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02nd May 2024

University launches first ever GAA history class

Simon Kelly

GAA module university

“We might well ask how this has never happened before anywhere?”

An Irish university has launched the first-ever GAA history module covering its foundation and the organisation’s role in wider Irish society.

Maynooth University (MU) will offer the new module for undergraduate history students and it was officially launched by GAA President Jarlath Burns.
The second-year module from the Department of History at MU is designed to provide students with a broad introduction to the development of the GAA towards the end of the nineteenth century and the role the organisation played in Irish life, culture, politics, and society.
Examining the Irish sporting landscape prior to the formation of the GAA in 1884, students consider how the GAA swept the country “like a prairie fire”, according to its founder Michael Cusack.

University launches first-ever GAA history class

GAA President Jarlath Burns said: “As a keen follower of all things historical I was delighted to learn of the inclusion of this new module focusing on the GAA in the undergraduate history course at Maynooth University.

“Given the central role of the Association in Irish life – both sporting and civic – over the course of its 140-year existence, we might well ask how this has never happened before anywhere? In that context I laud the University authorities, not least Dr Ciarán Reilly who will deliver the module.

“I also wish the students well in their endeavours and I am sure the academic lens being brought to bear on our activities will be of real interest to many of them who are familiar with our games through their direct involvement in them.”

Dr Ciarán Reilly of the Department of History at Maynooth University, who delivers the module said: “Historically the GAA has played an integral role in the shaping of modern Ireland, perhaps more so than any other sporting or cultural organisation.

“This module offers students the opportunity to understand the context in which the GAA was founded and developed.”

Further information on Maynooth University’s Department of History is available here.

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