Semple Stadium, Tipperary (It’s a Long Way to Tipperary)

Semple Stadium, home to Tipperary GAA

The GAA is close to the heart of many Irishmen and women. Local GAA hurling and gaelic football clubs are in every village and town across Ireland are a great source of pride. Tipperary is the home of hurling and Semple Stadium is the home stadium to Tipperary GAA. Semple Stadium is where Tipperary play their (great) hurling and football. Located in Thurles, County Tipperary, it is the second largest stadium in Ireland (after Croke Park), with a capacity of 53,000. Opened in 1926, it hosted many memorable Munster Hurling Finals.

I remember being present at the 1987 Munster final with my father. We watched in anguish as Nicky English lost his hurley but managed to dribble the sliothar with his foot and kick it past the mighty Cork goalkeeper Ger Cunningham to help Tipperary earn a draw. Tipperary went on to demolish Cork in extra time of the replay and win by 3 goals. (I’m from Cork, who used to be a strong hurling team. Currently they’re in a state of transition.)

The colours of Tipperary are blue and yellow and these colours are reflected throughout Semple Stadium. Normally Semple stadium is packed with fans so people don’t get a chance to see the beauty of the empty stadium; it’s strong colours, patterns and designs of the stadium. These photographs were taken with a smartphone, proving the phrase that the best camera you have is the one you have with you. I was driving through Thurles and was lucky that the stadium was open, allowing me in.

Semple Stadium field of dreams

Semple Stadium Old Stand Ardan O Coinneain

Semple Stadium seats

Semple Stadium New Stand- Ardan O Riain seats

terrace Semple Stadium Town End terrace

CLICK ON IMAGE BELOW TO VIEW A LARGER, PANORAMIC VERSION

Tipperary GAA

CLICK ON IMAGE BELOW TO VIEW A LARGER, PANORAMIC VERSION

Semple Stadium panoramic view from Town End terrace

Semple Stadium pitch

Semple Stadium terrace

OTHER GAA STADIUMS I’VE PHOTOGRAPHED

To date I’ve photographed three empty GAA stadiums in Ireland (Galway’s Pearse stadium and Cork’s Pairc Ui Chaoimh). I hope to photograph some more over the next few years. Ironically Croke Park, the largest and most modern GAA stadium in Ireland, I found very plain and uninteresting to photography.

  • Click here to see my photographs of Pairc Ui Chaoimh, home to Cork GAA.
  • Click here to see my photographs of Pearse Stadium, home to Galway GAA.

It’s a Long Way to Tipperary‘ is a world famous song written by Jack Judge. It was allegedly written a 5 shilling (old Irish money denomination) bet in January 1912 and performed the next night at the local music hall.

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