Industry experts will discuss divisive topics on ‘Sport and Politics’ at the 2017 GAA Museum Summer School this year.
The GAA Museum will host an exciting and controversial series of seminars exploring the theme of ‘Sport and Politics’ and the effects they have had on one another since the 1870s at their 2017 Summer School, which runs from Thursday June 29 to Saturday July 1.
 
Attendees lucky enough to secure a ticket will be engaged and challenged, as some of the most divisive topics in sport will be discussed by leaders across a plethora of disciplines, such as sociology, politics, sport, and history.
 
National and international experts will contest long held beliefs and bring to light topics not previously considered; how the GAA suffered in the 1890s due to its support for Charles Stewart Parnell; the issues and divisions in Irish soccer that led to the establishment of two separate governing bodies in 1921; the struggle for an Irish identity through the Olympic movement pre-1922; how the Irish republican movement has viewed sport since 1923, and the cultural trauma felt by the people of Liverpool in the aftermath of the 1989 Hillsborough tragedy.
 
The keynote talk from internationally renowned Doctor Harry Edwards, the former Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley, is much anticipated. Doctor Edwards will speak on the history of sport and racial segregation in America from the 1960s.
 
Fifty years ago, in 1967, Edwards established the Olympic Project for Human Rights (OPHR) through which he called for a Black athlete boycott of the United States 1968 Olympic team, in order to highlight the racial inequities and barriers that existed in sport and society. The movement resulted in demonstrations by Black athletes across America and ultimately at the 1968 Mexico City games where the iconic ‘Black Power Salute’ was delivered by Tommie Smith and John Carlos.
 
Edwards, a scholar-activist who became spokesperson for what amounted to a revolution in sports, is now considered the leading authority on developments at the interface of race, sport, and society and was a pioneering scholar in the founding of the sociology of sport as an academic discipline.
 
Attendees of the Summer School will have the chance to meet Dr Edwards one-to-one as he signs copies of the 50th Anniversary edition of his pioneering book on sport and struggle, ‘The Revolt of the Black Athlete’.
 
Commenting on this year’s series of seminars on Sports and Politics, Mark Reynolds, the GAA Museum Archivist, said “The event is open to the public to attend and is a must for anyone with a keen interest in sport, politics or history. We are honoured to welcome renowned international guest speakers, including Doctor Harry Edwards, Professor John Hughson and Professor Alan Bairner, who will ensure this is an engaging and stimulating experience for all.”
 
Each day the event will be also hosted by a different MC from RTE. Tom McGuire, Head of RTE Radio 1, said “RTÉ Radio 1 is proud to be media partner of the GAA Summer School 2017. The theme of Politics & Sport will allow programme makers and audience to explore two important aspects of life at home and abroad.”
 
Tickets cost €45 per day or €120 for a three day pass. Lunch and tea/coffee are included in the price. Advance booking is required, and it is expected to sell out quickly, so secure your place today on https://crokepark.ie/summerschool