The GAA Football All-Ireland Senior and Minor Championship Semi-Finals takes place in Croke Park this Sunday 21st August and it promises to be a fantastic day out for Mayo, Tipperary, Galway and Donegal fans.
Croke Park are going to make the experience even better by offering match ticket holders the opportunity to visit the GAA Museum free of charge from 12.30pm to 4pm this Sunday.
Here you will get an opportunity to see the original Sam Maguire and Liam McCarthy Cups up close, and you can locate your personal heroes in the GAA Players Hall of Fame and Player of the Year exhibitions.
Are you bringing the kids along? Cluasóg, the Irish hare, is the leader of the new Junior Explorer route aimed at children between 4 and 10 years old. On entering the museum, children can pick up their Junior Explorer passport and follow the route which highlights some of the most fascinating and famous exhibitions.
A highlight for many visitors is the museum’s interactive games zone, where you can test your own football and hurling skills – see how fast you can react, check your passing skills and practice a fingertip save or the art of the high catch! Just beware of being out-scored by your 10 year old!
And the museum is not just for those who love the GAA. The recently opened ‘Ireland’s Olympians’ is sure to get everyone into the Olympic spirit. The exhibition celebrates the nation’s Olympic medallists, featuring medals and memorabilia from our iconic Olympic athletes.
The state-of-the-art interactive museum brings visitors on a journey that vividly illustrates the story of Gaelic Games from ancient times to the present. The vast collection includes rare and precious artefacts from our national games, as well as highlighting the contribution the GAA has made - and continues to make - to Ireland’s cultural, social and sporting heritage since its foundation in 1884. One such example is the 1908 minute book of the Geraldines Athletic Club in London of which Michael Collins was treasurer and secretary. It is through this club that Collins met Sam Maguire.
Croke Park itself is an iconic stadium steeped in history, and has been at the heart of Irish sporting and cultural life for over 100 years. As you arrive in this hallowed ground this weekend to cheer on your heroes, don’t miss this free opportunity to find out where it all began and the extraordinary journey the Association has taken to bring it to where it is today.
All tours are wheelchair accessible, as is the Museum’s Blackthorn Café. The Café is named after the trusty blackthorn stick that Michael Cusack was rarely seen without, and the stick itself is on display in the GAA Museum's permanent exhibition.
So go on - win, lose or draw - make the day extra special and visit the Croke Park Museum. We promise - it’s a winner!
The Croke Park Stadium Tour and the Etihad Skyline Tour also run on match day, but with an adjusted schedule. For more information visit www.crokepark.ie/gaa-museum