- Féile na nGael
Féile na nGael (pronounced IPA|/fʲeːlʲə n̪ˠə ɲɛ̝̈ːəlʲ/ , Irish for "Festival of the
Gaels") is an annual tournament comprising the sports of hurling, camogieand handballorganised by the Gaelic Athletic Association. Its stated aim is to bond communities, forge friendships, provide educational opportunities and unearth new leaders. [ [http://www.feilenangael.com/Feile%202006/first.htm Feile na nGael 2006] ] [ [http://groups.msn.com/DoonGAA/feilenangael2000.msnw Doon Did Limerick Proud] ]
The competition hosts approximately 25,000 boys and girls each year with all 32 GAA counties represented along with teams from
London GAAand Warwickshire GAA.
Féile na nGael states that its primary objective is to facilitate and enable personal, social and cultural development amongst young people with emphasis on cultural and community activities, leadership and training through sport.
Feile na nGael was first held in 1971 and was hosted by County
Tipperary.http://feilenangael08.gaa.ie/files/Roll%20of%20Honour%20Div1.pdf] Since then it has been held annually in late June in different counties. The 2008 Feile na nGael tournament was jointly hosted by Laois and Offaly. [ [http://feilenangael08.gaa.ie/index.html Feile na nGael 2008 ] ] Participation in Feile na nGael is by invitation. In general all clubs in the host county are invited to participate while all other counties host local versions of the event and the winners are then nominated to represent their county at the National event. Sometimes the runners up in certain counties may be invited also and the organising committee is free to decide how many clubs from a particular county are invited each year.
The general format of Feile is as follows. There may be some exceptions where groups have unequal numbers. Each Division is divided into four groups of four teams. All teams in each group play each other. A team receives two points for a win, one for a draw and no points for a loss. The four teams in each division that win their group qualifies for the semi finals. The two semi final winners then play in the final. [http://feilenangael08.gaa.ie/hurlingfixtures.html Feile na nGael 2008 ] ] Games are twenty minutes a half instead of the standard thirty minutes. Teams usually play their first game on the Friday afternoon that the festival begins. Following this there is a parade for all teams through the main town of the county in which the Feile is beinghosted. [ [http://feilenangael08.gaa.ie/paradearrangements.html Feile na nGael 2008 ] ] On the Saturday all teams play a further two group games in the morning while semi finals are played in the evening. The finals are played in the main GAA stadium in the host county on the Sunday of the festival.
Na Piarsaighof Cork have won the Feile na nGael title six times, most recently in 2006. They were defeated in the 2008 final by James Stephensof Kilkenny. [http://feilenangael08.gaa.ie/hurlingresults.html Feile na nGael 2008 ] ] Glen Rovers, also from Cork, have won the title five times as have the aforementioned James Stephens of Kilkenny who recently won the 2008 title. In all Cork clubs have captured fourteen titles, Kilkenny seven while Limerick, Clare and Dublinclubs have won three titles each. In Camogiethe Oulart the Ballaghclub from Wexfordwon five Feile na nGael titles in a row from 1998 to 2002 while clubs have won the title six times.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.