Three kilometres northeast of O’Connell Street, Croke Park is the home of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), a magnificent, much redeveloped and now very modern stadium whose capacity of 82,000-plus puts it amongst the largest in Europe. Situated under the Cusack Stand is one of Dublin’s finest museums, the GAA Museum, whose creatively designed exhibits provide an enthralling account of not only the sports of hurling and Gaelic football, but also lesser known games such as camogie (the women’s version of hurling) and handball. Historical and political contexts are explored in a thoroughly engaging manner – since its foundation in 1884 the GAA has always been irrevocably linked with Irish Nationalism. Thus the museum does not shirk from recounting key, politically sensitive events such as the first Bloody Sunday, when British troops fired on the crowd attending a match in 1920, killing twelve people in the process. On a lighter note, upstairs you can have a go at whacking a hurling ball or test your balance and reactions via various simulations.
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