Who said that politics and sport should not mix? This year's GAA Museum Summer School presents a fascinating series of talks on the intersections between the two.
As part of the GAA Museum’s 2016 commemoration programme, the inaugural GAA Museum Summer School was held at Croke Park in June 2016. Over the course of three days, eleven distinguished academics and historians delivered lectures relevant to the school’s overall theme of the ‘GAA and Revolution in Ireland, 1913-1923’.
The event was so successful that the GAA Museum decided to make it an annual feature in its calendar of events - now the 2017 GAA Museum Summer School is taking place from Thursday 30th June until Saturday 1st July at Croke Park. Based on feedback from speakers and attendees at the 2016 school, the theme for the 2017 summer school has been broadened out to Sport and Politics, with speakers delivering lectures on the effects that the two have had on one another since the 1870s.
Throughout these three days, national and international leading experts in their field will discuss a diverse range of topics; how the GAA suffered in the 1890s due to its support for Charles Stewart Parnell; the issues and divisions in Irish soccer that led to the establishment of two separate governing bodies in 1921; the struggle for an Irish identity through the Olympic movement pre-1922; how the Irish republican movement has viewed sport since 1923, and the cultural trauma felt by the people of Liverpool in the aftermath of the 1989 Hillsborough tragedy. You can find a full schedule of talks here.
Already much anticipated is the keynote talk from internationally renowned Doctor Harry Edwards, the former Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley is
Fifty years ago, in 1967, Edwards established the Olympic Project for Human Rights (OPHR) through which he called for a Black athlete boycott of the United States 1968 Olympic team, in order to highlight the racial inequities and barriers that existed in sport and society. The movement resulted in demonstrations by Black athletes across America and ultimately at the 1968 Mexico City games where the iconic ‘Black Power Salute’ was delivered by Tommie Smith and John Carlos.
Doctor Edwards will speak on the history of sport and racial segregation in America from the 1960s. He will also sign copies of the 50th Anniversary edition of his pioneering book on sport and struggle, The Revolt of the Black Athlete.
The Summer School will be of huge interest to anyone with a keen interest in sport, politics or history; what's more, at the end of each day there will be a round-table discussion, whereupon attendees will be afforded the opportunity to interact and discuss with the day’s speakers. RTÉ Radio 1 are the official radio partner to the GAA Museum Summer School, with a different RTÉ personality MC-ing this round-table discussion each day.
Tickets cost €45 per day, or €120 for a three day pass.