Five years of planning the GAA's Bloody Sunday commemorations culminates with a special remembrance ceremony at Croke Park on Saturday evening.
The ceremony, which will be broadcast live on RTÉ2 on The Saturday Game Live, will honour the 14 victims killed at Croke Park by Crown Forces on 21 November, 1920.
Over the last five years the Association, through its museum, 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 versus Tipperary football challenge match.
"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," says GAA president 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."
This Saturday marks 100 years since the Bloody Sunday killings at Croke Park. We can't gather together, so we ask you to remember from afar.— The GAA (@officialgaa) November 19, 2020
Light a candle at dusk this Saturday evening to remember the 14 people who went to a match and never came home.#B100dySunday pic.twitter.com/wxCaCNBolf
One of the main forces behind the commemorations is Cian Murphy, GAA Communications Executive.
Murphy has been working hard on the project since 2015 and has been a key driver of the project, part of which saw the unveiling headstones for victims who had previously been in unmarked graves.
Murphy has also been at the centre of reconnecting with the families of those who lost their lives on that landmark day and has played a significant part in the GAA reaffirming their relationship with Bloody Sunday and what it means to them.
The commemorations have also been heavily influenced by the outstanding work of Sunday Times journalist and author Michael Foley, a member of the GAA's History Committee.
The RTÉ TV documentary 'Bloody Sunday' was based on his book ‘The Bloodied Field’.
In addition, the GAA also produced ‘The Bloodied Field’ podcast in conjunction with Foley which 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 7.00pm this evening on the Abbey Theatre’s social channels.
And on Sunday morning a special edition of RTE Radio 1's Sunday Miscellany will feature essays on Bloody Sunday 1920.
Across the country ceremonies and commemorations have been held.
Sub committees established by the county boards in Tipperary and Dublin have been involved in their own remembrance projects dedicated to the centenary.
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Tipperary’s Bloody Sunday committee chairman, Seamus McCarthy says that the events have been uplifting.
"Especially for the families involved," he says. "It’s been an emotional year and it has allowed everyone to reflect on the events of that day.
"I have been taken aback to meet four direct descendants of Bloody Sunday victims. I was expecting I would be dealing with second generation family members – but that just shows how firm it remains in the minds of people."
Bloody Sunday was a seminal moment for the GAA and defining moment in the Association's link to the field on Jones's Road.
Before the Leinster SFC final on Saturday evening, 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.
GAA Director-General Tom Ryan and John Horan will lay wreaths on the spot where Tipperary corner-back Michael Hogan was fatally shot that day, an area of the field in front of Gate 43 at the northern end of the stadium.
They will be joined by President Michael D Higgins, Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin.
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 in excess of 20 million views.
A minute’s silence will be observed before all GAA Championship matches this weekend.