Fáilte chuig gaa.ie - suíomh oifigiúil CLG

Oral History

Tony Herbert

Tony Herbert shares his memories from a lifetime's involvement with the GAA. Born in Limerick in 1920, he grew up in a time of strife when money was scarce and things were volatile politically, with sporadic violence breaking out and many people on the run from the authorities. Tony played hurling with his local club Ahane, who boasted many fine hurlers. The game was quite physical at the time but he was a talented player who went on to represent his school in different competitions. He played for Limerick for many years until he moved to Dublin in the 1940s, where he played for the Faughs club and the county team. Tony recalls travelling all over the country for games and encountering many of the GAA greats on his travels. He talks about the memories they shared and offers anecdotes about the characters he crossed paths with. Although not particularly interested in GAA administration, he did forge a political career for himself, rubbling shoulders with well-known historical figures along the way - many of whom were also GAA people. Playing in the Association was a relief to people like Tony as it offered a break from much of the infighting that was prevalent in society as he was growing up. Some of his acquaintances went on to prosper while others lost their lives needlessly as a result of ongoing conflict. His recollections are wide-ranging and personal, offering us a unique take on life at the coalface of 20th Century Irish history.