Prolonged digging in family history by 2 cousins and myself suggests that I am related - as a *First Cousin Twice Removed* - to the 1st GAA President at its founding on Nov 1, 1984, Maurice Davin 1842-1927 from Carrick-on-Suir, South Tipperary.
He was committed to ALL Sport and Athletics, but a tiny fanatical fringe, from the secret armed underground IRB [ Irish Republican Brotherhood, founded Mar 17, 1858 in Dublin ] infiltrated the GAA and turned it into a manipulated tool of their narrow, bigoted ideology - as they also did with the Gaelic League, founded July 1, 1893 where in 1915 the revolutionary Pearse ousted the founder, Dr Douglas Hyde, a County Roscommon Protestant, and later first President of Ireland in 1938.
The conspirators got bigoted rules passed which both [a] banned members from playing or even attending Rugby [ loved by Founders such as Michael Cusack and Thomas St George MacCarthy, a Bansha, Co Tipperary-born Royal Irish Constabulary District Inspector [ = Supt ] in Templemore, North Tipperary, and son of a Tralee, North Kerry-born District Inspector, as well as Soccer, Hockey and Cricket, and also [b] excluded police or military from membership - even tho' 1 of the 7 Founders, MacCarthy, was a police officer.
Maurice Davin was a First Cousin of my maternal Grandfather, Michael Davin, from Kilknockan Townland, South Tipperary, and Michael was also passionately committed to Sport [ not violent revolution or secret conspiracies ], being first national Vice-President of the GAA Handball Council in 1922, as well as Chair of the Leinster Handball Council, and President of the outstanding Handball Club at Talbot's Inch, Kilkenny City, which was funded by the first Jewish parliamentarian in Ireland, Senator Lady Desart, Ellen Bischoffsheim, a Senator from Dec 1922 [ when the new independent Irish State started ] until her death in June, 1933. She also generously aided many other cultural and industrial developments in Kilkenny City, constructively using funds inherited from her London banking family. In the Senate she strongly advocated the provision of Civil Divorce.
The City Council in Kilkenny conferred on her the honor of *Freedom of the City* in 1910 - she said that she was the first Jewess to be so honored anywhere in the world.
Michael Davin was her Estate Steward [ manager ] from 1912 to 1933. Ellen succeeded her brother-in-law Otway Cuffe as Gaelic League President in Kilkenny in 1912. Michael had been his Estate Steward. Cuffe was an ex-Capt of the Rifle Brigade of the British Army. In their early years, both the GAA and Gaelic League were strongly supported by all who loved Sport and Culture, and who were committed to the revival of traditions, until a tiny fringe perverted it into a revolutionary tool.
Michael who moved to County Kilkenny on his marrriage to a Kilkenny-woman, Annie Lappin, had been a Cricket Captain in Kilkenny when working for Capt Cuffe at Sheastown on the South of the City. Annie was the daughter of a farmer's son from County Armagh, Peaden Lappin, an RIC Constable stationed in Bennettsbridge, County Kilkenny, and both Peaden and Annie were married in Kilfane Church of Ireland, Thomastown, South Kilkenny.
The definitive repudiation of the long era of contamination of the GAA by revolutionary ideology was when the GAA Gaelic Football team of the PSNI [ Police Service of Northern Ireland ] played a team of Irish Parliamentarians at Kilmacud Crokes Club, Stillorgan Dublin, led by Jimmy Deenihan, a noted Kerry player and now Sports Minister, and including a very fit Enda Kenny. PSNI Captain was Constable Peadar Heffron, also committed to and fluent in the Gaelic Language, and later targeted by the cowardly ex-Provo IRA reptiles, who maimed him with their UCB [ under-car bomb ] as he drove to work.
The monument to be unveiled at the end of this month in Carrick-on-Suir to Maurice Davin will not only honor a local but also honor the inclusive, open vision of Sport, Culture and Patriotism which he embodied.