John West Féile Peile na nÓg committee held an information evening for host clubs from Down, Meath and Louth. Lots of information about the 2018 Féile and memories of previous years set the scene for a great event. Declan McConaghy spoke to some of the organising committee after the evening to get the low down on what Féile Peile na nÓg is and what clubs can expect.
It was a packed house last Thursday night at the Carrickdale Hotel for the Féile Peile 2018 Host Club Presentation Night.
Diarmuid Cahill, Chairperson of Féile Peile 2018 welcomed over 500 representatives from the 144 host clubs to the night, while the National Féile Chairperson Martin Skelly highlighted what Féile will mean to the three counties.
Tom Keane who was Chairperson of South West Féile in 2016 give a presentation to the 500 attendees about The Féile Experience.
National Féile Committee member Pat Leogue went through the format of the Féile weekend as well as the Playing Rules and the Féile Charter. The night finished with Gearóid Ó Maoilmhichíl (GAA National Children’s Officer) and Bernie Fox (Ulster GAA Child Protection Manager) giving a presentation about Garda and AccessNI Vetting process.
Underage festival of football set for Down, Louth, and Meath in 2018
Underage festival of football set for Down, Louth, and Meath in 2018
Féile Peile na nÓg will be held in Down, Louth, and Meath in June 2018. This will be the first time that Down and Louth have hosted this festival of Gaelic Football, while Meath hosted the event in 1991 and 1992.
Recognised as one of the most important events in the GAA calendar, the Féile Peile na nÓg weekend for Under 14 boys and girls will see over 240 teams and over 6,000 players playing over 600 games over a three-day period, concluding in 30 finals.
Teams from every county in Ireland will descend on Down, Louth, and Meath on Friday the 15th June and will be playing across ten boys and five girls divisions, there will also be Under 14 teams representing New York, San Francisco and Philadelphia as well as teams from around Britain supplying an International dimension and further illustrating the growth of Gaelic Football internationally.
Member of the National Féile GAA Committee and Chairperson of the Local Organising Committee Diarmuid Cahill feels that Féile will leave a lasting legacy to all three host counties.
‘Féile is special and is one of the best weekends in the GAA calendar. The festival of Gaelic Football is about young people celebrating their love of Gaelic Games and having fun. Organising such a large tournament over three counties is a challenge, but it is one that the three counties are looking forward to.’
One of the major elements within Féile is that players from the visiting teams will stay with host families and host clubs across Down, Louth, and Meath. Any GAA and/or LGFA club in Down, Louth, and Meath looking to take part in Féile Peile na nÓg 2018 and to act as hosts have until 15th September to return the application form.
Féile Peile na nÓg will take place across Down, Louth, and Meath between Friday 15th and Sunday 17th June 2018. More information on Féile Peile na nÓg 2018 can be found at www.feilepeile2018.com or on our social media platforms @FeilePeile2018.
On Tuesday (15th August) night Féile Peile 2018 Chairperson Diarmuid Cahill and Secretary Ciarán Flynn presented details to the Louth Clubs about the upcoming Féile Peile and the opportunity for clubs in Louth to take part and host visiting boys and girls teams – Application forms can be downloaded at: http://feilepeile2018.com/hosting-application-form/
Burren lift 2017 All-Ireland Feile Premier Division 1 Crown
OVER the past 30 years Burren (Co Down), as a GAA club, has achieved many provincial and a couple of All-Ireland titles at senior, U21, minor and U16 level.
A new chapter to this book of success was written when Burren U14’s took the All-Ireland Feile Premier Division 1 crown on June 24 2017.
The Sligo County Board acted as hosts for this competition, an opportunity to show off their fantastic new GAA Centre of Excellence located between Sligo and Strand Hill. The 12 top teams in Ireland were invited to take part in this competition – from Dublin, Skerries Harps and Na Fianna, from Cork, Douglas GAC, from Kerry, Austin Stacks, from Derry, O’Donovan Rossa Magherafelt, from Galway, Corofin and Salthill Knocknacarra, from Kildare, Clane, from Donegal, Four Masters and St Eunan’s with the host county represented by Benbulben Gaels.
Stephen O’Hare and his Burren management team had prepared their group of players meticulously and despite a couple of late significant injuries to Eoin McKernan and joint captain Ryan Magill there was a massive panel of 50 players to work with.
Burren were grouped with Na Fianna and Salthill Knocknacarra, with the top team progressing to the Cup semi-final.
Burren set their stall out early on and their first match was against Na Fianna. After a tight enough first half, Burren handled the windy conditions better closing the game out very strongly. Full time: Burren 3-04 Na Fianna 0-03.
Next up were the Galway champions Salthill Knocknacarra.
Burren were quick out of the traps and eased to a comfortable win. Full time: Burren 5-07 Salthill Knocknacarra 1-04 These emphatic performances earned Burren a cup semi-final against Cork champions Douglas, a team who had not tasted defeat for nearly five years and were favourites to progress at the expense of the Down champions.
