London ladies’ footballers beat teams from around the world at UCD and Croke Park to bring Cup to the UK
By Larry Cooney
Three Britain-based teams contested the Etihad Airways GAA World Games finals of the 2016 in Croke Park last Friday with Parnells ladies emerging victorious in their football final against Australasia.
Earlier that morning a Britain native team narrowly lost out to North America in the Camogie Cup (Native) final while Australasia overwhelmed Tara in the Irish camogie decider.
There were 57 teams competing in the tournament across eight different competitions in Hurling, Football, Camogie and Ladies Football. Over 25 of the teams were non-Irish teams or ‘native’, which has highlighted the huge development of Gaelic Games that has gone on around the World.
A key feature of the 2016 World Games event will be that the growing number of new GAA clubs made up of non-native Irish people who have discovered Gaelic games and have made it their sport of choice. There will be over 25 non-Irish born teams at the event, which demonstrates the growing strength and appeal of the GAA abroad.
More than 1,200 Gaelic footballers, hurlers and camogie players from 10 regions and 20 countries around the globe brought Gaelic games home to Ireland in UCD’s Belfield and Croke Park for the first time after last year’s successful inaugural event in Abu Dhabi last year.
Apart from Britain teams from as far away as Australia, South Africa, and Argentina were present, as well as teams from China, Canada, the Middle East, New York, North America, Asia and Europe including France, Germany and Galicia in northern Spain. Consequently as many as 7,000 people were involved in the Etihad Airways GAA World Games festival in Dublin between players, team officials, administrators, families and supporters.
After the opening ceremony parade during the interval of the Kilkenny-Waterford All-Ireland hurling semi-final in Croke Park last Sunday week, the visiting teams also took part in a major cultural and heritage night and concert at the Helix Theatre in DCU.
Before the closing ceremony at Croke Park at the end of last week a dedicated coaching forum also took place. London clubs and Britain (Native) teams descend on Dublin for World Games Players from six different London clubs and camogie finalists Britain (native) travelled to Dublin last week to represent Britain GAA.
Camogie was the best represented of the four sports with a total of five teams including Croydon, Tara, Thomas Mc- Curtin’s, Britain and Fr. Murphy’s.
The Murphys were also involved in the ladies football competition as well as competition winners Parnells.
Tir Chonaill Gaels were the sole representatives in the men’s football competition while Britain had no representation whatsoever in the hurling competition.
But that competition in the native grade also had some very interesting teams including Germany, Brittany, Galicia and Argentina.