaels to be a part of the weekends Centenary Celebration events to mark an pivitol occasion in the History of our great Association. Sunday nights Talks event will be a perfect opportunity for every Club Gael to retrace the events and the follow on which led to the GAA go from Strenght to Strenght over the past 100 years. “Nothing Beats Being There” A warm Welcome awaits everyone this Sat Night.
‘Gaelic Sunday’, 4 August 1918, has passed into Irish history as a seminal moment in the story of both the GAA and Irish independence.
In July 1918 the British authorities in Ireland had issued a proclamation prohibiting all ‘meetings, assemblies, or processions in public places’ without written authorisation from the RIC. Whilst what’s now seen as the first engagement in the War of Independence, the ambush at Soloheadbeg in Tipperary, was still six months away, Ireland was in political turmoil in that summer 100 years ago.
The aftermath of the 1916 Rising, coupled with the growing threat of British conscription to feed the voracious western Front with more and more men, had ratcheted up nationalist feeling. In July British forces had prevented Armagh and Cavan playing their Ulster SFC semi-final at Cootehill, even though several thousand spectators were there to see the match.
Irresistible forces and immoveable objects maybe … but the GAA had decided this was a test of strength it must not lose and accordingly arranged for Gaelic matches to played all over Ireland on Sunday 4 August. Crucially, no RIC permits would be sought for these games.
On this Saturday night, 100 years to the day from Gaelic Sunday, Tyrone GAA will host one of its ‘Tyrone Talks at Garvaghey’ series, focusing on those momentous events.
“We’re delighted to have two of the best-informed people on Tyrone’s GAA history, Joe Martin and Dr Dónal McAnallen, doing a joint event for us” County Chair Michael Kerr explained. “It will no doubt be both informative but at the same time interesting to every Gael with an love of our Association”.
“They’ll set out the context of the times and look in particular at the Tyrone dimensions to what happened and why.”
“One of its most intriguing parts will be an interview recorded by Joe many years ago with Cookstown’s Joe McAnespie, a man who actually took part in Gaelic Sunday. That’s an enthralling witnessing of history as it happened and something very, very special.”
Tyrone’s event will start at 8.00pm Sat 4th in the County Centre at Garvaghey. It is, as always, free of charge and tea/coffee will be served.
The support of the Fermanagh and Omagh Council for the event is gratefully acknowledged.