Since 1884 the site has been used primarily by the GAA to host Gaelic games, most notably the annual finals of the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship and Senior Hurling Championship. Music concerts by major international acts have also been held in “Croker”, as it is often called by Dubliners, and it hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2003 Special Olympics. During the refurbishment of Lansdowne Road, the stadium also hosted the Irish national rugby union and soccer teams.
Following a redevelopment programme started in the 1990s, Croke Park has a capacity of 82,300, making it the third largest stadium in Europe.
During the Irish War of Independence on November 21, 1920 Croke Park was the scene of a massacre by the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC). The Police, supported by the British Auxiliary Division entered the ground, shooting indiscriminately into the crowd killing or fatally wounding 14 during a Dublin-Tipperary Gaelic football match. The dead included 13 spectators and Tipperary’s captain, Michael Hogan. Posthumously, the Hogan stand built in 1924 was named in his honour. These shootings, on the day which became known as Bloody Sunday, were a reprisal for the assassination of 14 British Intelligence officers, known as the Cairo Gang, by Michael Collins’s ‘squad’ earlier that day.
There is a great debate in Ireland regarding the use of Croke Park for sports other than those of the GAA. As the GAA was founded as a nationalist organisation to maintain and promote indigenous Irish sport, it has felt honour-bound throughout its history to oppose other, foreign, sports. The first football game was held as late as in 2007.
Attracting visitors from all over Ireland and around the globe, the Croke Park Stadium Tour offers an in-depth behind the scenes look at one of the most historic and modern sporting arenas in the world.
Join us on a stadium tour and immerse yourself in our sporting and cultural heritage. Visit the dressing rooms, walk pitchside via the player’s tunnel and take a seat in the VIP area. Our guides will also bring you to the Players Lounge, corporate suites and finally to the media centre on the top tier of the stadium where you will enjoy a spectacular bird’s eye view of Croke Park.