It will be a day of remembrance tomorrow as the GAA pulls together the different strands of commemoration that have marked a widespread reflection on Bloody Sunday over the past number of years, weeks and days.
On Saturday evening, just after 6 PM, the lives of the 14 victims will be remembered in a ceremony that will coincide with the lighting of 14 flames in a dedicated area of Hill 16 and a corresponding pillar of light dedicated to each of those who died.
Wreaths will be laid on the spot where Tipperary corner back Michael Hogan was fatally shot on November 21st 1920, an area of the field in front of Gate 43 at the northern end of the stadium.
GAA Ard Stiurthóir Tom Ryan and Uachtaráin John Horan will be joined for the ceremony by Uachtarán na hÉireann Michael D Higgins and An Taoiseach Micheál Martin.
More Than a Game
There will then be a performance of a specially commissioned piece of music by the renowned musician Colm Mac Con Iomaire. The piece, entitled ‘More Than A Game’, was commissioned for use in the recent tribute videos produced by the GAA in honour of those who died and which have been viewed in excess of 20m times.
There will be other elements of the programme as well before it concludes at 6:30 PM in time for the arrival of the Meath and Dublin teams for the Leinster men’s Football Championship Final.
The Dublin players will wear specially produced shirts bearing the B100dy Sunday logo and the names of the 14 victims.
The following day in Cork, Tipperary will wear replica shirts of the Grangemockler Green and White shirts that Tipperary wore on the fateful day.
Sponsors Teneo have given up their place on the shirt so that it most closely resembles the one of 100 years ago.
A minutes silence will be observed before all GAA Championship matches over the weekend.
“At the heart of the appalling tragedy at Croke Park 100 years ago was a group of innocent people who went to a match and never came home,” said John Horan.
“The attack on Croke Park was a defining moment for the GAA and gives us a connection to this venue that goes deeper than it being just another pitch.
“Our work on the centenary has focused exclusively on remembering the people who died, paying respect and tribute to their lives and making a commitment to ensure they and the events that occurred are never forgotten.”
Candles at Home
In the absence of spectators being permitted at Croke Park in line with Government Covid-19 restrictions, the GAA has encouraged members throughout the country to pay their own tribute to those who died at Croke Park by lighting their own candle.
Why not share a picture of your candle and tag us on social media @CualaCLG
Since 1926 the main stand at Croke Park has been dedicated to the memory of Tipperary’s Michael Hogan from Grangemockler. The club will unveil a statue to him in their village on Sunday, a project which was supported financially by Croke Park and the Munster Council.
Over the last five years, the Association through the GAA Museum at Croke Park, the GAA History Committee and the Bloody Sunday Graves Project has been engaged in a series of projects to remember those who were killed as a result of the massacre at a Dublin v Tipperary football challenge match.
The GAA Museum has assembled a major exhibition focusing on Bloody Sunday and while it is closed to the public in line with Covid restrictions, it is available online
A series of online lectures hosted by the museum in recent weeks and a special section dedicated to the victims can be seen there too.
The Bloody Sunday commemorations have been influenced by the outstanding work of Sunday Times journalist and author Michael Foley, a member of the GAA’s History Committee, and whose recent RTÉ TV documentary based on his book ‘The Bloodied Field’, was supported by the GAA.
The GAA have also produced ‘The Bloodied Field’ podcast in conjunction with Michael Foley and is free to download.
A collaboration with The Abbey Theatre will see the staging of a series of special 14 monologues filmed at Croke Park dedicated to each of the victims and streamed online across the coming weekend from 7.0pm on the Abbey Theatre’s social channels.
On Sunday morning a special edition of RTE Radio 1’s Sunday Miscellany will feature essays on Bloody Sunday 1920.
Sub committees established by the county boards in Tipperary and Dublin have been involved in their own remembrance projects dedicated to the centenary.
Between November 2015 and November 2019 there have been headstones erected on the previously unmarked graves of seven Croke Park victims.
The GAA is also committed to unveiling a new artwork in honour of those who died which will be at the front of Croke Park and the Hogan Stand on Jones’s Road and will tell the Bloody Sunday story and remember those killed here.
Jerome O’Leary, 10, Dublin
William Robinson, 11, Dublin
John William Scott, 14, Dublin
Tom Hogan, 19, Limerick
Joe Traynor, 21, Dublin
Michael Hogan, 24, Tipperary
Jane Boyle, 26. Dublin
James Teehan, 26, Tipperary
Tom Ryan, 27, Wexford
Daniel Carroll, 30, Tipperary
James Matthews, 38, Dublin
Michael Feery, 40, Dublin
James Burke, 44, Dublin
Patrick O’Dowd, 57, Dublin
14 people who went to a football match on November 21st, 1920 and never came home.
14 people who might have decided on the day to go or might have been looking forward to it for weeks.
14 people who might not have gone if it had been colder or wetter.
14 people picked by fate from a crowd of 20,000 to have their lives cut short one fateful day.
14 people no different from those who have been attending matches at the same Croke Park Stadium for the 100 years since they died.
14 people whose minds were on the simple pleasure of sport, forgetting about what other worries or thoughts might have been crowding their minds.
14 people separated from us by 100 years but as close in spirit as anyone who has gone to a game.
14 people who might have been erased from history with the passing of time but for the determined interest of a single journalist and the enduring memory of their families.
14 people who play a central role in the identity of a sporting body who have now been well served by that body.
14 people who died by rifle fire on a dark day in Irish history, eight of whom until the past decade had lain in unmarked graves.
14 people who made the ultimate blood sacrifice without ever being asked.
14 people whose names should be remembered in the same way as the seven signatories of the Proclamation of Independence for the sacrifice they made.
14 people who will be recognised at Croke Park on the centenary of their death.
14 people, we should all remember on Saturday and think of from time to time to keep their memory alive.