Experiencing Gaelic Games

Mary McSwiney Student Life Officer


June 7, 2016

As part of orientation, students participate in ‘Experience Gaelic Games’, not only is it a fun away for the students to get to know one another, but it introduces them to a central part of Irish culture and community.

The GAA as established in 1884 as part of the Gaelic cultural revival and subsequently played an important role in establishing Irish independence from Britain. Although beginning as a means to preserve and promote our traditional sports, it now holds a special place in the hearts of Irish people.

With over 188 Gaelic clubs in Dublin alone, and over 2,200 throughout the Island of Ireland; the GAA club lies at the heart of every community. We participate in ‘Experience Gaelic Games’ at Na Fianna Club in Glasnevin, there they play and promote the three games; Hurling, Gaelic Football and Gaelic Handball, as well as Irish Dance and the Irish language (Gaelige).

Dating back over 3,000 years, Gaelic games are a tribal sport of the Irish people. Players are born to their team in their individual communities, there are no transfers or swaps, and more significantly no payment at even the highest level. Although county athletes play at a physically professional level, the sport remains amateur.

Each summer the All Ireland Championships are held in: Men’s Football, Hurling, Ladies Football and Camogie (women’s hurling). The best men and women in each of the 32 counties on the Island, along with a team from both London and New York will compete for the pride of their community. The finals of each take place in our national stadium, Croke Park which holds 80,000 people – that is more than Levi’s Stadium held for the 2016 Super Bowl!

This summer our students have a fantastic opportunity to engage with and enjoy a very special part of Irish culture. Now they know the rules, (and even learnt a few skills!) they can attend championship games in Croke Park over the summer and see first-hand the skill, speed and passion of the nation’s favourite pastimes. 


Student Life