Thomas Croke (1824-1902) was a Catholic priest famed for his nationalist activism, particularly in movements such as the Land League and the Gaelic Athletic Association. Croke was born in County Cork to a devoutly Catholic family, two of his brothers entering the priesthood and two of his sisters becoming nuns. Croke would be ordained as a priest himself in 1847. According to William O’Brien, Croke fought in the 1848 French Revolution. He would return to Ireland, serving as a parish priest and as the first president of St. Colman’s College in Fermoy. In 1870, Croke was appointed Bishop of Auckland in New Zealand, but would only serve in the role for just over three years, before returning to Ireland once more to serve as the Archbishop of Cashel. He would be a prominent Land League activist, and upon the formation of the GAA would become one of its founding patrons. Croke Park in Dublin is named in his honour.


Letter To Michael Cusack, December 18th, 1884