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Timeline 1945-2015

1947 Polo Grounds Final
The 1947 All-Ireland Senior Football Final, between Cavan and Kerry, was played in the Polo Grounds, New York, to stimulate interest in Gaelic Games amongst the Irish-American population there. The final, with Cavan victorious, was a resounding success with new clubs formed throughout America and a profit of close to £10,000 recorded.

1958 Wembley at Whit
The British GAA rent Wembley Stadium for the hosting of an exhibition of Gaelic Games. This venture was so successful that ‘Wembley at Whit’ became an annual date on the British GAA’s calendar until 1975; in 1962 over 40,000 spectators attended the challenge game.

1961 GAA and the advent of Telefís Éireann
With the establishment of Telefís Éireann, television became a reality for a large section of the Irish population. Gaelic Games were televised live for the first time and initial worries that the televising of games would result in a serious drop in attendances proved unfounded.

1964 Seán Ó Síocháin succeeds Pádraig Ó Caoimh as Secretary General
In May 1964 Pádraig Ó Caoimh, General Secretary of the Association, passed away; he was succeeded by Seán Ó Síocháin.

1966 - "1916" 50 Years On
The GAA marks the 50th anniversary of the 1916 Rising by staging a pageant ‘Seachtar Fear: Seachtar Lá’ in Croke Park. The GAA also commissioned an extended essay on the GAA’s role in 1916. Veterans of the 1916 Rising were quests of honour at the 1966 All-Ireland Hurling Final.

1971 Rule 27 is rescinded
At a landmark Annual Congress, held in Ulster for the first time, the GAA deleted ‘Rule 27’ from its Official Guide. Members of the GAA were now permitted to play and attend previously banned sports.

1972 The Report of the Commission on the GAA is published
In 1972 the Commission on the Affairs of the Association, which was established in 1969 to ‘investigate all aspects of the affairs of the Association’, published its report. This report was far reaching and upon its adoption radically changed the administrative structures of the Association.

1979 Appointment of Liam Mulvihill

1981 The H-Block Hunger-Strikes
In 1981 Republican prisoners in the H Blocks embarked upon a hunger strike in an effort to get political status re-instated in the prisons. The issue of hunger strikers caused serious friction within the GAA with some members hoping that the GAA would actively support the prisoners while others believed the GAA should remain completely neutral. Once the prisoners entered the political arena (with some standing for election) the GAA took the decision to remove itself completely from the issue, in accordance with Rule 7 of the Official Guide.

1983 Dublin's 12 man All-Ireland final success
The 1983 All-Ireland Football Final, between Dublin and Galway, is best remembered for ill-tempers on the pitch with Dublin ending the game with 12 players. An incident at the Hill 16 End of the stadium played a part in convincing Liam Mulvihill of the need for a complete revamp of Croke Park.

1984: GAA Centenary Year – All-Ireland hurling final played in Thurles

1991: Jersey Sponsorship is introduced - the Leinster Championship First Round game between Dublin and Meath involves a marathon series of four games, which attracts 237,000 supporters.

1993: The Redevelopment of Croke Park commences

2001: The GAA’s Rule 21 - which prevents members of the British Security forces from becoming members of the Association is abolished.

2003: The New Croke Park - is opened with a capacity of 82,300. The world Special Olympics are staged at the venue

2005: The GAA’s Rule 42 - which prevents sports other than Gaelic Games from being played at GAA venues, is temporarily set aside to allow the Ireland Rugby team and the Republic of Ireland soccer team to play games at Croke Park while Lansdowne Road rugby grounds are being redeveloped.
Over 80,000 people attend the All Ireland Hurling finals for the first time since 1956

2007: The first Rugby game - staged at Croke Park is between Ireland and France in the Six Nations championship. The first soccer game at the venue is played between Ireland and Wales.

2009: 125th Anniversary - the GAA celebrates its 125th year in existence with an array of events to mark the year. Visit our Celebrating 125 page for more information.

2010: The legendary Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh retires - the 2010 GAA All-Ireland Football Final marked the retirement of Gaelic games broadcaster Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh. Micheál can reflect with pride on a career that commenced in 1949 and that spanned seven decades, during which time he captivated millions of people in every part of the world. The response of spectators in Croke Park on All-Ireland final day underlined the special place that Micheál holds in Irish broadcasting and, indeed, in Irish life.

2011: For the first time ever a merged GAA/GPA All-Stars Awards scheme is held - the Convention Centre in Dublin plays host to the gala event night. The hurler of the year award goes to Kilkenny’s Michael Fennelly while Dublin’s Alan Brogan follows in the footsteps of brother Bernard by claiming the football award. Henry Shefflin makes history after receiving his tenth in total.

2012: Donegal beat Mayo in the All-Ireland Senior Football final.

2013: Introduction of HawkEye - the new Hawkeye point detection technology for both hurling and football at Croke Park was first utilised on 1 June 2013 at the Leinster GAA Football Senior Championship Quarter-final double header. Referee Rory Hickey created history when he called for HawkEye in the 46th minute to check a shot from Offaly’s Peter Cunningham – HawkEye declared the shot a miss.

2014: For the third year in a row the All-Ireland senior hurling final ended in a draw - This time it too Hawkeye to confirm the umpire’s decision that John O’Dwyer’s late free for Tipperary was wide meaning Tipperary and Kilkenny drew. In the replay Henry Shefflin won a record 10th All-Ireland senior hurling medal and Brian Cody won his 10th final as Kilkenny manager. 

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