Hayes Hotel not just GAA history

“Down the Mardyke through each elm tree” is one of the great Irish lyrics just as Slievenamon’s “To see our flag unfurled”.

They evoke a sense of belonging, not to mention a stirring of imagination. Hayes Hotel is bricks and mortar and yet it holds the same charms.

Just what it would have been like to be there this month 129 years ago? It’s a thought that has surely crossed most Gaels’ minds passing by the Liberty Square hostelry.

Labour senator Denis Landy has recently backed former GAA president and current MEP for Ireland South Seán Kelly’s call to preserve the building, which is now in receivership.

Understandably, Croke Park is watching the cash as it faces a commercial rates hike next year. The issue shouldn’t become a political football but surely the State can recognise the value of its heritage and come to an arrangement with the GAA to enshrine a most treasured place?

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