The History of Hayes Hotel
Trading under the sign 'The Star and Garter' in the 18th Century, modern-day Hayes' Hotel is the oldest established hostelry in Thurles.
In the Eighteen-Thirties it was purchased by William Boyton, and became known as 'Boyton's Hotel'. For the next forty years, the Hotel, in addition to providing accommodation, also had a flourishing shop (in front of the Hotel) and car service to Kilkenny and Clonmel daily.
In the 1870's the Hotel changed hands once more... this time to another accomplished member of the staff, Miss Eliza J. Hayes. The establishment became known as 'Hayes' Commercial and Family Hotel.
The Hotel's claim to more enduring fame came on the 1st November 1884, when a small band of dedicated Irishmen gathered in the Hotel billiard room to formulate a plan and establish an organisation to foster and preserve our nation's unique games and athletic pastimes. And so was founded one of the world's greatest amateur associations - THE GAELIC ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION. The architects and founding members were Michael Cusack of County Clare, Maurice Davin, John K. Bracken, George McCarthy, P.J. Ryan of Tipperary, John Wise-Power (editor of the Leinster Leader ), and John McKay (a reporter for the Cork Examiner). The newly formed association shrewdly sought and was readily given the patronage of the outspoken and patriotic archbishop of Cashel and Emily, Thomas J. Croke.
Now more than 100 years on, the GAA has hundreds of affiliated clubs, not only in Ireland, but throughout England, Canada, North America and Central Europe.
Today, Thurles is the Mecca and Hayes' Hotel is the shrine of those seven nineteenth century visionaries who saved much more than our traditional games - they saved the pride and virility of a Gaelic nation