Croke Park (Irish: Páirc an Chrócaigh) is a stadium. It is the biggest stadium in Ireland. It is in the middle of Dublin. It is the third largest stadium in Europe. It can hold 82,300 people. The stadium is owned by the GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association), Ireland´s biggest sport organisation. Since 1884 it is used by the GAA. The annual finals of the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship and Senior Hurling Championship are held here Music concerts by major international acts have also been held. From 2007–2009 it was also used for rugby and soccer. The stadium is named after Thomas Croke, an archbishop, who was an early mentor of the GAA.
History[change | change source]
The area was used since 1870 as sports ground. It was called Jones's Road Sportsground. Since the foundation of the Gaelic Athletic Association it was used for major events in Gaelic sports. In 1913 the ground was bought by them. At this time the ground had one stand and earth walls around the field. In the 1920s the capacity raised by building new stands. In the 1980s the GAA decided to build a high capacity stadium. The final constructions were in 2003.
Bloody Sunday[change | change source]
During the Irish War of Independence on November 21, 1920 Croke Park was the scene of a massacre by the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC). The police shoot into a crowd which was visiting a Dublin-Tipperary Gaelic football match. The dead included 13 spectators and Tipperary's captain, Michael Hogan. To his memory the new stand of 1924 was named "Hogan stand".