The Times, 19th July 1916 ~

At a meeting of the County Meath Committee of the Gaelic Athletic Association in Navan, a letter was read from the Customs Office in London pointing out that at a recent football match held in Navan, persons were admitted for payment, but no entertainments tax had been levied on the payments.  The Customs Board understood that exemption from the tax was claimed on the ground that the meeting was held under the rules of the Gaelic Athletic Association, but it should be understood that the Central Council of the Association had already been definitely informed that entertainments held by them or by clubs affiliated had no title to exemption.

The letter requested that within 14 days the Customs Office should be supplied with a return showing the number of persons admitted at each price, together with a remittance for the amount of the tax. The secretary said that the Central Council had instructed the County Committee to ignore the letter. No action was taken on the matter.


ROINN COSANTA. BUREAU OF MILITARY HISTORY, 1913-21 STATEMENT BY WITNESS: DOCUMENT NO. W.S. 1715. Witness Comdt. General Seán Boylan, Edenmore, Dunboyne, Co. Meath. Identity. O/C Meath Brigade; O/C 1st Eastern Division. Subject. I.R.A. activities, Meath Brigade, 1917-1921. Conditions, if any, Stipulated by Witness. Nil.

Sean Boylan's statement is at:

About the year 1918, the British authorities imposed an oath of allegiance on all serving civil servants, the vast majority of whom complied with the order.  Those who did not comply lost their jobs.  They included John Shouldice, his brother (Bertie) and Maurice Collins.

Subsequently, the Central Council of the G.A.A. decided to expel any of its members (the civil servants) who took the oath.  The Supreme Council of the I.R.B. instructed its members to support the action of the Central Council of the G.A.A.  A short time later, at the annual convention of the Meath County Board of the G.A.A., held at Navan, a motion in support of the action of the Central Council of the G.A.A. was on the agenda and was carried by 72 votes to 11.

History of the GAA in Co. Meath

Almost from the foundation of the GAA, Meath has been regarded as one of the strongholds of Gaelic football.  Twelve counties entered for the first All-Ireland Championship and Meath was one of them.  Two of the earliest clubs in Meath were formed in 1885 – Duleek and Yellow Furze. In 1887 the First County Convention was held and there were 15 clubs present.  The teams entered for the first championship were as follows: Dowdstown, Kells, Donore, Donecarney, Yellow Furze, Stackallen, Mullagh, Kilbeg, Kilmessan (St. Patrick’s), Marywell, Rathkenny and Grangegeeth.

The first Meath County Final took place on 17 April 1887 and was won by Dowdstown who defeated Kells on a scoreline of 1-0 to nil.  Thus Dowdstown represented Meath in the first All-Ireland Championship.  From the earliest days of Meath GAA it seemed that football was the preferred game.  Between 1884 and 1901 there is only one hurling match recorded in the county.  In 1886 Kilmessan defeated Dowdstown 0-4 to no score. In 1904 there were 8 teams in the Senior Hurling Championship – Navan Hibernians, Kilmessan, Dunboyne, Dunshaughlin, Navan Young Irelands, Kells, Athboy and Kilskyre.  Trim, now probably seen as the hurling centre of Meath only started a hurling club in 1906.  The first inter-county game involving a Meath hurling team seems to have been played in October 1902.