By John O’Callaghan
You may know that the University of Limerick is celebrating its fortieth birthday and as part of that celebration the GAA Club at UL is publishing its history to date. The 40 years have some interesting stories to tell such as the winning of the 1978 All-Ireland Club Football championship. The only University to achieve this feat and unfortunately one that has nor been repeated by a Limerick club since. This is just one of many stories.
Passion and history unite in this history of Gaelic games in the University of Limerick and its predecessors. It is a story of establishing and maintaining an identity and tradition in a changing environment, often featuring adverse institutional and sporting contexts. Many GAA personalities were students and played for the club. Individuals such as RTE analyst Pat Spillane and Minister, Jimmy Deenihan, Brian Mullins and Fran Ryder of Dublin fame all of whose memories and insights are contained in the book. As we enjoy the commencement of the championship season and in particular the Limerick Tipp clash current students such as Seamus Hickey of Limerick and Paul Kelly of Tipp are examples of the great modern players who have emerged from the nursery that is UL.
As part of the launch we are hosting a forum on the day of the launch and the panels will include John Devane, former player Ger Ryan PRO of Tipp and Sabrina Larkin. On the Limerick side you will have Eamonn Cregan, Conor Fitzgerald and Niamh Mulcahy grand daughter of the late Mick Mackey and no mean player in her own right. A more balanced and neutral view will be obtained from Eddie Keher and the likes of Fergal Hartley of Waterford and Seanie Mac of Clare.
UL GAA is clearly different to community-based GAA clubs but it has a very rich story to tell and this is achieved in the Book.
Plassey’s Gaels – A History of the GAA at NIHE, NCPE, Thomond College and the University of Limerick, 1972–2012, The Collins Press
by Dr John O’Callaghan, Department of History, University of Limerick
Will be Officially Launched by Mr. Jimmy Deenihan T.D., Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
3pm, Friday, 7th June, 2013
Castletroy Park Hotel, Limerick
The Launch will be followed by the
Limerick V Tipperary Munster Championship Forum
an expert panel chaired by Liam Aherne, Sports Editor, Limerick 95FM