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The GAA Ban on "foreign" games

  • 22-01-2021 4:00pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 8,636 ✭✭✭ feargale


    There's an interesting article in this week's Anglo-Celt about the infamous ban on playing in or attending rugby, soccer, hockey or cricket matches. I would like to compile a list of inter-county players who were suspended for committing these heinous crimes. Promoting or attending "foreign" dances was also prohibited, but I can find no case of a person suspended for this. Your help in compiling the list would be appreciated. While I am primarily interested in inter-county players you are welcome to tell us any interesting story you may have e.g. of your grandfather being excommunicated from the GAA for dancing the charleston or the twist.

    I'll start with these:
    Charlie Gallagher Cavan SF 1960 playing soccer;
    Barney Cully Cavan SF 1947 attending rugby;
    Jimmy Cooney Tipperary SH 1938 attending a rugby international;
    Tom McGarry Limerick SH 1950s playing an indoor soccer match (I think.)

    If you can, please give details as I have done.

    Charlie Gallagher's suspension may have cost Cavan the 1960 Ulster championship, beaten by Armagh in the first round. Barney Cully missed the famous Polo Grounds final in 1947.
    Cooney's case was probably the most notorious of all. Tipp were reckoned to be unbeatable in 1938. They played Cooney who was under suspension at the time in the
    Munster semi-final against Clare. Clare objected successfully, went on to lose the Munster final as Waterford picked up their first ever Munster championship, who in turn lost the All-Ireland final to Dublin, that being the Dubs' last All-Ireland success.
    Mick Mackey was an avid soccer fan and Limerick GAA were horrified at the prospect of losing their star player to the ban. They solved the problem by appointing him to the vigilance committee. That was the group of spies who attended rugby and soccer matches to identify culprits. In fairness I don't believe Mackey ever fingered anyone.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,373 ✭✭✭ Duffy the Vampire Slayer


    Douglas Hyde went to an Irish soccer international while president and was suspended from the GAA.


  • Posts: 0 ✭✭✭ Lexi Whining Jeep


    Tom cheasty waterford received a ban for attending a soccer club dance in 1963,missed a league final


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,636 ✭✭✭ feargale


    There must have been a host of infringements in Dublin when you consider the multiple temptations in that city of sin.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,162 ✭✭✭ megadodge


    Although he wasn't banned, Dermot Earley used to play rugby under the pseudonym of Dermot Late, which led to one famous occasion when he scored a match-winning try at the end of a match and the newspaper headline referred to a "Late Late try".


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,504 ✭✭✭✭ breezy1985


    "In fairness I don't believe Mackey ever fingered anyone."

    He wasn't called the playboy of the southern world for nothing


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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,636 ✭✭✭ feargale


    breezy1985 wrote: »
    "In fairness I don't believe Mackey ever fingered anyone."

    He wasn't called the playboy of the southern world for nothing

    I know, I know, but that's another story. I never said rugby and soccer were the only games that were foreign to Holy Ireland.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,636 ✭✭✭ feargale


    megadodge wrote: »
    Although he wasn't banned, Dermot Earley used to play rugby under the pseudonym of Dermot Late, which led to one famous occasion when he scored a match-winning try at the end of a match and the newspaper headline referred to a "Late Late try".

    Mick O'Connell wasn't banned either, even though a photo of him appeared in a paper identifying him attending a banned game. The ban was on the way out at the time and the decision to show the pic was made by anti- ban journalists to make a point. Some opponents of the ban thought it made a good point. Others thought it was bad form to embarrass him in that way. Anyway the ban was removed from the rule-book shortly afterwards.
    I would say almost every GAA sportswriter without exception was opposed to the ban at that stage.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,074 ✭✭✭ Uncle Pierre


    There's a man in my village who won an All-Ireland intermediate hurling title with Wexford in 1961, as a direct result of the ban.

    Our club was senior at the time, and under the rules of that All-Ireland championship, any player who'd hurled at senior the previous year wasn't eligible for the intermediate inter-county championship. But this man had been spotted playing a soccer match in late 1959, and was banned from all GAA for the whole of 1960 as a result. So he became eligible for the 1961 intermediate county team after all, and won an All-Ireland medal.

    Funny old game :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,636 ✭✭✭ feargale


    There's a man in my village who won an All-Ireland intermediate hurling title with Wexford in 1961, as a direct result of the ban.

    Our club was senior at the time, and under the rules of that All-Ireland championship, any player who'd hurled at senior the previous year wasn't eligible for the intermediate inter-county championship. But this man had been spotted playing a soccer match in late 1959, and was banned from all GAA for the whole of 1960 as a result. So he became eligible for the 1961 intermediate county team after all, and won an All-Ireland medal.

