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Wednesday October 4th 2023
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European GAA announces itself on Irish stage

Today is something of a milestone for the GAA as for the first time ever the final round of this year’s Pan European Gaelic Football Championship throws in this morning on Irish soil in the city of Limerick.

Europe GAA since its foundation over a decade ago, with a half dozen teams, has seen phenomenal growth rate over the past few years with some 45 clubs participating across six regions in 12 countries at present, and, the hosting of the finals today in the European City of Sports, Limerick marks a homecoming for most and a new beginning for others.

The event throws in early today at the University of Limerick for the group stages with the finals of the Mens Football Championship and Mens Shield, and, Ladies Football Championship taking place later in the evening at the Gaelic Grounds.

There will be six teams (11 aside) in the mens championship with defending champions Den Haag again looking strong after taking Round 1 in Belgium, however, they will have to watch out for Guernsey who beat them at home on the Islands in Round 2 and both are tied on points going into today’s competition. Belgium who are in third spot will also have a say with the likes of Luxembourg, Spanish champions Valencia, and Stockholm battling it out for the minor placings.

In the ladies championship, unstoppable Belgium who have already secured their fourth title in a row, will nonetheless feature plenty of competition with 8 teams in action where Paris, Holland, Stockholm and Barcelona will be fighting it out for second and third places while the likes of Munich and the combo team of Niort (France)/Copenhagen and Swedish side Gothenbourg, will be battling for the remainder of the spoils.

In the biggest competition of the day the Mens Shield there will be 12 teams in action and like the ladies, Amsterdam by winning the first two rounds have already taken the title but there will still be plenty to play for in this very competitive event which features many non-Irish players. Teams such as Frankfurt, Copenhagen, Toulouse and Zurich/St Gallen will also be eagerly contesting for honours.

There will be some 350 players taking part in the competition with many European nationals kicking a ball in Ireland for the very first time while for other non-Irish from places like America, China, Columbia and Iran it will also be a very big first playing their new sport on Irish soil in this historic event.

(Watch out for results & full podcast report on the tournament).