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Frank B Dineen



Frank Brazil Dineen, was born in Ballylanders, Limerick in 1862. By the early 1880s he was recognised as one of Munster’s greatest athletes and the fastest Irish sprinter of his day. When he retired from athletics, Dineen first became a noted athletic handicapper (referee) before becoming involved in the administrative side of the G.A.A. In 1895 Dineen was elected as President of the G.A.A. while in 1898 he was elected General Secretary, the only man to have ever held the two top positions within the Association. Dineen was also a noted sports journalist writing the Gaelic column for the newspaper Sport.

13th August 2009 - Frank B Dineen was honoured in Ballylanders

Ballylanders GAA Club honoured their founding member Frank B Dineen, one of the key figures behind the GAA's acquisition of Croke Park, at a specially arranged festival of events in South East Limerick.

The event, entitled 'The birth of Croke Park in the Ballyhoura Mountains' involved a series of special lectures before the unveiling of a special commemorative plaque, as seen above.

The conference was opened by renowned RTÉ broadcaster Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh and addressed by the Martinstown Historical Society and historians Larry Ryder, Tony O'Donoghue and Dr Cyril White.

This conference explored the relationship between Frank B. Dineen and the GAA in addition to Croke Park and Ballylanders.

Frank Dineen is the only man to hold the distinction of serving as both President (1895-1898) and Secretary (1889-1901) of the GAA.

He is best remembered as the man who purchased a site on Jones Road in 1908 before donating it to the GAA for free in 1913.

GAA President Criostóir Ó Cuana praised those involved in organising the events.

He said: "Frank Dineen is a significant figure in the early part of the GAA, an assertion supported by the fact that he remains to this day the only man to hold the roles of both Secretary and President.

"That the GAA can today call Croke Park home is largely down to a man who also helped found the Ballylanders club.

"It is right and fitting that an event such as this should be organised to highlight his contribution to the Association as a whole. It will inform our members and those interested in the history of the Association of the significance of his input, not just in the acquisition of Croke Park, but in establishing a club in Ballylanders and assisting in the direction the GAA took in its formative years."

A specially commissioned plaque in honour of the Limerick man was unveiled by current GAA President, Criostóir Ó Cuana on the gable wall of McDermott's pub and the Ballylanders club hosted a special day of activity involving some of Limerick GAA's most famous faces.

Ballylanders's GAA Club, in conjunction with one of the country's best GAA historians, Harry Greensmyth, launched a 140-page book about the Life and Times of Frank B Dineen. Photo opportunities with the GAA President, the Sam Maguire and Liam MacCarthy Cups were also available throughout the day.

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