Thousands of GAA supporters and 1,500 players representing more than 90 GAA clubs from around the world will converge on Derry next week for the FRS GAA World Games tournament.
Derry city and county will become the international hub of the GAA as teams from every corner of the globe vie for tournament titles in ladies’ and men’s football, hurling and camogie. The tournament will include teams from across Europe, New York, USGAA, South Africa, Argentina, Canada, Britain, Australasia, India, Asia and the Middle East.
There are now more than 500 GAA clubs outside Ireland.
Events will get underway with registration at the O’Neill’s Sports Superstore in Derry on Sunday while the tournament kicks off on Monday July 24 with games throughout the day from 9am at the Owenbeg GAA Centre of Excellence. The finals will take place at Celtic Park in Derry on Friday July 28, again starting at 9am with a closing ceremony later at the city’s Guildhall.
The start of the tournament will be marked by a grand parade. Led by the Colmcille Pipe Band, players and their supporters will parade through Derry city on Monday, starting at Bishop Street, through Shipquay Street to Guildhall Square for an opening ceremony at 7pm. The ceremony will be compered by BBC Radio 1’s Gemma Bradley with a range of entertainers. Lined up for the opening so far are popular trad outfit, Four Men and a Dog, the North West Carnival Samba Band and Brosna from Ulster University.
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GAA president, Larry McCarthy said the tournament was one of the most significant events in the GAA calendar for 2023.
“Thousands and planning to flock to Derry for what will be a spectacular festival of Gaelic games activity and which will show people just how strong Gaelic games are outside of Ireland.
“For those who make a home from home outside of Ireland and for many others as well, their local GAA club is of vital importance to being able to put down roots, make new friends and create new opportunities and celebrate a culture and identity by playing our great games,” the president said.
Mr McCarthy said the Games would bring all the colour and excitement of the organisation to Owenbeg, Celtic Park and Derry City.
President of the Ladies’ Gaelic Football Association, Michéal Naughton said this year’s tournament, which follows Dubai (2015), Dublin (2016) and Waterford (2019), has attracted unprecedented interest.
“We never fail to be amazed by the high levels of sporting endeavour on show when the GAA World Games get underway,” he said.
President of An Cumann Camogíochta, Hilda Breslin the success of the 2016 and 2019 tournaments had added greatly to the growth of camogie across the world.
“It is particularly wonderful to see the huge rise in the number of native camogie teams taking part in this year’s event. We are very proud of our game and to see the joy that it brings to new audiences and players re-enforces this pride,” Ms Breslin said.
During next week’s tournament, visiting teams will be “twinned” with Derry GAA, LGFA and Camogie clubs. Local clubs will provide people to liaise with visiting teams, providing information and entertainment for the visitors as well as support at their games.
Full details of all events, games and times are available at: https://www.gaa.ie/worldgames/