Sport has played a central role in modern Ireland’s history. Perhaps nowhere else has sport so infused the political, social and cultural development and identity of a nation. During this so-called ‘Decade of Centenaries’ in Ireland (2014 to 2024) recently there has been an exponential growth in interest and academic research on Ireland’s sporting heritage. This collection of chapters, contributed by some of Ireland’s most preeminent sport and social historians, showcases the richness and complexity of Ireland’s sporting legacy. Articles on topics as diverse as the role of native Gaelic games in emphasising the emerging cultural nationalism of pre-Revolutionary Ireland, the contribution of Irish rugby to the broader British war effort in World War 1, the emergence of Irish soccer on the international stage, and the long running battle to gain official recognition within international athletics for an independent Irish state, are presented. This work’s intention is to illustrate some of the latest and most vibrant research being conducted on Irish sports history.
This book was published as a special issue of Sport in Society.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction 2. ‘Contesting the Fields of Play: The Gaelic Athletic Association and the Battle for Popular Sport in Ireland, 1890-1906’ 3. The GAA and Revolutionary Irish Politics in Late 19th and Early 20th Century Ireland 4. ‘Irish Rugby and the First World War’ 5. ‘The National Athletic Association of Ireland and Irish Athletics, 1922-1937: Steps on the Road to Athletic Isolation’ 6. ‘The Emergence of Hurling in Australia 1877-1917’ 7. ‘Irish born players in England’s Football Leagues, 1945-2010: An Historical and Geographical Assessment’ 8. ‘The Cork Sportsman: A Provincial Sporting Newspaper, 1908-1911’ 9. ‘Ireland – Soccer Champions of the World’ 10. ‘Hardy Fingallians, Kildare Trippers and ‘The Divil Ye’ll Rise’ Scufflers: Wrestling in Modern Ireland’
Richard McElligott lecturers in modern Irish history at University College Dublin and is the author of Forging a Kingdom: The GAA in Kerry, 1884-1934. His research has been published in a range of journals including Eire-Ireland and Irish Economic and Social History. Since 2011 he has served as Chairman of the Sports History Ireland Society.
David Hassan is Head of the School of Sport at Ulster University. He is the author of 11 books and over 75 peer-reviewed articles and outputs dealing with sport and modern society. He holds a Distinguished Research Fellowship from Ulster in recognition of his outstanding contribution to research.