Burren, no respecter of reputation, started the semi-final in explosive fashion. A burst of three quick goals put Douglas on the back foot and they struggled to compete in the game thereafter. Full time: Burren 4-04 Douglas 0-05 In the other cup semi-final, Magherafelt played Austin Stacks in what was probably the game of the tournament.
O’Donavan Rossa eventually saw off the Kerry champions after extra time.
Familiar foes, Rossa and this Burren team have played each other many times over the past few years with little between them. Burren knew that they would have to start strongly again and that they certainly did.
Burren reserved some of their best football for the final and easily beat a tired Magherafelt. Even if they had been at their best, Rossa would have been no match for a classy Burren. Full time: Burren 6-06 Magherafelt 0-08 Looking at the scores from the games that Burren played, it could be concluded that scoring 18 goals in the four games was the foundation of their success. To concede only one goal over the course of the four games against high quality opposition was as important.
Solid goalkeeping, dogged defending, relentless support running and ruthlessness in front of goal were key reasons that St Mary’s, Burren are now U14 All Ireland champions.
Burren Feile Panel: Conlin Bradley, Aaron Cole, Cian Cunningham, Ross Cunningham, Shea Devlin, Sean Downey, Odhran Doyle, Matthew Duffy, James Duggan, David Fegan, Dara Fitzpatrick, Karl Fitzpatrick, Jack Flynn, Connla Gaffney, Matthew Giles, Callum Grant, Ryan Higgins, James Kelly, Ronan Kelly , Aaron Lawless, Eoin Loughran, John Magee, Harry Magill, Ryan Magill, Shea McAteer, James McCartan, Patrick McCarthy, Ciaran McDermott, Conor McGivern, Rory McGivern, Ross McGivern, Eoin McKernan, Sean McMahon, Ben McManus, Tom McManus, Tom McShane, Mark McSwiggan, Aaron Murdock, Michael Murdock, Odhran Murdock, Zach Murdock, Liam O’Connor, Thomas O’Hare, Oisin Ruane, Tiarnan Ryan, Shea Stephens, Dean Shevlin, Niall Toner, James Travers, Micheal Ward, Logan Woods.
Article from Newry Democrat:
The old phrase “Mol an Óige agus Tiocfaidh sí” is widely known in GAA circles, but every so often you see a statistic that really emphasises how true it is.
For example, in the first 27 years of Féile Peile na nÓg, 14 of the 27 Division one champion clubs went on to compete in an All-Ireland senior club final within ten years of their victory, while 10 other winners haven’t yet had a full decade to fulfil that dream.
One can hardly ask for a clearer sign that underage success often translates to greater triumphs at adult level.
It’ll take a dramatic shift in GAA competition structures for any of the New York footballers to emulate that achievement between now and 2027, but that their name now sits on the Roll of Honour alongside clubs like Nemo Rangers, Kilmacud Crokes and Corofin illustrates the remarkable achievement that was their success at Kingspan Breffni Park last Sunday afternoon.
Three knockout victories over very strong Ardboe, Castlebar Mitchels and Portlaoise teams were secured in a comprehensive fashion, and anyone who witnessed these visitors playing football would have been blown away by what they saw.
In players like full forward Brian Coughlan, they offered the type of threat that one might expect – a big, imposing player who was athletic and skilful, and who looked like he could turn his hand to any sport with ease.
However there were others, such as centre forward Senan Price and half back line players Collin Fleming and Niall McKenna, who showed an instinct and a natural understanding of the game that could fool a supporter into thinking they were brought up in a natural footballing heartland like South Kerry, North Galway or West Cork.
Certainly, only the bravest of souls would question the Irish heritage of these New York players, based on the passionate exhortations of their coach to “show them how Irish we are!” at half time in their semi-final clash with Castlebar!
Which is why perhaps the most remarkable story of this Féile Peile na nÓg event wasn’t the Division 1 Cup winners, but the Division 2 Cup winners from South London.
Selling gaelic football to a family with keenly-felt Irish connections is one thing, but selling gaelic football to London families of African origin is another matter entirely – and that’s exactly what a group of schoolteachers from St. Paul’s Academy in Greenwich have succeeded in doing.
“The week before Féile we had our annual primary schools competition and ten different schools from the one parish all took part” explains Michael Maher, who coached a South London side that was almost entirely of African extraction to their remarkable success at St. Tiernach’s Park in Clones last Sunday.
Maher is one of five teachers from the secondary school that has decided to spread the gospel of gaelic football into the heart of inner city London, starting with young primary school students.
“We encourage those pupils then to come to St. Paul’s and that means that when we get to Féile, these guys have had five or six years of coaching in primary school and probably two more at second level. They’re very fit, very athletic boys who play a lot of other sports at different times of year, but they have all the skills of the game as well,” he explained.
