Presidents of the GAA: Séamus Gardiner

Séamus Gardiner (1894-1976), Tipperary, was the fourteenth president of the GAA (1943-1946).

Born in Clare, he played football for UCD while studying there to become a teacher. He played on the Clare senior team, and in 1924 was part of a Munster team that participated in an inter-provincial contest to choose a team for the Tailteann Games.[1]

Settling in Borrisokane, he became involved in the local GAA club, representing it at board meetings, before going on to become Chairman of the board, from 1933 to 1938. In 1940, he was elected vice-chairman of the Munster Council, and chairman in 1940.

During Gardiner’s presidency, relationships began to renew with the President of Ireland for the first time since Douglas Hyde was removed as a patron.[2]

Also during Gardiner’s presidency, the Minister of Defence opened up the army to sports other than Gaelic Games, which Gardiner called “a retrograde step”, and that the GAA were “entitled to the same treatment for Gaelic games as they had for the past 20 years”.[3]

Two years after his death, in 1978 the Séamus Gardiner Memorial Park was renamed in his honour.

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