PICS: This Fermanagh man has spent three years mapping out all* 1745 GAA pitches in Ireland but is your club in? 7 years ago

PICS: This Fermanagh man has spent three years mapping out all* 1745 GAA pitches in Ireland but is your club in?

"I could do with getting out more."

We're deep into discussing how Niall Cunningham from Fermanagh has dedicated three years of his life so far to identifying and plotting every single GAA pitch in Ireland.


At the start of this week, Niall uploaded an image with the 1745 teams he has mapped to date that quickly went viral.

Irelands perfect outline by showing only GAA pitches. Awe inspiring.

Posted by GAA Pitch Locator on Sunday, 7 February 2016


He accepts that there are still a few fields missing* from and invites anyone who reckons their park has been omitted to get in touch.

"Yeah, someone was already on from Rathlin Island to say I missed their pitch," Niall says.

"I went on to the Google Maps looking for the tell-tale green rectangle and the shadow of goalposts that you’d get from a satellite image but after an hour of looking, I still can’t find it.

"If anyone knows it, give me a shout! And yes, I could do with getting out more."


So what kind of technology has he been using?

"Well I know some people will look at the images and say it looks like someone sneezed on Ireland.

"When sourcing the clubs, we used multiple sources, club websites and word of mouth.

"I used Google Street View and Bing aerial satellite images which are better that Google satellite images for rural Ireland."


"I’m a software developer in Belfast so I mapped the pitches using a tool called Mapbox, which uses the satellite coordinates for all the clubs we'd researched."

"The GAA has a club locator on their website but I feel this is a more comprehensive list that encompasses all of Ireland."

What stands out looking at the map is how the many clubs situated on the coastline make for a very faithful representation of Ireland.

The argument in the JOE office was whether or not the viral image was fake.

"Yeah, it looks exactly the same as the shape of Ireland but it's 100% authentic!


"You see where the mountains are where GAA pitches won’t be. The coverage shows how important the GAA is right across the country for each community."

The all-important question, of course, is which county can lay claim to having the most GAA pitches. And there's a clear frontrunner:

Gaelic Pitches 1The county with the fewest pitches also has the fewest clubs and it makes their All-Ireland run last year all the more remarkable.

Gaelic Pitches 2

But Niall didn't start this project to hand Cork folk even more gloating rights.

"The ultimate application is actually to get people to matches," Niall explains.

"Boys turning up late at pitches they've never been to before and missing the start of games is part and parcel of the GAA!

"If you go the specific county page you're interested in on the website there'll be a list of grounds.

"You can click on the directions and Google Maps will take you to the pitch."

"From the club perspective, I can give them a QR code which they can embed on their own website for directions."

Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 13.53.33

pic via

So what’s next for Niall and his research?

"Originally, I wanted to compile all the pitches and all social media feeds for every club in Ireland for St.Brigid's GAA club in Belfast (Joe Brolly's club)," Niall explains.

"I’ve got the social media feeds for a huge amount of clubs and counties in Ireland so if you go onto you can log onto your county and take it from there.

"My aim is to have them all so if I can get this map out there then people will start sending me that info and I can upload it to the website.

"But seriously, it’s just a hobby at this stage!"