Cusack Irish Famine Era Cottage, Fairy Trail & Ash Trees

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Fairy Trail & Ash Trees

You make your way to the GAA Fairy Trail which, regardless of which county you come from or support, provides great entertainment for older family members as much as young children. Flanking each side of the grounds as you approach the Michael Cusack Cottage, ash trees were planted in 1984 to celebrate the centenary of the GAA. Each county and province in Ireland is represented by an ash tree in the relevant county colours. There are also four provincial ash trees outside the Cusack Cottage in recognition of each province and to acknowledge their support in the building of the Michael Cusack Centre in 2006.

This is a treasure trove for children with great photo opportunities. We provide a free map so that you can explore the Family Fairy Trail at your leisure. Allow 30 minutes here.


Cusack Irish
Famine Era Cottage

The cottage tour proceeds through the grounds and at the end of our garden you enter the iconic Cusack cottage which has been lovingly restored and beautifully rethatched. In this genuine Irish famine-era cottage, Michael Cusack was born in September 1847, a year that became known as “Black 47” due to the devastation of the famine at this time.

Stepping into the homestead, you’ll experience where Michael Cusack grew up during the challenging Irish famine, and incredibly, where the GAA really began. Our audio visual display will bring you back in time, giving life to Michael’s fascinating story through holographic presentations. It recreates the first meeting of the GAA in Hayes Hotel Thurles on the fateful day of 1st November 1884 and provides vintage and memorable video footage of Irish history and the story of the GAA up to recent times.



Tour Information


Allow up to a half an hour to explore our centre and 2 hours to discover our gardens and restored cottage.

Tour Types

Group Tours

We facilitate Group Tours, catering for groups of up to 50 people. We break larger groups into smaller groups so that everyone can get the most from the experience.

Individual Tours

Individuals are welcome to join our scheduled tours and can explore themselves or partake in our expert guided tours to get the most from their visit here.

Family Tours

Our tours are very family-friendly and engage adults and children of every age group. The GAA Family Fairy Trail is great fun for all the family.


Cusack Tour Admission



Senior Citizens/Students


Children under 16


Family (2 Adults & 2 Children)


Groups (more than 5 people)

€6.00 PP

All Cusack Tour tickets include a visit to our
renowned Púca & Fairy Trail.

An Púca & Fairy Trail Admission



Senior Citizens/Students


Children under 16


Family (2 Adults & 2 Children)


Groups (more than 5 people)

€2.00 PP

199 Michael Cusack d230419


A little history – Dig deeper into the life and memory of Michael Cusack




What people are saying about us

  • Such a hidden gem in the Burren. Staff so nice and welcoming. A great experience for my sister and I. Would thoroughly recommend it!

    Annis Kehoe

    – July, 2023

  • Thank you so much to you and your team for a fantastic day out 2 weeks ago now ! The kids had a great time. You were all a wealth of information and we all thoroughly enjoyed our time there! Thanks so much again and hopefully see you all again next year.

    Co. Clare School

    – June, 2023

  • The Centre is in such a beautiful, well cared for setting, the exhibits interesting and well thought out, and the two guides Tim and Agnes provided a wealth of information.

    Carol W, USA

    – June, 2023

  • I would really recommend this visit to any GAA enthusiast. It was humbling to visit the actual home that one of the founders of the GAA who met in Hayes’ Hotel in Thurles in 1884 grew up in and went on to found the association.

    Phillip B.

    – May, 2023

  • This is a fantastic tribute to Cusack and the G.A.A. It’s small but it is packed full of great information. The staff in the centre are absolutely fantastic; so welcoming and friendly.

    Sarah L.

    – May, 2023

  • Very informative and friendly staff. Thanks Agnes and Tim for your assistance

    Susan Gilmore

    – August, 2023

  • Great spot for an avid Gaa fan!! Beautiful new and modern building for the visitor centre but totally in keeping with the area. Good knowledgable tour guide.

    Janette K.

    – April, 2023

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