    Funny old game :)

    That reminds me of another case of perverse logic. Abortion was illegal in Nazi Germany, but a Jewish woman was acquitted of the charge on the grounds that aborting a Jewish foetus was a good thing.


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,796 ✭✭✭✭ Strumms


    just goes to show you what a jokeshop mindset the GAA had and what wet brain dunderheads they had that would spend money, that could and should have been aimed to improve the sport and the enablement and enjoyment of it, instead to get to and into matches to see if the rumors that X player was playing soccer or even in attendance were true...

    If it was going on in some communist backwater we’d be outraged but because in a way we are used to this organization and it’s whims, oddities and malevolence towards anybody and everybody who didn’t tow the line...being accepted and acceptable..

    It must have been highly illegal too... ? Load of mutton headed bollocksology, like something from the deepest darkest ultra right wing fascist playbooks...


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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,636 ✭✭✭ feargale


    Strumms wrote: »
    just goes to show you what a jokeshop mindset the GAA had and what wet brain dunderheads they had that would spend money, that could and should have been aimed to improve the sport and the enablement and enjoyment of it, instead to get to and into matches to see if the rumors that X player was playing soccer or even in attendance were true...

    If it was going on in some communist backwater we’d be outraged but because in a way we are used to this organization and it’s whims, oddities and malevolence towards anybody and everybody who didn’t tow the line...being accepted and acceptable..

    It must have been highly illegal too... ? Load of mutton headed bollocksology, like something from the deepest darkest ultra right wing fascist playbooks...

    The GAA has moved on, like most other organisations in this country on whatever side of any fence you care to mention. Being outraged now about these things is pointless. You may as well be angry with the fellow who killed Brian Boru at Clontarf.


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,796 ✭✭✭✭ Strumms


    feargale wrote: »
    The GAA has moved on, like most other organisations in this country on whatever side of any fence you care to mention. Being outraged now about these things is pointless. You may as well be angry with the fellow who killed Brian Boru at Clontarf.

    You’d like to think it’s moved on, hopefully it has.

    I wouldn’t be outraged but all the same .

    Pat Fanning, the GAA President at the time of the rule change ....

    “A rule of life and reflected and epitomised the very spirit of our association. The Rule deleted. What then?”

    On other sports...

    “Opening Croke Park will double and treble the income of these other sports and give them more ammunition to intrude on our schools.”

    OUR schools ? Yes, schools that belong to Ireland and Irish people... here was the chief fûckwit of the GAA, he was actually actively begrudging and trying to disable the ability of other sports to succeed and for young and old alike to have less opportunity within those sports..

    Always makes me laugh, the dyed in the wool GAA type, waffling on about the ‘ community ‘.... when all they actually give a rats about is themselves and they own little narrow minded corner of it.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,469 ✭✭✭ ShyMets


    Strumms wrote: »
    You’d like to think it’s moved on, hopefully it has.

    I wouldn’t be outraged but all the same .

    Pat Fanning, the GAA President at the time of the rule change ....

    “A rule of life and reflected and epitomised the very spirit of our association. The Rule deleted. What then?”

    On other sports...

    “Opening Croke Park will double and treble the income of these other sports and give them more ammunition to intrude on our schools.”

    OUR schools ? Yes, schools that belong to Ireland and Irish people... here was the chief fûckwit of the GAA, he was actually actively begrudging and trying to disable the ability of other sports to succeed and for young and old alike to have less opportunity within those sports..

    Always makes me laugh, the dyed in the wool GAA type, waffling on about the ‘ community ‘.... when all they actually give a rats about is themselves and they own little narrow minded corner of it.

    The ban was abolished in 1971. So yes things have moved on. You now have a situation at underage level where kids will play both GAA, Rugby & soccer. GAA players attend different sporting events.

    So clearly things have changed and for the better


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,796 ✭✭✭✭ Strumms


    There shouldn’t have been a ban to abolish. It was and is a democracy.

    Our religious school still had that dyed in the wool rule.. no soccer in PE, at break or anytime...this is mid 1990’s.

    That same school that educated then bullied, harassed and threatened to expel Liam Brady... for playing soccer..

    As far as I’m concerned, schools, religion, politics... a sporting organization like the GAA are all there and exist to ‘do right’ by and for the citizens of this country... not the other way around... we bankroll them, through our taxes... the expectation on the back of that, be they religious or otherwise is that they play with a straight bat, enabling the education and enjoyment there of...sport and fitness is part of that..

