Castlebar Mitchels re-visit Kilmainham Jail and Croke Park.
September 07, 2019
As part of the GAA Social Inclusion Scheme, Castlebar Mitchels very own “vintage crop” visited
Kilmainham Jail and Croke Park on Tues 3 rd Sept 2019. Thirty people from the club went on the day
The visit to Kilmainham Jail was of particular significance for the club. In the early 1960s Castlebar
Mitchels responded to an appeal for funds from Kilmainham Jail Restoration Fund. The fund was set
up to raise money to restore the then almost derelict jail. A large contribution of £105 (100 guineas)
was made by the club. This amount equates to roughly €2,500 in todays money. All donations to the
Fund were used to renovate the Jail ahead of the 50 th Anniversary of the 1916 Rising, in 1966.
For three of our party – Frank McDonald, Sean Rice and Ray Clarke- it was a trip down memory lane.
They were present when the cheque was handed over to the Kilmainham Jail Restoration Fund, over
50 years ago. The picture below shows Gerry McDonald presenting the cheque to Frank Colgan from
the Kilmainham Jail Restoration Fund. This photo was taken in Kilmainham on the morning of the All
Ireland Football Final. Castlebar Mitchels had arranged a challenge game with the Civil Service Club
on their nearby pitch; hence the reason why the players were togged out. Also in the photo are
veterans of the War of Independence and officers of the Kilmainham Jail Restoration Fund.
Our guided tour of Kilmainham Jail opened an insightful window into our nations past. It highlighted
the great hardships endured, and the sacrifices made, by the Irish people. Our tour guide
acknowledged the donation made by the club. We were told that Kilmainham Jail is now the number
one tourist attraction in Dublin. It is a source of great pride to know that Castlebar Mitchels
subscribed generously to the restoration of this historical gem.
After the tour of Kilmainham, we went to Croke Park where we were brought through the dressing
rooms, the warm up areas, down the tunnel in the Hogan and out to the pitch. We dared not amble
onto the surface. We marvelled at the sheer scale and magnificence of the place. We observed the
grounds staff at their work while we were advised on the admirable recycling policy of Croke Park
and on their methods of surface regeneration for the pitch. In silence, we pondered what it must be
like for players on All Ireland day. Two of our group - Brian McDonnell and Gabriel Nevin - had
experienced that great occasion and they both have the silverware to prove it. Our trip to the GAA
Museum brought the memories flooding back, all of which were shared on the bus home.
A most enjoyable day was had by all, made possible by our Club Secretary Martin Moran and Sean
McHale from Mayo GAA. Míle Buíochas lads.
Bring on the next trip.
Bhí lá an-mhór ag grúpa mór baill Mistéalaigh ar an Máirt 3ú Mean Fómhair seo caite. D’fhág an bus An Spórtlann go moch (7.30 a.m.!) agus thugamar aghaidh ar Bhaile
Átha Cliath. Taréis bricfeasta breá lan-Ghaelach ar an mbealach, b’é Músaem Phriosún Chill Mhaighneann an chéad stop.
Bhí eolaí thar barr again ansin a d’inis na scéalta faoi na ceannairí cróga in Éirí Amach na Cásca 1916, a thaispeáin dúinn na cillíní priosúnaí inar gcuireadh iad agus an clós inar maraíodh iad. Gabhadh buíochas mór le Mistéalaigh Caisleán an Bharraigh faoin síntiús fial a thug an club ins na 1960í nuair a bhí athchóiriú an Mhúsaem ar siúl. Bhí bród speisialta Mhaigheo eile orainn nuair a chualamar faoi Seán Mac Bhríde, ár gcomharsan calma as Cathair na Mart ag an am sin.
Ansin suas linn go Pairc an Chrócaigh. Taréis béile deaseile, tugadh muid ar thuras an-spéisiúl thart an foirgneamh galánta seo, go dtí an taispeantas músaem, isteach sna seomraí gléasta, amach go taobh na páirce agus suas Árdán Ui hÓgain. Bhí cóip de Corn Sam Mac Uidhir ann; d’ardaigh cupla againn é agus thugamar an óráid brionglóide: ‘’Tá an-áthas orm an corn seo a ghlacadh ar son mhuintir Mhaigheo!!’’. Chuaigh an lá i bfheidhm go mór orainn go léir.
Gabhaimid buíochas mór le Máirtín Ó Móráin, rúnaí na Mistéalaigh, agus Seán Mac Eil, an bord chontae. Táimid ag súil le lá eile cosúil leis sar i bhfad. Mistéalaigh Abú !!