Under the influence of his father, Austin Stack joined the local Young Ireland Society and the local branch of the Irish National Foresters, and was a keen student of Irish history.
Appalled at the Cinderella status of Gaelic football and hurling, he co-founded the John Mitchel club in Tralee and became its secretary. The remarkable success of this club led to the general reorganisation of the Gaelic Athletic Association in the county. Besides his flair for organisation Stack was a regular member of the county football team from 1902 until he had to retire from the game, due to injury, in 1908. He served as secretary of the Kerry GAA county board (1904–8) and as chairman (1914–17). Later he was a member of the Munster and central councils. He was among those who urged the revival of the Tailteann games (Aonach Tailteann), which took place in 1924, 1928, and 1932.
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