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Walter White was all of us when Matt Doherty's winner vs Portugal was disallowed 🤨🤬

Walter White was all of us when Matt Doherty's winner vs Portugal was disallowed 🤨🤬

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Behind the Scenes at the 2023 Men's Squad Photoshoot

Behind the Scenes at the 2023 Men's Squad Photoshoot

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Alex Sanmartin Costa brings Gaelic football to refugees

GAA

By John Harrington

Hes home in Galicia now, but you get the feeling that Alex Sanmartin Costa left a small part of himself behind in Katsikas refugee camp in Greece.

Gaelic Games Europes Coaching and Games Development Officer spent the month of September there as a volunteer coaching Gaelic football to refugees, and the experience left a mark on him.

He developed a great rapport with the refugees he coached, so it was difficult to leave when his month was up and say goodbye to them.

The experience was good but at the same time tough because you know these people are really suffering, Costa told GAA.ie

It was a humbling experience because you know they have serious problems and it's difficult to face the reality that they are suffering.

In the same area there were three camps, it's not just one. One of them is for people that have some possibilities of continuing and going on to Europe. Then there is another camp for kids who don't have parents. There is another one then for people with no kind of papers. So they are stuck there.

I know it was for only a month, but while I was there I was really, really happy despite the situation.

We didn't have a proper pitch, we trained on a piece of land that was full of stones and things like that. But had fun and really enjoyed ourselves which is the most important thing when you talk about sport.




Some of the participants in the Gaelic football coaching sessions organised by Alexandre San Martin Costa. 

Some of the participants in the Gaelic football coaching sessions organised by Alexandre San Martin Costa.

The vast majority of the refugees he coached were people from Afghanistan who had fled the repressive Taliban regime.

Over the last number of years volunteers have coached them in sports such as soccer, basketball, boxing, and volleyball, but Gaelic football was something entirely new.

They never heard about it and at the first training I only had eight people so I decided to change the name from Gaelic football to Irish football so then they could more easily identify it was a type of football played in one country, says Costa.

I started doing promotions in the camps of the training sessions and every day I got more and more players. One the last day I had 35 people. So I started with eight and finished with 35.




Alexandre San Martin Costa pictured explaining some of the skills of Gaelic football to refugees in Katsikas camp. 

Alexandre San Martin Costa pictured explaining some of the skills of Gaelic football to refugees in Katsikas camp.

Many of those who took part proved themselves to be quick learners with a natural aptitude for Gaelic football, and Costa hopes that at least some of them will get to enjoy the sport again in the future.

There were some boys who improved their skills just so quickly. A few of them asked the organisation whether they could continue playing after I left because they liked the game so much.

After training they would watch videos on YouTube of Gaelic football matches. And at the training sessions they'd ask for tips on how to improve.

When I was leaving they were really sad because they wanted to continue learning.

What I proposed to them was that if they have the opportunity of going to a European Country, like, for example, Germany or France, that they could continue playing Gaelic football because we have clubs there.

I showed them a map of GAA clubs in Europe they could join if they moved to those areas. As well as giving them the opportunity to continue playing Gaelic football, it would also be a good way to get to know people in a new city.

They already know the game, they already know the skills, and they can make friends by joining these clubs.




The Gaelic football coaching sessions were a big hit amongst the children in Katsikas refugee camp. 

The Gaelic football coaching sessions were a big hit amongst the children in Katsikas refugee camp.

Costa also coached refugees aged from eight to ten in the childrens refugee camp where his priority was to put as many smiles on faces as he could.

They're in a really tough situation, he says. They're stuck there, maybe for years, and they don't have anything to do.

So while I was there I tried to organise trainings where I put the focus on having fun and playing games more so than knowing all the rules of Gaelic football.

So it was getting them to come to training and just have some fun. Of course we introduced the skills of the games too, but the most important thing for them was to have fun.

Costa hopes that other GAA coaches will now follow his lead and choose to volunteer in Katsikas refugee camp or another like it.

Yes, I do, because I think sport is more than playing for Leagues, Cups, or even the All-Irelands, he says.

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GAA

Round-up: Tuesday's Electric Ireland Sigerson Cup action

GAA
Electric Ireland Sigerson Cup Round 3UL 4-10 SETU Carlow 1-4MTU Cork 3-12 ATU Sligo 2-7UL cruised to a convincing 4-10 to 1-4 win over SETU Carlow.Ciarn Downes struck two goals for Declan Brouder's outfit, who were always in control.Prompted by the excellent Paul Keaney and Emmet McMahon, UL went in
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Kerry veteran Geaney feeling fresher than ever

GAA
By John Harrington His old mucker David Moran might have hung up his inter-county boots but there was no chance that Kerry attacker Paul Geaney was going to follow suit.Hes now the longest serving player in the Kingdom panel having first joined it in 2011, but at the age of
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AIB GAA Senior Club Championships come to a close

