The GAA is celebrating the 175th anniversary of its founder Michael Cusack in Co Clare on Saturday.
A memorial plaque was unveiled and an ash tree was planted in Cusack’s honour outside the cottage in which he is born and has since been developed into a popular visitor attraction in Carron, Co Clare.
Born on September 20th, 1847, Cusack’s love for education, Irish culture and sport led to the foundation of what is today one of world’s largest amateur sporting organisation.
Mr Cusack helped to establish the GAA in 1884 and has since developed a presence in parishes and communities across the country.
On Tuesday, exactly 175 years on from the day Cusack was born, the GAA president will lay a wreath at Cusack’s grave in Dublin’s Glasnevin Cemetery, while members of Clare GAA and representatives of the Michael Cusack Centre will place a wreath at the foot of Cusack’s statue outside Cusack Park in Ennis.
Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael Larry McCarthy joined Leas Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council Cllr Ann Norton, representatives from Munster GAA, Clare GAA, Clare Camogie, Clare LGFA, The Chair of Leinster GAA, LCETB, Clare County Council, Fáilte Ireland and the local community in the heart of the Burren for the first in a series of Cusack 175 commemorative events.
Cllr Norton said: “Citizen Cusack, as he was known, is a true icon of Irish culture and reflects all that is good about the community and society of his time, namely the Irish language, Gaelic Games, and promoting Irish culture and tradition through education.
“This commemoration is recognition of the vision and role played by Michael Cusack and the GAA in supporting our communities.”
Mr McCarthy said, “The GAA today is an integral part of Irish life, deeply rooted in communities through more than 1,600 clubs in Ireland and more than 450 clubs around the globe. It is a lasting legacy and tribute to the work of Michael Cusack and the passion and energy which he brought to the formation of the GAA.”
“We will be hosting a series of Cusack 175 events right up to September 2023,” said Dónal Ó hAiniféin, Chair of the Board of Michael Cusack Centre.
“We are inviting anybody, of every GAA persuasion, to come to visit. It is a bit like connecting ‘where we all belong’ to ‘where it all began’. Carron is the fabled story of where the GAA began.”