1953 – “Semple Soil to Casement Park”

Irish Press, 27 May 1953

When Belfast’s principal GAA field, Casement Park, was officially opened in the summer of 1953, the Glensmen had a novel and romantic idea – to have soil taken from the headquarters of the GAA at Croke Park, and the town where the GAA was founded in 1884, and have it sprinkled on their new sod. The sacred earth was brought in foot relay all the way and dispersed on the field by Primate of All Ireland, Cardinal John Dalton. There’s some corner of an Antrim field that is for ever Thurles, as the poet Rupert Brooke never said.

Casement

Cardinal Dalton

Cardinal Dalton scatters the Thurles soil over Casement Park