All the skills, and a wonderful temperament too. The mutual love between these young footballers and the people of Bailieborough will be cemented forever after this weekend, while on the field, South London had to watch a nine point lead get wiped out by three quick goals from St. Gabriel’s of Galway.
When the young Tribesmen took the lead with five minutes remaining, many experienced players would have crumbled at yet another blow, but instead they rallied with three points to wrap up a 2-8 to 3-3 success.
“A huge amount of work has gone in, but we have our blueprint and we hope that other people in the UK will follow it, because if they do we could get to a stage when there could be ten counties that would be very competitive over here,” said Maher.
“We’re based in an area of London that would be very deprived in a socio-economic sense, so we’ve to work hard”
With players that are committed to other sports in Autumn and Winter, he and his fellow coaches have geared their season around the Féile competition in June.
“Every year we get going in late February, build up our training programme and then we travel to Ireland for six days to play a number of local teams. This year we were hosted by Cookstown Fr. Rocks, and they set up a tournament where we got great games against them, Ardboe, Ballinderry, Killeavy and school teams from Holy Trinity College and St. Pat’s of Dungannon,” he explained.
“We rely on a lot of fundraising events because even though we keep costs low – it cost us £75 a head to bring the lads over this week – to the families of these boys, that’s a lot of money and more than they have lying around. We’re based in an area of London that would be very deprived in a socio-economic sense, so we’ve to work hard – but we’re committed to it, and we’re committed to taking the next steps as well”.
“I’m determined that we will travel over to Ireland for the Dermot Earley under-15 competition next year, and ultimately my goal is for these boys to play in the All-Ireland under-17 championships in three years’ time. By hook or by crook, I’ll make that happen.”
Even in the lower divisions, this was a wonderful Féile event for exile teams, with Warwickshire picking up the boys division 9 title while the San Francisco girls also came home with silverware. It’s clear that while the Irish diaspora abroad will always have a great love for gaelic football, there is also a huge appetite for the sport among those who get the chance to sample it for the first time.
“Primary Schools love it over here,” explained Paráic Maddock, one of the coaches of Gloucestershire, who finished second in their group in the division 7 cup, with two wins.
“We find that the teachers love it because rugby has got very physical and they’re worried about injury at a young age, while soccer is taken too seriously too quickly.”
“Parents are getting wary and they’re looking for something different, so we go in and we put in place a six or eight week ABC programme and then hopefully it’s up to the clubs (of which there are three, one each in Swansea, Cardiff and Gloucester) to take over from there”.
With our chat taking place on the sun-drenched terrace in Corlough GAA grounds as they wait for their quarter-final clash with Shandonagh of Westmeath, one young player comes over to ask why the men in lab coats are here. Clearly umpires aren’t as common in Gloucestershire games, but when these young players take the field, their enthusiasm and love for the game shines through, even if they aren’t as used to all the trappings!
And it’s not just the sport – Maddock explained how getting into the squad for Féile was a huge goal for the young players, after their experience in Féile 2016 when they travelled to Tralee.
“Last year in Tralee was great and it made lads want to come back”.
“This year we were hosted by Ederney St. Joseph’s and they pulled out all the stops for us, the lads have had an incredible time. There were Irish dances and all sorts of other events laid on for us, and the whole thing has opened everyone’s eyes to how embedded the GAA culture is in Ireland.
“They come from rugby heartlands but they come here to see how there are great facilities in every village, to be part of an event like Féile which is truly unique, and it leaves them with memories that will last them for life.
“And hopefully, it’ll foster in them a love of the game and we can get more families on board, because that’s what we’re all about – building community links to grow clubs and strengthen the game that way”.
John West Féile Final Results
Boys Division 1 Cup: New York 3-7 Portlaoise 0-2
Boys Division 1 Shield: Gowna 3-8 St. Broughan’s 3-7
Boys Division 2 Cup: South London 2-8 St. Gabriel’s 3-3
Boys Division 2 Shield: Ballyhaise 5-7 Cremartin 4-3
Boys Division 3 Cup: Castleknock 4-5 Mungret St. Paul’s 0-4
Boys Division 3 Shield: Mayobridge 1-11 Emyvale 1-7
Boys Division 4 Cup: St Joseph’s Doora-Barefield 1-5 O’Raghallaighs 1-3
Boys Division 4 Shield: Killinkere 3-6 Clontibret O’Neills 0-4
Hand over of the Féile Peile na nÓg Flag to the 2018 hosts
After the completion of the 2017 John West Féile Peile na nÓg officials from Ulster Council handed the Féile flag over to next years hosts Down, Louth and Meath.
The 2017 Tournament saw thousands of players from all over Ireland, Britain and America take part in an action-packed weekend of football in Cavan, Fermanagh and Monaghan, making unforgettable memories and life-long friendships.
Upwards of 5000 boys and girls made up 252 teams, taking part in over 600 games over the three-day event.