    Imagine I’m the sporting director of a tennis academy... I’m enabled with 300,000 euros this year in government grants, but I tell the kids... “ any of you attending or playing that dastardly GAA or soccer and you are gone !

    Let’s just say I’d want and need a good solicitor...

    If that was uttered.. it’s a pity a few people back in the day, didn’t take written evidence of this and just sue them... that would have softened their cough..


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,469 ✭✭✭ ShyMets


    Strumms wrote: »
    There shouldn’t have been a ban to abolish. It was and is a democracy.

    Our religious school still had that dyed in the wool rule.. no soccer in PE, at break or anytime...this is mid 1990’s.

    That same school that educated then bullied, harassed and threatened to expel Liam Brady... for playing soccer..

    As far as I’m concerned, schools, religion, politics... a sporting organization like the GAA are all there and exist to ‘do right’ by and for the citizens of this country... not the other way around... we bankroll them, through our taxes... the expectation on the back of that, be they religious or otherwise is that they play with a straight bat, enabling the education and enjoyment there of...sport and fitness is part of that..

    Imagine I’m the sporting director of a tennis academy... I’m enabled with 300,000 euros this year in government grants, but I tell the kids... “ any of you attending or playing that dastardly GAA or soccer and you are gone !

    Let’s just say I’d want and need a good solicitor...

    If that was uttered

    I agree that there should never have been a ban. But its long gone. Time has moved on and there is no point still getting angry about it


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,796 ✭✭✭✭ Strumms


    ShyMets wrote: »
    I agree that there should never have been a ban. But its long gone. Time has moved on and there is no point still getting angry about it

    No point in getting angry, correct, I don’t think anybody is but in a democracy, we can still discuss as whats learned from our past can influence our present and future behaviors and decisions.


  • Posts: 0 ✭✭✭ Lexi Whining Jeep


    Strumms wrote: »
    No point in getting angry, correct, I don’t think anybody is but in a democracy, we can still discuss as whats learned from our past can influence our present and future behaviors and decisions.

    The ban was removed by a democratic decision??



    The president that oversaw it,pat fanning,was a mount sion man,and also pro-ban


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,796 ✭✭✭✭ Strumms


    The ban was removed by a democratic decision??



    The president that oversaw it,pat fanning,was a mount sion man,and also pro-ban

    It doesn’t matter, Democratic or otherwise, was such a ban even legal at the time.. ? It was a vote as far as I’m aware... So many Gardai would have been involved in clubs the length of the land at that time, it’s a shame nobody from their corner of life would have done anything but probably no surprise there..


  • Registered Users Posts: 307 ✭✭ Exiled1


    I'm old enough to vividly remember the Ban. I remember several of us teenagers looking through a hedge to see the local soccer team playing a friendly. If we had gone into the cowshyte covered field we would have certainly got a six month suspension from our local useless GAA club.
    Impossible to explain to people today. There have been lots of worthwhile articles written in recent years, including by Paul Rouse. An interesting book too on how Uachtarán Douglas Hyde was banned for attending a soccer match. I think the author's surname is Moore, published about five years ago.
    The 'garrison' games of soccer, rugby, hockey and cricket were the targets.
    The Ban was implemented first in 1904. Curiously it killed off by far the most important game in County Kilkenny - cricket.
    It was and remained a product of its time and there were very few objections to the Ban until the mid 1960s.
    I'm convinced the 1966 World Cup changed everything. The GAA was in a bad place generally and hurling in particular. Ignore the crowds at All Ireland finals and the misty eyed reminiscences about the time. There were few underage games and no coaching (didn't really arrive until the late 1970s). Had they not changed the rules of hurling in 1970 and got rid of the Ban in '71 there would have been carnage.
    There was huge debate around the clubs about the removal of the Ban. It was hugely political but the hardliners were swept away. For many youths, it was their first ever club agm.
    Pat Fanning, an ultra conservative simply saw the tsunami coming and accepted the inevitable. I wouldn't give him credit for anything other than GAA political nous.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,162 ✭✭✭ megadodge


    Strumms wrote: »
    No point in getting angry, correct, I don’t think anybody is but in a democracy, we can still discuss as whats learned from our past can influence our present and future behaviors and decisions.


    Seriously???


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,469 ✭✭✭ ShyMets


    Strumms wrote: »
    It doesn’t matter, Democratic or otherwise, was such a ban even legal at the time.. ? It was a vote as far as I’m aware... So many Gardai would have been involved in clubs the length of the land at that time, it’s a shame nobody from their corner of life would have done anything but probably no surprise there..

