ARTS AND FEATURES — 23 April 2013

By Damian Dolan

With no GAA club inBournemouth, a bunch of Irish lads did the next best thing, join an Aussie Rules club 30 miles away inSouthampton. Frustration, though, eventually got the better of them and last weekend the seaside town’s first-ever GAA club made its debut in the Gloucestershire senior league against St Patrick’s.

LikeCrawleyand Brighton Gaels, it’s an example for others to follow – if no GAA club exists, then start your own. Easier said than done, of course, and for secretary Kieran Doyle and the rest of the club’s driving forces it’s certainly been a sharp learning curve.

Their hard work, though, came to fruition last weekend, as the club took to the field for the first time to swell the senior ranks in Gloucestershire to six, alongside St Colmcilles (Cardiff), St Nicholas (Bristol), Western Gaels (Bristol), Plymouth Parnell’s (Plymouth) and St Patrick’s (Gloucester). The latter being an underage club which this year has entered a senior side for the first time.

While never losing sight of the desire just to have fun, the hope now for those that founded St Jude’s is that the club will continue to grow and offer a beacon for the Irish in Bournemouth for many years to come.

For more see this week’s edition of the Irish World

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