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History

History: 

Cumann na mBunscol was set up in 1971 when a group of teachers met after the annual Corn na Casca match between Dublin and Limerick primary schools. They decided to approach some other interested teachers and a meeting was arranged for New Year’s Day, 1971 in Limerick. The attendance on that day included, Tom Garry who was to be Runai for 21 years, Peadar Mac Craith, Martin Kitterick and Pat Guthrie. They decided to explore the possibility of setting up a national body to promote Gaelic games in primary schools. They decided to call the organisation Bord Eadar Cathrach na mBunscol. Later other areas were to join. So the areas involved in Cumann na mBunscol were Dublin, Cork, Thurles, Limerick, Waterford, Kilkenny, Clare, Dundalk and Drogheda.   

During the first ten years the coiste set about consolidating the organisation and Meath was the only new area to join in that period. Finance was obtained from the G.A.A. and medal sponsorship was got from C.I.E. As a consequence, huge crowds of children travelled all over the country in special trains. Later when A.I.B. took over the sponsorship, only the teams travelled and they usually stayed overnight.

 In these early years the AGM was held at a different venue each year and this was a very sociable affair. Of these meetings the one held on the occasion of Sciath na Scol's 75th anniversary in Cork is probably the most memorable. Michael Jackson was in the chair and the delegates were snowbound in Blarney for the weekend.

The A.G.M.'s were always attended by dignitaries from the G.A.A., Church and State. People like Pat Fanning, Paddy McFlynn, Paddy Buggy, Sean O'Siochain, Bishop Tom Morris, Bishop Casey, Jack Lynch and the then Minister for Education Paddy Faulkner. The meeting in Cork was addressed by the legendary Christy Ring. The National A.G.M. was held in the Fairways Hotel, Dundalk in 1973 and Hugh O'Hare was then the chairman of Cumann Peile na nOg in Dundalk. He welcomed the delegates and presided over the meeting. In 1975 a sub - committee was elected to formulate a constitution for Bord Eadar Cathrach na mBunscoileanna. The constitution was adopted at the following A.G.M. in 1976, and the main objective of this document was to have an All-Ireland Body with representation from all thirty two counties. The A.G.M. was held in the Rosnaree Hotel, Drogheda in 1981. That meeting will always be remembered because of the great tragedy in the Stardust on Friday 14th February, Valentine’s night. The meeting was attended by Padraig McFlynn, then President of the G.A.A. and Padraig Faulkner, who was then Ceann Comhairle. Over the next few years Cumann na mBunscol expanded to include all thirty -  two counties. History was made at our AGM in Kerry on 28th. February, 2004 when the London Primary Schools’ GAA Board became affiliated to Cumann na mBunscol as they were looking for moral support and coaching guidance from our organisation. London was considered as another county and it was grouped with the six counties in Ulster for insurance purposes.

 

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