Gaelic Games Kick Off in Cleveland

Cusacks win over Twin Cities in the Junior B hurling. Photo: Wicked Shamrock Photography.
Cusacks win over Twin Cities in the Junior B hurling. Photo: Wiched Shamrock Photography.

By Tara Dougherty, Music Editor
October / November 2013

This past Labor Day weekend, one-hundred Gaelic sports teams and thousands more fans of Irish football, hurling and camogie came together for the North American County Board (NACB) Finals in Cleveland, Ohio. The annual GAA finals keep growing: this year teams traveled from 36 cities and 17 states across the U.S. to compete.

Mark Owens, the event chairman and a member of Cleveland’s Gaelic football team, estimated that there were 8,000 players and spectators in attendance. The local team in Cleveland had been campaigning for the chance to host the finals for six years. The Irish community of Cleveland rallied around the games, so much so that Owens said there was a surplus of volunteers.

President of the GAA Liam O’Neill told IrishCentral.com’s Kate Hickey “It’s been a fantastic weekend, at a fantastic venue. I haven’t seen anything as well organized before. Cleveland has done a fantastic job, every credit to them.”

Fans from San Francisco had a lot to cheer for. The senior football final went to San Francisco’s Ulster team, who came away with a three-point lead over Boston’s Connemara Gaels. Na Fianna San Fran took home the senior hurling final and Fog City San Fran claimed the ladies senior football final. Teams from Toronto, Boston, Chicago and more all went home Cleveland champions.

“The standard of game here is great, to see so many people born in America playing our games so well, particularly hurling and camogie,” O’Neill went on to say. “The level of skill has been amazing. I saw a catch today by a young fella called Teddy, from Milwaukee, and it’s the best catch I’ve ever seen in a hurling match. Because they’re so athletic they do different things with the ball we wouldn’t even dream of.”

Aileen Lawlor, the Camogie President has attended three NACB Finals and gave IrishCentral.com an example just how exponentially the Gaelic games have grown each year. “I did a coaching workshop last year and I just watched a game [this weekend] where there were three of the girls who had attended playing. The best thing is they’re doing what they were shown.

“Their team came here last year with not enough numbers so they actually amalgamated with their twin city. This year they both came back with their own teams. That just shows you the growth.”

 

Leave a Reply




Share



More Articles

Pictured at the launch of the 2016 Irish Kite Surfing Championships and Hooked Kite Fest on Duncannon Beach, Co Wexford is Organizer and Kite-surf Instructor, Niall Roche. (Photo: Patrick Browne)
Weekly Comment:
Irish Kitesurfing Festival Promises a Splash

The Irish National Kitesurfing Championships will be brought to Co. Wexford’s Duncannon Beach August 13th and 14th as...

More

Noel Shrine remembers Muhammad Ali's 2009 Ennis visit to receive the Freedom of Ennis and launch the Alltech - Muhammad Ali Center Global Education and Charitable Fund. Photo courtesy of the author.
Weekly Comment:
Muhammad Ali in Ennis:
A Sort of Homecoming

Anyone who grew up in the seventies, as I did, will remember with fondness the late nights/ early mornings spent...

More

Mary Davis is the first non-American to head the Special Olympics. (Photo by Jan De Meuleneir / Photonews)
Mary Davis Named Special Olympics CEO

The special Olympics announced the appointment of Mary Davis (below left) as their new chief executive officer, where...

More

Aisling Reilly. Irish News.
Irish Sweep World Handball
Championships

Two Irish GAA handball players retain the rights to call themselves the king and queen of handball following the 2015...

More