Down to celebrate the Michael Cusack Connection

October 01, 2009
Special 125 Events to mark Mourne County links with GAA Founder The GAA in Down will continue their celebrations of the Associationís 125th Anniversary with two events which will mark the link between founder Michael Cusack and the county. Both events will take place on this Friday, 2nd October. A special commemorative plaque will be unveiled at the Ballela GAA club at 4.00pm on 2nd October. This plaque will mark the fact that Michael Cusack was married to Margaret Woods in Dromore in 1876. Down GAA will also host a special GAA 125 Talk at 8.00pm on the Friday evening. The event will take place at Newry Arts Centre. The Talk will involve two speakers: Michael Anderson - The Cusack Connection: The founder of the GAA and his links to the Woods Family of Dromore, Co Down Dr Maurice Hayes - A Reflection on the Growth of the GAA These events will be attended by grand-nieces of Michael and Margaret Cusack. Michael Cusack founded the Gaelic Athletic Association at Hayesí Hotel, Thurles on 1st November 1884, and became the organisationís first Secretary. He had earlier taught at St Colmanís College, Newry, and was married to Dromore native Margaret Woods in 1876. Following on from the successful Schools Day and L· na gClub in April and May, further plans for the 125th Anniversary year include the Down 125 Dinner in November, which will be attended by GAA President Christy Cooney; an enhanced county final day on Sunday; and a special Book of Photographs. Friday's events will begin the County Final weekend in Down, which will culminate with the senior football decider in Newry on Sunday and a parade of clubs led by the Artane Boysí Band. The chairman of the Down 125 Committee John Devaney noted the importance of celebrating the countyís link to the GAAs founding father. "We are proud of the way the Association has grown and developed to become the foremost organisation of its kind in Down and across the country. We owe our place in Irish society to the ambitions of the founding fathers who perhaps could not have imagined what the GAA would become." ìMichael Cusack is an iconic figure within Cumann Luthchleas Gael, and his strong links to Co Down is something we are proud of. In a year that celebrates the milestone of 125, we felt it approopraiet to honour that connection

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