2022 Historical Committee Request for Information

My name is Gabriel Doherty, I am a lecturer in modern Irish history in the School of History in University College Cork, and a member of Douglas GAA club. More pertinently, I am a member of a small sub-committee that has been convened by the County Board to explore ways in which Cork GAA can mark the centenary of the major events that took place in the locality during the struggle for independence, insofar as they involved members of the Association, or the Association itself.

I should note at the outset that the original intention had been to commence this project in 2020, but owing to Covid it was not then possible to proceed. I speak for the members of the Committee in expressing the hope that we can make up for lost time over the coming months!

You may well be aware of some of the initiatives that have already been taken in this regard (perhaps most obviously the very popular jersey depicting Lords Mayor MacCurtáin and MacSwiney on the front, and the Kilmichael Memorial on the rear). I myself am currently trying to compile a basic chronology of the major issues affecting the GAA in the county during the years in question, using a variety of sources (esp newspapers such as the Examiner, Echo, Southern Star etc.), and a bibliography of publications relating to the topic

As a historian who has worked closely with a wide variety of public groups in recent years  I am extremely conscious of the fact that a wealth of knowledge of the events a hundred years ago is retained at local level – most obviously within the families of those involved, but also among the wide constituency of those with an interest in/knowledge of local history (including, for example but of course not limited to, teachers in local schools). I am also aware that a large body of literature already exists on the subject produced, for example, by local historical societies or similar groups that have been formed to commemorate specific events or individuals – and a significant part of this existing research exists in the form of relevant extracts from GAA club histories.

So I have three related queries, which I would ask, if it is possible without undue labour on your part, to be circulated amongst the membership of your club:

(I) Would any members have knowledge of club histories, and specifically of sections relating to the period of the struggle for independence as it impacted upon, or was influenced by, the GAA in the area in question, or across the county as a whole?

(2) Would any members have any documents (newspaper accounts, letters, diaries, club minute books etc.) relating to the same?

(3) Would any members have stories of family members (or others with whom they are acquainted) who were involved in that struggle who were also involved in the GAA at that time, before or after?

Of course, given that some clubs that were in existence then have since folded, relevant material relating to those clubs will certainly be welcome.

If any member has any information under any of these headings, it would be very much appreciated if they could make contact with me here in UCC (email g.doherty@ucc.ie, postal address Gabriel Doherty, School of History, University College Cork, phone 021 4902783). I can then bring the material gathered to the attention of the committee with a view to making recommendations to the County Board as to how the commemoration might best proceed.