Final Call for contributions to the GAA Oral History Project
Commissioned by the GAA and carried out by a team based at Boston College-Ireland, the GAA Oral History Project is now drawing to a close.
The project, which began its work in 2008, has since travelled across Ireland and overseas recording oral history interviews with the grassroots of the GAA. The final deadline for submissions to the project is 31 December 2011 and we encourage all individuals, clubs and schools who have not yet submitted their contributions to do so before this date to ensure that the story of the GAA in their area is represented in the archive.
Hundreds of interviews have been carried out by the project team and a diligent group of volunteers both in Ireland and abroad over the last three years and an extraordinary collection of recordings, documents and photographs has been put together. This unique body of material will ultimately be stored at the GAA Museum in Croke Park where it will be made accessible to the public from early 2013. Some of the material has already been used in the best-selling book, The GAA: A People’s History which was written by the project’s directors, Mike Cronin, Mark Duncan and Paul Rouse and also in the recently published book, The GAA: County by County also written by the project directors.
The vision of the project has been that people from every parish, from every club and from every school would have the opportunity to contribute their stories, either by doing an interview, filling out a questionnaire, writing a letter or donating material. The project also aimed to collect the memories of the members of all the organisations under the umbrella of Gaelic games, including Ladies Football, Camogie, Handball, Rounders and Scόr. The response from across codes has been overwhelming and the material collected will ensure that these stories will now live on. It will also enable current and future family members of participants to hear and see their ancestors, to view their handwriting, to learn about how they lived and the place of the GAA in their lives.
The GAA Oral History Project team would like to sincerely thank all of those who contributed so generously of their time, their stories and their archives to the Project. These contributions have amassed into a large and significant digital archive of the story of the first 125 years of the GAA. Simply put, this archive and this project would not have been possible without your involvement. The archive will greatly enrich future generations’ understanding not only of the GAA but more broadly their understanding of the social, cultural and political history of Ireland in this period.
It is not too late to have your story added to this national archive, our final deadline for submissions is 31st December 2011. For further information on how to get involved or to see some of the material that has been collected, simply log on to gaahistory.com. Finally, the Project continues to recruit volunteers to help us in the process of digitising and archiving the collection, if you are interested in getting involved please don’t hesitate to get in touch. For further information on any aspect of the project, please contact the office of the GAA Oral History Project Team on +353 1 662 5055. You can write to the project at GAA Oral History Project, 42 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, or send an email to [email protected].