‘Tis in our DNA
Every summer as the evenings stretch ahead, and lazy days point to September, thoughts turn to the highlight of the GAA calendar – the All-Ireland Hurling and Football Finals. But as well as these high-profile GAA events, there are hundreds of other reasons – large and small – to celebrate the GAA and the unique role it plays in our national identity.
In what is affectionately known as HQ, Croke Park plays host to many high profile games. But below the stands there is a hidden world in the GAA Museum where you can relive the glory days of the past. At the moment there is a special exhibition celebrating a small group of only 30 men and women who have won All-Ireland medals as both players and managers. The ‘Imreoir to Bainisteoir’ exhibition pays tribute to their achievements. You can also combine your museum trip with a tour of the stadium and the Eriksson SkyLine Tour … if you are feeling brave enough.
It’s impossible to mention the GAA without listing some of the games that will be taking place over the next few months. Anyone who has a chance to go to a GAA match, whatever the discipline and level, will be in awe of these athletes who perform as amateurs, for love of club and county. There are games every weekend in every corner of the country – here are just a few….
The newly refurbished Pairc Ui Chaoimh, in the heart of Cork City is soon to open its freshly painted doors. On Saturday 22nd July it will play host to the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Quarter Finals. Tipperary will meet Clare in what promises to be a thrilling encounter, in this fastest field game on earth.
Is it Gaelic football that takes your fancy? Why not head to Nowlan Park in Kilkenny for the All-Ireland Junior Football Semi-Final. Kilkenny will take on Meath, again on Saturday 22nd July.
Back to Croke park on Saturday 29th July. The Football Senior Championship Qualifiers Round 4B sees Down take on Monaghan at 5pm. Then Armagh battle at Kildare 7pm. An incredible evening of football is promised.
Charity Fundraiser -Hurling for Cancer Research
As well as playing for club and county, GAA players and clubs are renowned for their charitable works. This summer in Newbridge the unique Hurling for Cancer Research will see some of the greatest stars of the horse racing and hurling worlds come together. The aim of the evening is to raise much needed funds for the Irish Cancer Society. Now in its sixth year, this unique event is one of the highlights of the summer.
GAA Events – In the club!
Almost every village in Ireland has a GAA club at its heart. And they provide the basis of a uniquely Irish community spirit. Celebrating their role, many clubs have family days over the summer. These can provide a focus for homecomings and get-togethers.
On Sunday 6th August you could head to Tinryland GAA Club in Carlow. There will be fun for all the family, with a crossbar challenge, mini World Cup golf, Tug of war and lots more.
Or on the same day, in Wexford Monageer-Boulavogue GAA club host their Family Funday. This includes a Bungee Run, Gladiator challenge, slip & slide, disco to name a few. And with a large screen for live feeds of the hurling match, they have thought of everything!
Later on in the summer on 27th august Ballinakill GAA club in Laois invite you to celebrate all things GAA with them.
Lots more inspiration
Be sure to keep an eye out for events taking place in a GAA club near you on www.inspireme.ie. And if you have moved away in recent years, why not combine a trip home with your local club celebrations. Meet familiar faces, hear the clash of the ash. ,Most of all, be reminded of the special place the GAA holds in all our hearts.
Finally, all information is correct at time of publishing. Always check with event organiser before you travel.