Michael Cusack - In 1884 he founded the GAA, aiming to revive hurling and football and to obtain control over athletics. Although for a time it appeared to be suspended by a slender thread, the decision to base clubs on the parish and representative teams on the county fitted in precisely with local patriotism and led to the association becoming a mass movement. Wresting control of a considerable sector of Irish sport from the hands of the establishment was a stunning feat.
The ‘ban’, which came a year later prohibiting GAA members form playing or watching ‘foreign’ games (rugby, soccer, Hockey or cricket), originated as a split in Irish athletics. This ‘ban’, which was revoked in 1971, long outlasted the conditions which gave rise to it.
Cusack was also involved in a move to restore the Irish language and he was editor of the weekly newspaper United Ireland. He also founded and co-edited 'The Celtic Times', a weekly newspaper dedicated to 'native games' and athletics and to Irish culture in general.