Former Tipperary footballer Bill Ryan vividly recalls the events that took place in Croke Park on 21 November 1920, a day subsequently known as Bloody Sunday.
On the morning of 21 November 1920, 14 men were killed in a synchronised operation to kill British agents in Dublin directed by Irish Republican Army (IRA) chief of intelligence Michael Collins. In retaliation members of the Auxiliary Division and Royal Irish Constabulary opened fire on the 5,000-strong crowd attending a football match between Dublin and Tipperary in Croke Park, killing 14 and injuring numerous civilians.
You could hear the bullets whizzing, sure it was like a battle.
Bill Ryan describes how he got off the pitch by following a Dublin player. He ended up being held in the Hill 16 terrace and was searched and questioned until a sympathetic young British officer let him go.
Many of spectators managed to escape from Croke Park through galvanised sheeting levelled to the ground during a stampede in Hill 16.
Michael Hogan was killed on the field and the Hogan stand in Croke Park is named after him.
This episode of ‘Talk of Times Past’ was broadcast on 28 September 1986. The presenter is Brendan O’Reilly.