Grassroots cover

GAA project seeks stories from exiles

A major drive is being launched worldwide to source and publish for the first time GAA stories from the grassroots of the association.

The collaboration between the association and publishers, Ballpoint Press Ltd., aims to gather the most comprehensive treasure trove of Gaelic-related stories ever compiled in the 136-year history of the GAA.

As well as the four corners of Ireland, stories will also be sought from across the globe, in particular from those who have been GAA frontier people in New York and across the USA, as well as Canada, the UK, Australia and many other countries.

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The story gathering will brings diverse stories for the first time in a book form and also feature in the GAA’s archives at Croke Park.

Potential contributors who feel they have a story but may not feel up to writing it can get in touch with Ballpoint Press and relate their account. It will then be written and sent back for approval before being submitted for final publishing.

The President of the GAA, John Horan, welcomed the exploration through the GAA grassrootsto find the diversity of stories that undoubtedly exist there.

“The grassroots is the lifeblood of our organisation and it is timely that that such an undertaking is finally going ahead. I’m delighted because it means that there will be a permanent home for these stories in both book form as well in our own GAA archive section.”

Well-known journalist (for the Echo and others) and author PJ Cunningham will spearhead the undertaking alongside GAA Communications Director, Alan Milton.

Cunningham said it had been an ambition of his for many years to bring what he believes is the “great legacy of GAA stories” together under one roof.

“GAA is a way of life for most Irish people at home and abroad. It is packed with diverse stories from on and off the pitch. I grew up listening to them and enjoying their retelling but the reality is that many of these stories exist only in word of mouth form.

“At present we all have a bit more time to commit such stories to paper so that they can be preserved for future generations.

“Ideally the stories should have their own unique selling point rather than just normal accounts of winning or losing matches. They can also include inter-county fare and personnel because it is the grassroots people who gather in large numbers to support those encounters.

“Basically we are interested in any story from 1884 onwards to the present day that has a special, novel or unusual twist to it,” he said.

“Stories of fun and games, from the Ban times and the era of vigilantes to the more modern and inclusive GAA which still has more than its share of feuds and friendship, passion and humor and even bits of roguery,” he added.

For further information on how to get in touch see details on or marked ‘GAA Stories’

Or if people are more comfortable, they can post their grassroots stories to: Ballpoint Press, 4 Wyndham Park, Bray, Co Wicklow. Phone number: 001-353-86-821-7631.

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