Prior to the Ireland-Australia International Rules test, there will be a commemoration of the day of violence where the Royal Irish Constabulary opened fire at a crowd who were attending a Dublin-Tipperary challenge football game at GAA HQ, killing 14 people including Tipperary’s Michael Hogan after whom the Croke Park’s Jones Road side stand is named.
“We want to do something respectful because it is the calendar anniversary, November 21, and we are a sporting stadium,” said GAA stadium and commercial director Peter McKenna. “There will be a short recognition of who the individuals were. You don’t want to distract from the game either and it has to be done in as sensitive a way as possible.
“This was an absolute tragedy that happened and everyone who is coming needs to acknowledge it but at the same time you don’t want it to carry on into the game because that will be about excitement and enjoyment.”
The 95-year anniversary of Bloody Sunday was mentioned at an AFL-Australian squad dinner in New York on Wednesday night where chef de mission, Collingwood president Eddie McGuire, emphasised the importance of the occasion for the GAA.
McKenna says ticket sales for Saturday’s game were, by the middle of this past week, going “as you would expect — a nice run”.
He added: “It’s looking good and Joe (Kernan) has picked a phenomenal squad.”
Meanwhile, Tipperary’s two-time All Star Conor O’Mahony has announced his retirement from inter-county hurling at the age of 31 after a number of back issues in recent years.
The Newport man, an All-Ireland winner in 2010, also claimed five Munster titles (2008, ’09, ‘11, ’12, ’15), a National League title in 2008 as well as his individual awards in 2008 and ’09.
Responding to the centre-back’s announcement yesterday, the Tipperary County Board remarked: “Conor distinguished himself as a team player of great quality and versatility. He led by example on and off the pitch.
“He was instrumental in many of Tipperary’s successes in the last decade and was always to the fore when the pressure was at its peak.
“We are very grateful to Conor for his long and dedicated service to the county and we wish him all the best for the future.”