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Ireland travel facts

Ireland map
Area (sq km): 68,890
Population: 4,109,086
Nationality: Irish
Local Name: Eire
Language: English,
Irish Gaelic
Time Zone: 0 GMT
Currency: 1 euro =
100 cents
Rate: www.xe.com
Capital: Dublin
Dialling Code: +353
Electricity: 220V/50Hz
Internet Code: .ie
Religion: Roman Catholic,
Church of Ireland
Climate: Maritime
Government: Parliamentary Democracy
Inoculations: None
Driving: Left
Int'l License: Not required
Banking: M-F 10.00-12.30
13.30-15.00
Major Airports: Cork(ORK),
Dublin(DUB),
Kerry(KIR),
Shannon(SNN)

Ireland's stadium: Croke Park

Among the interesting places to visit in Dublin, Ireland, Croke Park is a must. Croke Park is situated in the North of Dublin and is one of the largest stadiums in Europe, with a capacity of 85,500 spectators.

Dublin's Croke Park
Dublin's Croke Park

Croke Park has been home to the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) since 1884. Both the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship and the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship annual finals are played here. To watch a game of such magnitude in the magnificent Croke Park stadium is indeed a privilege and an exhilarating experience. If such opportunity arises, it should not be missed.

Croke Park History

Croke Park’s name was chosen to honour one of the first patrons of the Gaelic Athletic Association, Archbishop Thomas Croke. Originally it was known as the City Suburban Racecourse and its owner was Maurice Butterly. Croke Park has undergone several changes and additions throughout the years and it is one of Ireland’s most beloved icons.

Croke Park’s history has been sadly tinted with blood. In November 1920, during the Irish War of Independence, the British Army Auxiliary, known then as the Black and Tans, shot and killed 14 people who were watching a Gaelic football match. This sad day is known as Bloody Sunday.

Among the dead was Michael Hogan, captain of the Tipperary team. Later on, one of the stands in Croke Park was called the Hogan Stand. The stadium was built in such a clever way that the spectator is never too far from the field.

Non-Gaelic Sports at Croke Park

For many years there have been divided opinions regarding the playing of non-Gaelic games in Croke Park. An agreement was reached in 2006, whereby a few Six Nations rugby games and some soccer international games were to be played in 2007.

Apart from being scenario to magnificent sport performances, Croke Park is a perfect place for massive concerts. Artistes of the stature of U2, Bon Jovi, The Police and Neil Diamond have performed here. Croke Park also features several bars and restaurants, not forgetting some impressive conference rooms.

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