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21st Jan 2018

Monaghan man spent months developing map of every GAA ground in Ireland and we love it

Matthew Gault

GAA pitches

What a bloody brilliant idea!

Have you ever been left frustrated by Google Maps’ inability to find rural GAA pitches? Well, good news for ya – you don’t have to suffer for much longer.

A Monaghan man has developed a map which shows every GAA pitch in Ireland. It’s a stunning effort and, although it has a few minor issues, you have to commend the man for his work.

Below is a screenshot of the map marked with every GAA pitch in Ireland, created and developed by Ryan McGuinness.

At the moment, Pitch Finder is a much more user-friendly experience on desktop as opposed to mobile. Thankfully, though, McGuinness has laid out some instructions for mobile users below:

Click the top right button to open the map in the Google Maps app.

How To Use:

  • Click the top left button to open the legend and press the downwards facing arrow to browse through the clubs in each county.
  • Clicking a pitch allows you to see the club’s Twitter handle and access a link which will enable you to find directions to your chosen pitch.
  • If you hit the View Larger Map button on the top right you can search through the clubs via the Google Maps website.

Speaking to SportsJOE, McGuinness, a 22-year-old management consultant now based in Dublin, said he has always been interested in cartography and began developing Pitch Finder as a side project after he finished college. As far as hobbies go, it’s fairly impressive!

A keen GAA man himself McGuinness travelled to play football across Ulster as a corner-back for Sean McDermotts, but locating pitches in the more sequestered pockets of the province proved problematic for his father, who would often travel to watch him play.

“Well, when I played for my secondary school and county minors we used to have matches all over Ulster and I know my dad would always struggle when trying to go and watch me play so I thought this would really help in situations like that.”

Still finding his feet in the labyrinthine world of web design, McGuinness accepts that having no search function for mobile users is a drawback, but hasn’t ruled out improving Pitch Finder’s mobile functionality in the future.

“You can still scroll through a list of clubs in each county but there’s no actual search bar  – hopefully ill add that functionality in the future, I’m new to the world of web design.

“It took me a couple a months but the end product is worth it, hopefully someone will find it useful or even just interesting to browse through.

“The sheer number of pitches in Cork is crazy. It has over 150. Before starting the project, I thought Dublin would have had the most. Also, Cavan and Louth both have a team called the Dreadnaughts which is such a strange name for a GAA club.”

Get yourself on GAA Pitch Finder and give it a bash. You can contact McGuinness with any concerns or queries at [email protected].


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