United by the green and gold
Kerry GAA in partnership with O’Neills launch new commemorative jersey that pays tribute to a team that united the county.
In September 1924 as the hostile atmosphere of the recent Civil War lingered, a young Kerry side entered Croke Park to contest the county’s first All-Ireland final in nine years. It was a team formed from players who had been active on both sides of that tragic conflict in a county where the war’s final weeks was framed by horrifying atrocities. Though deeply divided by ideology, men like John Joe Sheehy, Con Brosnan, Joe Barrett and Paul Russell backboned a side that would dominate Gaelic football like none before or none after for decades to come. In the process, they forged a unique legacy. United by the Kerry jersey, this team symbolised to many the part Gaelic games could play in helping to heal the wounds and reconcile a society still traumatised by conflict.
This jersey commemorates the team that became arguably the greatest Kerry has ever produced. Their story is complex, but it has rightly endured – not simply because of what they won, but because of what they represented and how they have inspired generations of Kerry footballers.
The commemorative jersey has some striking features, including a 1929 picture of the side, captained by Joe Barrett, after the first of what would be Kerry’s original four-in-a-row. The Irish phrase, Mise Ciarraí, signifies the unity the Kerry jersey has always promoted. The image of the Sam Maguire being lifted illustrates the role this team played in nurturing the county’s unique record in Gaelic football, while the gold band marks every year a Kerry side has won the senior All-Ireland championship. The jersey is composed of O’Neills’ high performance koolite technology.
Kerry GAA spokesperson said: “Our long-standing partnership with O’Neills is showcased here once again in all its glory. Their team has skilfully blended innovation with our proud history in football and come up with another fantastic and historic jersey. The significance of the jersey should not be underestimated, as each generation of Kerry players have been inspired by those who went before them.”
A company spokesperson for O’Neills commented: “We know how passionate the Kerry GAA fans are about our national game, so it is a privilege to partner to launch this one-of-a-kind jersey, which celebrates the remarkable history and tradition of Kerry GAA.
The new Kerry commemorative jersey will be available to purchase online at oneills.com and at the Kerry GAA store.
With thanks to Dr Richard McElligott for providing the contextual history behind the jersey.