Reflections on History
Roscommon Gaelic Games!
By Liam Byrne
This year the Gaelic Athletic Association is celebrating 125 years since it’s
foundation in Thurles on 1
November 1884. Teams played in Co. Roscommonalmost from the beginning. In 1885 a letter in "The Roscommon Herald" called for the creation of GAA Clubs in the county and by 1888 teams were active in the northof the county and it is most likely that the south was not too far behind. The Parnellitesplit of the latter years of the 19
century caused the movement to die downsomewhat but by 1902 the GAA had reformed in the county and has survivedunscathed ever since.It soon became apparent that there was a need to inform the general public about whowas participating in any particular game and
the popular “Match Programme” w
asinvented. The earliest single page GAA Programme dates to about 1913 for an AllIreland Final, on this particular occasion between Kerry and Wexford. It was not untillater, in
the 1930’s, that programmes were prod
uced for All Ireland semi-finals andlater still for qualifiers.
The Match Programmes from the famous All Irelands of 1943, 1944 & 1946 (
have actual programmes for these games, only images
) and an unofficial Programme for the 1946 replay.
The earliest programme of Roscommon interest is probably that for the 1939 Minor Final (the names of the players were on the back of the senior programme of the day)
and programmes exist for all the finals from the 1940’s
, including the famousRoscommon Finals of 1943, 1944 and 1946 (
). Early provincial final
programmes date from the 1930’s. A Munster final programme exists
- Limerick v.Waterford, for 1934 and
County Final programmes date from the 1940’s (Tipper
ary -Thurles v Carrick-on-Suir in 1946). Programmes of Roscommon interest must alsodate from the same period and today, of course, programmes are produced for almostevery game.