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Alan Brogan, representing Dublin GAA, during the GAA Bloody Sunday Commemoration at Croke Park

Alan Brogan, representing Dublin GAA, during the GAA Bloody Sunday Commemoration at Croke Park

SPORTSFILE

Alan Brogan, representing Dublin GAA, during the GAA Bloody Sunday Commemoration at Croke Park

Croke Park was empty and dark in all but one corner and yet felt somehow alive and throbbing with poignancy as the names of the 14 people who were killed on Bloody Sunday were remembered, 100 hundred years on from the tragedy.

Aside from simply staging games, the GAA do lots of ancillary things well. This was among their finest such work.

First, actor Brendan Gleeson lent his voice and gravitas to the occasion, reading citations while 14 lights beamed into the cold November Dublin evening.

'In 90 seconds, 14 people lay dead and mortally wounded on the field and banks of Croke Park and on the streets outside. Tonight, 100 years on, we pause to remember them all: the 14 who went to a match, and never came home.'

And then afterwards, the Dublin players assembled in that corner of the stadium where Tipperary player Michael Hogan lost his life on November 21st, 1920.

Séamus McCormack, Dublin's media manager and a former member of the Irish defence forces, read out the names and origin of the fallen and then invited Stephen Cluxton to lay a wreathe in their memory.

"Obviously it's a huge occasion for the GAA," Dessie Farrell explained.

"In some ways, what happened here 100 years ago today is very much part and parcel of our identity as an organisation," explained Dessie Farrell afterwards.

"We touched on it during the week about the importance of the night and the commemoration.

"And we just felt in our own small way that it was important to recognise the people who perished on that night and (who were) struck down in very sad circumstances."

"And to just take the opportunity to be grateful for all we have and the opportunity that we've been provided by all those who have gone before us, our forefathers and people like who were killed here 100 years ago."

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