    I'm sorry but that response makes no sense


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,796 ✭✭✭✭ Strumms


    ShyMets wrote: »
    I'm sorry but that response makes no sense

    It might not to you and your ilk, but sure, don’t worry about it ;)


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,726 ✭✭✭ WesternZulu


    Exiled1 wrote: »
    I'm old enough to vividly remember the Ban. I remember several of us teenagers looking through a hedge to see the local soccer team playing a friendly. If we had gone into the cowshyte covered field we would have certainly got a six month suspension from our local useless GAA club.
    Impossible to explain to people today. There have been lots of worthwhile articles written in recent years, including by Paul Rouse. An interesting book too on how Uachtarán Douglas Hyde was banned for attending a soccer match. I think the author's surname is Moore, published about five years ago.
    The 'garrison' games of soccer, rugby, hockey and cricket were the targets.
    The Ban was implemented first in 1904. Curiously it killed off by far the most important game in County Kilkenny - cricket.
    It was and remained a product of its time and there were very few objections to the Ban until the mid 1960s.
    I'm convinced the 1966 World Cup changed everything. The GAA was in a bad place generally and hurling in particular. Ignore the crowds at All Ireland finals and the misty eyed reminiscences about the time. There were few underage games and no coaching (didn't really arrive until the late 1970s). Had they not changed the rules of hurling in 1970 and got rid of the Ban in '71 there would have been carnage.
    There was huge debate around the clubs about the removal of the Ban. It was hugely political but the hardliners were swept away. For many youths, it was their first ever club agm.
    Pat Fanning, an ultra conservative simply saw the tsunami coming and accepted the inevitable. I wouldn't give him credit for anything other than GAA political nous.

    Just out of curiosity what was the 1970 rule change in hurling?


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,636 ✭✭✭ feargale


    Strumms wrote: »
    It might not to you and your ilk, but sure, don’t worry about it ;)

    Why do so many threads get derailed or descend into a personalised squabble? Could we please get back to what this thread was intended to be about i.e. some facts and experiences of banning and being banned?


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,077 ✭✭✭ arctictree


    Strumms wrote: »
    Imagine I’m the sporting director of a tennis academy... I’m enabled with 300,000 euros this year in government grants, but I tell the kids... “ any of you attending or playing that dastardly GAA or soccer and you are gone !

    Well my son tells me that if you are in the academy for the local LOI soccer club that you are banned from playing GAA....


  • Registered Users Posts: 307 ✭✭ Exiled1


    Just out of curiosity what was the 1970 rule change in hurling?

    Really there were two.
    The removal of the third man tackle. It also applied to football.
    It meant that you could be hit without being in possession of the ball. Typically the goalie was buried in the net by a lumbering full forward as the ball sailed high over the bar or wide! Outfield, if you were moving to support a colleague you could be zapped by any opponent while being far from the ball.
    The other significant rule change was the creation of the large parallelogram. It meant that the thuggery that passed for a 'schemozzle' in the square ended because a penalty was now awarded for a foul. Have a look at the old photos from the fifties/sixties and see what the players were up to while far from the ball.
    The problems were bad in football but you can only imagine the carnage in hurling when defenders routinely wielded hurlers at heads and referees turned a blind eye.

    Sadly the man who most often turned a blind eye was the doyenne of commentators Michéal O'Hehir.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,198 ✭✭✭ dobman88


    arctictree wrote: »
    Well my son tells me that if you are in the academy for the local LOI soccer club that you are banned from playing GAA....

    Bit of a difference there imo. That's clubs trying to protect their asset while trying to turn them into a professional player and maybe make some money off them. You need academy players giving 100% focus and commitment to soccer.


  • Posts: 0 ✭✭✭ Lexi Whining Jeep


    dobman88 wrote: »
    Bit of a difference there imo. That's clubs trying to protect their asset while trying to turn them into a professional player and maybe make some money off them. You need academy players giving 100% focus and commitment to soccer.

    As opposed to the half arsed focus and commitment required to make it to the top level in hurling and football??



    You still have rugby only schools,where no GAA is played


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,198 ✭✭✭ dobman88


    As opposed to the half arsed focus and commitment required to make it to the top level in hurling and football??



    You still have rugby only schools,where no GAA is played

    A soccer academy can lead to a professional sports career. GAA cannot by playing football or hurling. That's why soccer academies wouldn't want their players playing other sports. They're assets to professional or semi-pro clubs.

    That's why its different to an outright ban on "foreign" games to the GAA


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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,198 ✭✭✭ dobman88


    As opposed to the half arsed focus and commitment required to make it to the top level in hurling and football??



    You still have rugby only schools,where no GAA is played

    I'm not sure what your point is about rugby only schools. As far as I'm aware. There is no actual ban on GAA in those schools, they just concentrate on one sport.


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