On the 21st day of November 1920, over 5,000 spectators attended a Football match in Croke Park between Dublin and Tipperary. 13 of those spectators and one player never returned home. They died at the hands of British forces (a combination of RIC Police, Black & Tans and Auxiliaries) in reprisal for IRA assassinations of British spies, carried out earlier that morning across Dublin.
The game which was refereed by Mick Sammon from Clane (he played football with both Clane and Kilcullen) started late due to the crowds still trying to enter the ground. There was huge interest in the game as they were considered 2 of the best teams in Ireland at the time. Coincidentally, Tipperary went on to lift the 1920 All Ireland beating Dublin when the final was eventually played in June 1922. About 10 minutes after the match had started at 3.25pm and unbeknownst to the crowd or the teams, 3 armoured cars, 18 trucks of Black & Tans and Auxiliaries as well as the RIC approached the ground. Croke Park was very different in those days, only a fraction of the size it is today and the forces quickly surrounded the ground. When the firing started at the canal end of the ground without any warning, it caused absolute chaos. The crowd rushed to the other end (Hill 16 end) to escape the firing only to be met by machine gun fire over their heads as the soldiers tried to force them back inside, allegedly to search and question all adult males. A resulting crush occurred. The police kept shooting for about 90 seconds with almost 300 shots fired resulting in 7 people shot dead and another 5 mortally wounded while 2 people died in the crush. Dozens more were wounded and injured.
Among those shot dead were 3 boys aged 10, 11 and 14 (Jerome O’Leary, William Robinson and John William Scott). The dead also included Jane Boyle (26) who was due to be married 5 days later and was at the match with her fiancé. 2 Tipperary players Michael Hogan and Jim Egan were shot; Egan survived but Michael Hogan after whom the Hogan Stand is now named died on the pitch.
List of the Croke Park victims
- Jane Boyle (26), Dublin
- Jerome O’Leary (10), Dublin
- William Robinson (11), Dublin (died 23 November)
- John William Scott (14), Dublin
- James Burke (44), Dublin
- Daniel Carroll (31), Tipperary (died 23 November)
- Michael Feery (40), Dublin
- Michael 'Mick' Hogan (24), Tipperary
- Tom Hogan (19), Limerick (died 26 November)
- James Matthews (38), Dublin
- Patrick O’Dowd (57), Dublin
- Tom Ryan (27), Wexford
- James Teehan (26), Tipperary
- Joe Traynor (21), Dublin
Ar dheis Dé go raibh siad.
This weekend both teams will be in action in their respective provincial finals and will mark the occasion with special edition jerseys.
Light a Candle in Remembrance
Tomorrow, Saturday, November 21st marks the 100th year anniversary of Bloody Sunday. Since we cannot gather to commemorate the lives lost that day, we are asking our supporters and the GAA community to light a candle at dusk on Saturday evening in remembrance.
Abbey Theatre – Special Event
From this evening at 7pm, Friday November 20th The Abbey Theatre in a special partnership with the GAA will mark the 100th anniversary of Bloody Sunday with a broadcast from Croke Park.
14 Voices From The Bloodied Field brings together 14 writers, 14 directors, and 14 actors to give voice to the men, woman, and children who were killed in Croke Park on 21 November 1920. The event will be introduced by Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh and also features Christy Moore who will be performing.
The event will be streamed on The Abbey Theatre social channels from 7pm
For more information on this event please visit https://www.abbeytheatre.ie/whats-on/14-voices-from-the-bloodied-field/
Additional Recommended Materials
If you don’t have Spotify you can still find the podcast using your preferred podcast app and search for “The Bloodied Field”
This Sunday on RTE Radio1 a special edition of Sunday Miscellany on the events of Bloody Sunday, with the support of the GAA Museum, will be broadcast from 9.10am.
RTE broadcast the documentary “Bloody Sunday 1920” on Monday evening last. It will be shown again on Sunday night at 11.30pm on Network 2. Alternatively you can watch this on demand on the RTE Player at https://www.rte.ie/player/movie/bloody-sunday-1920-e1/162915880185
For further information please visit the GAA Official Bloody Sunday web site at https://www.gaa.ie/bloodysunday/
Another very good account of Bloody Sunday is available on The Friends of Tipperary Football web site at https://www.friendsoftipperaryfootball.com/2018/03/29/bloody-sunday-a-brief-account/
Please use and follow the hash tag #B100dySunday on social media.