GAA Visionary in Early Years
Frank Brazil Dineen was born in Ballylanders Limerick in 1862.
By his late teens he was recognised as the fastest Irish sprinter and one of the top athletes in Munster.
After retiring from athletics he became a noted athletics referee before becoming involved with GAA administration.
He quickly rose to be elected President of the GAA in 1895 and followed this by becoming General Secretary in 1898. The only man to ever hold both roles in the Association history.
In 1905 Dineen advocated the purchase of a major stadium for the GAA in Dublin.
The GAA could not afford the cost of such a venture and so in 1908 Frank Dineen purchased the 14 acre City and Suburban Racecourse for £3250.00 with the aim of providing the GAA with a home.
Between 1908 and 1910 he personally paid for improvements to both the pitch and the terraced accomodation.
Due to his own financial problems 4 acres of the site had to be sold to the Jesuits of Belvederee College for £1090 at this time. (this was repurchased during the redevelopment of Croke Park.)
Following the staging of the Croke Memorial Tournament in 1913, enough money was generated by The GAA to purchase the grounds outright from Dineen.
The ground was subsequently renamed after the first patron of the GAA, Dr Croke.
See all the articles on Frank Dineen and the formation of the GAA on our
Frank Dineens' Legacy
He was also the only man to hold the roles of President of the GAA and also General Secretary.
His most important contribution to the development of the GAA has to be the vision and understanding he showed in recognising that a national organisation required a national stadium and to personally ensure that this happens.
See how Frank Dineen fits into GAA History on our GAA History Timeline
In honour of Frank Dineen, the GAA officially renamed 'Hill 16' as the 'Dineen Hill 16', a truly remarkable man.
Placque erected in honour of Frank B Dineen