Patrick William Nally

November 8, 2018

(1855 – 1891)

excerpt from ‘Croke Park – A Brief History’
published on

P.W. Nally was born in Balla, Co.Mayo on March 17th 1855. A noted athlete, he discussed the formation of a National Athletics Association with Michael Cusack as early as 1879. Indeed Cusack, in a letter to the “United Irishman” in 1889, stated that P.W. Nally had done more to influence him in the setting up of the GAA than any other man. It is most likely that Nally would have been present in Hayes Hotel in 1884, when the GAA was founded were he not incarcerated in Downpatrick Jail at the time.

 As an active member of both the Land League and the IRB, Nally had come to the attention of the authorities and in 1882 he was arrested along with six others and charged with planning the murder of land agents. As a result of this, Nally was sentenced to ten years imprisonment, first in Downpatrick and then in Mountjoy, where his deteriorating health led to his death on November 9th, 1891. In Croke Park, the Nally stand was erected by the GAA in 1952 to commemorate a man in the same tradition as Croke, Cusack and Hogan. Just over 50 years later, in January 2003, it was removed from Croke Park, to be relocatd at the grounds of Tyrone club Carrickmore.