GAA
An epic season of action in the 2022/23 AIB GAA Club Championships will reach a fascinating conclusion this Sunday as the AIB GAA All-Ireland Football and Hurling Senior Club Championship Finals are played out at Croke Park.At 1.30pm,2021/2022 runners up,BallyhaleShamrocks Kilkenny face off againstDunloyCChullainsAntrim in the AIB GAA All-Ireland Hurling
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Reynolds Hat Trick Seals Longford Win

Reynolds Hat Trick Seals Longford Win

GAA
Home Reynolds Hat Trick Seals Longford Win January 21st, 2023LONGFORD 3-13 LOUTH 0-12Kevin Egan at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park A hat-trick of goals from Dessie Reynolds powered Longford to a comprehensive win over Louth in this afternoons OByrne Cup final, as Paddy Christies side overwhelmed the Wee
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AIB All-Ireland Club JHC Final: Impressive Ballygiblin triumph

GAA
AIB All-Ireland Club JHC Final Ballygiblin 1-16 Easkey 0-11By Dan Bannon at Croke Park Talk about setting the tone. Ballygiblins Darragh Flynn fired home after just nine seconds on the clock to send the Cork men on their way to an emphatic nine point win against Easkey to become AIB
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Round-up: Wednesday's BOI McKenna Cup action

GAA
Bank of Ireland McKenna Cup Derry 0-10 Tyrone 0-10Monaghan 0-15 Donegal 2-7Cavan 1-14 Armagh 1-9There were wins for Monaghan and Cavan in the Bank of Ireland McKenna Cup this evening while reigning Ulster champions Derry claimed a hard-fought draw against Tyrone.It looked like Rory Gallagher's team were destined for defeat
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GAA

2023 All-Ireland SFC format explained

GAA
With a new All-Ireland SFC format being adopted in 2023 the upcoming Allianz Football League carries added significance.Ultimately the 16 counties that will compete in Round One the All-Ireland series are to be seeded in the following way:First seeds: The four provincial champions Second seeds: The four provincial runners-up Third
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Allianz FL D2: Second half goals help Meath defeat Cork

GAA
Allianz Football League Division 2MEATH 3-14 CORK 0-19By Stephen Barry at Pirc U Chaoimh Colm ORourkes young Meath side got off to a winning start in the Allianz Football League, a two-goal burst midway through the second half enough to take the scalp of Cork.Cork scored 7-40 in three pre-season
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Dessie Farrell chats to DubsTV after Allianz League Round 1 win over Kildare

Dessie Farrell chats to DubsTV after Allianz League Round 1 win over Kildare

GAA
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Allianz FL D1: Armagh earn victory

GAA
Allianz Football League Division One Armagh 1-14 Monaghan 1-12By Colm Shalvey at Castleblayney Armagh made a winning start to the Allianz NFL for the third time in a row since their return to Division One when they held off a late charge from Monaghan in a topsy-turvy derby in front
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Allianz FL D4: Draws in both opening round games

GAA
ALLIANZ FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION FOUR RESULTS Wexford 1-9 London 1-9Carlow 2-10 Wicklow 2-10Matthew Walsh was Londons hero as his goal in the 76th minute salvaged a draw for the Exiles in their league opener against Wexford at Chadwicks Wexford Park tonight.A good crowd of almost 3,500 people turned out for
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St Kieran’s Reach Corn Uí Dhúill Final

St Kieran’s Reach Corn Uí Dhúill Final

GAA
Home St Kierans Reach Corn U Dhill Final January 28th, 2023Leinster GAA Corn U Dhill Semi-Final St Kierans College 3-18Coliste Eoin 2-10Robert Cribbin at Ardclough St Kierans College are into the Leinster PP Senior
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Round-up: Thursday's Electric Ireland Fitzgibbon Cup action

GAA
Electric Ireland Fitzgibbon Cup Group C UCD 1-23 Maynooth University 0-22Group D UL 2-23 TUS Midwest 1-13Holders UL advanced to the quarter-final stage of the Electric Ireland Fitzgibbon Cup following a convincing 2-23 to 1-13 win over TUS Midwest.Tight early on, UL enjoyed a productive burst before half-time to earn
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Allianz FL D2: Late Clare surge stuns Louth

GAA
Allianz Football League Division 2 Round 1CLARE 0-13 LOUTH 1-9By Eoin Brennan at Cusack Park An opening weekend feat of escapology from Clare who kicked four injury-time points to snatch victory at the death over Division 2 newcomers Louth in Cusack Park, Ennis.In a rare clash between two of the
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Allianz FL D2: Derry defeat Limerick

GAA
Allianz Football League Division Two Derry 0-16 Limerick 0-4 By Steven Doherty at Owenbeg Derry led from gun to tape, defeating Limerick by 12 points at Owenbeg on Saturday afternoon.The reigning Ulster champions rarely got out of second gear, but were too good for a Limerick side that never threatened
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Allianz FL D3: Fermanagh and Down get off the mark

GAA
ALLIANZ LEAGUE DIVISION THREE RESULTS Fermanagh 0-15 Longford 0-8Down 2-11 Tipperary 1-11Down and Fermanagh are the early leaders in Division Three of the Allianz Football league, after they picked up victories in contrasting styles against Tipperary and Longford respectively today.The first game of the 2023 Allianz Football League took place
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