Introduction. Charles Stewart Parnell, leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party, was chosen as one of thee patrons of the GAA to win the approval of constitutional nationalists. He wrote from the Irish Parliamentary Offices at 9 Bridge Street in London on 17 December 1884, to accept the invitation to be a patron of the organisation. Although Parnell was preoccupied with politics and gave little time to the GAA, his support—even just as good wishes—was extremely valuable in giving the new movement respectability.
Source. ‘The Gaelic Athletic Association’, Freeman’s Journal, 24 December 1884.
Dear Sir, I have received your letter of the 11th instant. It gives me great pleasure to learn that a “Gaelic Association” has been established for the preservation of National Pastimes, with the objects of which I entirely concur. I feel very much honoured by the resolution adopted at the Thurles meeting and I accept with appreciation the position of patron of the Association which has been offered to me. I need not say that I shall do anything I can to render the working of the movement a success.
I am, yours very truly,
Charles S. Parnell.