Bishop Christopher Jones blesses the new stand in Markievicz Park during half-time of the Sligo-Galway 2009 Connacht Senior Football Championship semi-final.
Bishop Christopher Jones blesses the new stand in Markievicz Park during half-time of the Sligo-Galway 2009 Connacht Senior Football Championship semi-final.  

Sligo GAA to launch 'The History of Markievicz Park - 1950 to 2020'


By John Harrington

Sligo GAA will launch a newly published book, ‘The History of Markievicz Park – 1950 to 2020’, this Sunday in Markievicz Park itself before Sligo’s Allianz Football League Division Four clash with Leitrim.

GAA President Larry McCarthy and Dr. Mike Ryan of the World Health Organisation, a native of Curry in Sligo, will be in attendance at the socially distanced event.

The book has been produced by a committee headed by former Sligo County Board Chairperson, John Leyden.

“We had a little committee together that looked after the Golden Jubilee of clubs who won the championship in Sligo right throughout the sixties and when we finished up with that I asked the committee would they be interested in staying on board and writing the history of Markievicz Park because I felt it was an important project,” Leyden told GAA.ie

“We got it together and had a very good committee. Small in number but very active, and it's great to be in a position to launch the book now.”

A huge amount of work has gone into producing the book which will feature contributions from people like Sligo All-Stars Mickey Kearns and Eamonn O’Hara, and Connacht Championship winning manager, Tommy Breheny, among many others.

As well as recollections of some great days, the well-researched book recounts the life of Countess Markievicz herself after whom the stadium is named, and how its planning and construction came about in the first place.

“From 1950 to 1955 there was a committee that fundraised and organised the construction until by May 1955 we opened up the ground with a hurling challenge match between Cork and Galway and Sligo and Mayo in football,” says Leyden.

“One shilling got you in and Christy Ring was a huge attraction that day. He was injured and didn't play but he was there and he was more important in Sligo that weekend than De Valera, there was such fanfare!”

‘The History of Markievicz Park – 1950 to 2020’ can be purchased from all Sligo GAA clubs at a cost of €20.

You will also be able to order it from Sligo GAA by emailing administrator.sligo@gaa.ie or visiting www.sligogaa.ie from next week.