GAA Should Acquire Hayes Hotel

Munster MEP Mr Sean Kelly

The GAA should buy the famous Hayes Hotel here in Thurles.”  So says former GAA President and current Fine Gael Munster MEP, Mr Sean Kelly, who has once again reiterated his proposal that the GAA should buy this historic home of the Gaelic Athletic Association.

Mr Kelly stated; “Hayes Hotel is a major symbol of Irish cultural and sporting heritage and the location of the first GAA meeting in 1884. The GAA was founded at this hotel, so it is the perfect site for a museum to showcase GAA history and its continued growing success nationally and globally. A GAA museum would be an enormous tourist attraction for sports fans. The GAA is built on the dedication and success of local clubs and future EU sports policy will reinforce the need to support grassroots sports. Indeed, I have often cited the GAA as a leading example of how sport can boost the physical, social and economic health of regional towns, during my work at the European Parliament.  Hayes Hotel could also be used as a regional GAA headquarters with staff tasked with supporting local clubs across the country. The creation of a GAA museum, at this time would be timely, as Thurles has been named the 2012 ‘European Town of Sport’.”

Picture courtesy G.Willoughby


6 comments to GAA Should Acquire Hayes Hotel

  • Chris

    Hey George did you happen to see this online?
    Seems like they are stealing what Thurles is famous for. The National Museum Dublin has been at it for years taking any artifacts found here so why not Kerry GAA/County Council.

  • Yes Chris, I spotted this on a Google Alert earlier. The “password” for finance with any project in Kerry is Jimmy Deenihan. Fair dues to him, he works miracles for that area. Note he has delivered €7 million for the restoration of Killarney house alread last year. Coonan, Lowry, and Kelly deliver nothing. All three are totally powerless & useless.

  • Chris

    Well Kelly does deliver silly bicycle tracks and paint for train stations, but not to our town. It just sounds really stupid flying to Ireland from Seattle and getting the train to Kerry to hear how the GAA was founded and be told the actual birth place is 100 miles away in Thurles. Also why provide €3 million in funding to build something that already exists in Dublin and Thurles. If I can recall didn’t Tipperary GAA ask for funding a few years back for a similar project? Maybe it is the name “Thurles” lets face it, it doesn’t sound horse and cart/thatch cottage-ish. All these heritage sites around Kerry/Bunratty have become capitalist tools designed to feed into the American stereotypical view of “Poor Ireland” where we still go around wearing tweed caps living in little cottages and burn turf on the fire. We may not have much in Thurles but what we do have is real history and thankfully it is out of the control of Shannon Heritage/Failte Ireland etc. Not almost €3 for a cup of coffee like in Bunratty

  • Chris, Tipperary has got used to this kind of treatment over the years, and as a County it can only blame itself. It chooses its political representation without thought and continues to remain silent, as other public representatives from other areas steal our public funding to feather their own nest, for the next general election. In danger of repeating myself to often, Europeans have to visit Dublin to see the Derrynaflan Hoard, the Faddan More Psalter and the Book of Dimma, to be told they were found in Co. Tipperary, so why not allow visitors to Kerry, be fooled in a similar vein. European visitors to Ireland are encouraged to believe that Tipperary is an “uninhabited bog hole,” or some lost sunken world in the middle of Ireland, to which archaeologists visit in the non rainy season and discover long lost treasure.

  • Katie O.Connell. Knott

    George, I agree with you and Chris. Once again I came across this very same subject over the holidays about Thurles and the South of Ireland, how there is nothing in Thurles to offer the Tourist. But do you know George I find these same people are expat’s from Thurles and surronding areas. I won’t mention names but I am sure you and some Thurles people would know these expat’s by their name. I emailed an Irish Travel Agency asking them if we could get together and come up with some idea how to promote Thurles and surronding areas of the South but once again no reply. George we will never give up trying to promote Thurles and the great history and sites of Thurles, it has so much to offer the Tourists. George an other subject came up yesterday as to whether expats can vote in Ireland when the elections come around that would be absolutely great. “Oh Boy’ I would wear out several pairs of shoes. I did read in one of our Irish papers here the Irish Government was going to bring that in. George have you heard any thing about this I would love to know. We have never become Australian Naturalized and this is one of the reasons why. Ireland is my country and I am a true pedigree Irish women and proud to be Irish, as I tell the Aussies who ask me why we have never become Naturalized.There is a well known Irish Travel Agency here in Australia they all hail from Thurles, but I have never seen them promoting Thurles yet !!!!!

  • Chris

    It is not only lack of promotion though Katie, its cost too. Dublin-Thurles/Thurles-Dublin via Iarnród Éireann (Irish Rail) is €46 return vs €27 Waterford-Dublin (which is further away and carries less passengers). We pay one the highest fares per KM in the country. Although Thurles is the best served station on the mainline and demand is very high (even having more trains than Cork city to Dublin) fares are too high majority of people arriving/departing are from Thurles and every neighbouring city and towns here have something Thurles doesn’t and that’s competition by bus. State subsidized transport provider Bus Éireann pulled out years ago when rail fares were reasonable but they have increased by 24% in 4 years. So take Thurles €46 by train no bus vs Waterford City €27 train and €19 by bus. It puts alot of people off visiting. GAA numbers are dropping in recent years over this. It is great you are trying to promote Thurles in Australia. People here will be very thankful for that 🙂

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