Croke Park Dublin

Identifying the capacity of the Jones’ Road sports ground a journalist and GAA member, Frank Dineen, borrowed much of the ₤ 3,250 asking rate and bought the ground in 1908. In 1913 the GAA entered special ownership of the plot when they purchased it from Dineen for ₤ 3,500. The ground was then renamed Croke Park in honour of Archbishop Thomas Croke, one of the GAA’s very first patrons.

In 1913, Croke Park had just two stands on what is now referred to as the Hogan stand side and grassy banks all round. In 1917, a grassy hill was built on the railway end of Croke Park to afford patrons a better view of the pitch. This terrace was understood initially as Hill 60, later renamed Hill 16 in memory of the 1916 Easter Rising. It is incorrectly believed to have actually been constructed from the ruins of the GPO, when it was built the previous year in 1915.

Croke Park ( is a Gaelic games stadium situated in Dublin, Ireland. Named after Archbishop Thomas Croke, it is in some cases called Croker by GAA fans and locals. It functions as both the principal stadium and headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). Since 1891 the site has been used by the GAA to host Gaelic sports, consisting of the yearly All-Ireland in Gaelic football and tossing.

A major expansion and redevelopment of the stadium ran from 1991 – 2005, raising capability to its existing 82,300 viewers. This makes Croke Park the third-largest stadium in Europe, and the largest not normally used for association football.

Other occasions held at the stadium consist of the opening and closing events of the 2003 Unique Olympics, and many musical concerts. In 2012, Irish pop group Westlife sold out the stadium in record-breaking time: less than 5 minutes. From 2007 – 2010, Croke Park hosted house matches of the Ireland national rugby union team and the Republic of Ireland national football group, while their new Aviva Stadium was constructed.

This use of Croke Park for non-Gaelic sports was controversial and necessary momentary changes to GAA rules. In June 2012, the stadium hosted the closing ceremony of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress throughout which Pope Benedict XVI offered an address over a video link.

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