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Maurice Davin

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Maurice Davin

Maurice Davin
Personal information
Sport Hurling
Inter-county(ies)
Years County
Tipperary

Maurice Davin (1842–1899) was an Irish farmer who became co-founder of the Gaelic Athletic Association. He was also the first President of the GAA and the only man ever to serve two terms as president.

He was born in Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary. He became an extremely talented athlete and achieved international fame in the 1870s when he held numerous world records for running, hurdling, jumping and weight-throwing.[1] In fact at a time he was regarded as the best athlete in the world.[2]

From 1887 he actively campaigned for a body to control Irish athletics.[3] Athletics in Ireland at the time was controlled directly by an English association which excluded the masses from most competitions.[2]

Davin wrote "the laws under which athletic sports are held in Ireland were designed mainly for the guidance of Englishmen, and they do not deal at all with the characteristic sports and pastimes of the Irish race. Irish football is a great game" he wrote, "but there are no rules for either hurling or football and they are often dangerous."[2]

Together with Michael Cusack, of Carron on the eastern fridge of The Burren, County Clare he called a meeting in Hayes’s Commercial Hotel, Thurles, County Tipperary, on 1 November 1884, and founded the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). In that meeting they established ""a Gaelic athletic association for the preservation and cultivation of national pastimes".[2] As far as we know, only six others attended the historic meeting.

Davin was elected President and Cusack became its first secretary. John Wyse Power and John McKay were also elected secretaries. Later, Thomas Croke, Archbishop of Cashel and Emly, Michael Davitt and Charles Stewart Parnell became patrons. The following year standardised rules were set for hurling, football, weight throwing, jumping, running, walking and cycling. Séamus Ó Riain described Davin as "the rock on which the Association survived turbulent waves".[4]

Many top games including the 1904 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Final between Kilkenny and Cork were played on Davin's farm.[3] The Davin Stand in Croke Park, Dublin is named in his honour as are some GAA clubs throughout the country including Carrick Davins in Tipperary. Every year in his home town of Carrick-On-Suir on the 27th of December the Maurice Davin awards take place.These awards celebrate inter county talent from the tri-county area of Tipperary,Kilkenny and Waterford as well as members from local clubs.

References

  1. ^ "Maurice Davin - Co-Founder of the G.A.A". Retrieved 2007-07-17. 
  2. ^ a b c d Weeshie Fogarty. "A Short History of the GAA". Retrieved 2007-07-17. 
  3. ^ a b "Maurice Davin". Retrieved 2007-07-17. 
  4. ^ Ó Riain, Séamus. Maurice Davin, (1842-1927): First President of the GAA. Geography Publications.  
Preceded by
New position
President of the Gaelic Athletic Association
1884-1887
Succeeded by
Edward Bennet
Preceded by
Edward Bennet
President of the Gaelic Athletic Association
1888-1889
Succeeded by
Peter Kelly
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