irish soccer

Crazy match point in head Tennis, wait until the end 🤣

Crazy match point in head Tennis, wait until the end 🤣

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SSE Airtricity Women's Premier Division Round 13 | Treaty United 3-3 Sligo Rovers | Highlights

SSE Airtricity Women's Premier Division Round 13 | Treaty United 3-3 Sligo Rovers | Highlights

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irish soccer

Crazy match point in head Tennis, wait until the end 🤣

Crazy match point in head Tennis, wait until the end 🤣

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SSE Airtricity Women's Premier Division Round 13 | Treaty United 3-3 Sligo Rovers | Highlights

SSE Airtricity Women's Premier Division Round 13 | Treaty United 3-3 Sligo Rovers | Highlights

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Recently formed Gaeltacht Iorrais promoting hurling and the Irish language

GAA

By Cian OConnell

We just felt it was something we cared about, Ciarn hEadhra chairperson of Gaeltacht Iorrais says about developing hurling and the Irish language.

A new club was formed in recent months with Gaeltacht Iorrais fielding at adult level against Ballyvarry in a Mayo league fixture on Saturday.

Ballyvarrys evolving story is significant too, but hEadhra is encouraged by the response during the past few months in the barony of Erris.

This area has seen massive depopulation in the last two or three decades, so from a practical point we weren't going to be able to operate a hurling club that didn't reflect the whole barony, he remarks about the importance of the Irish language.

We also felt that this was an opportunity for children, in particular, to come along with both hurling and camogie and the Irish language, using it in so much as they felt comfortable or in so much as they wanted.

The Gaeilge aspect matters deeply too. A number of us are Irish speakers - myself, Nicky Carolan, who was playing with Ballina and has played for Mayo, and is the coach in Bangor, Sen Coisdeabhla, who is the driving force in this because he is the secretary, and has previously been involved for a long time with the old Belmullet Hurling Club, hEadhra explains.

A passion for hurling, though, has always existed in the area illustrated by Belmullets Mayo SHC title win in 2001.

So how did the current story start to unfold? A few guys from this area - even after the demise of the Belmullet hurling club - kept hurling, hEadhra responds.

They were travelling to Ballina or to other clubs to play. We just felt, a few of us, that there was sufficient interest in the area to try to restart hurling.

Initially we thought we'd try to get it going at national school age level, but what transpired is that a number of lads that had played underage for Belmullet before said they'd like to try to bring a Junior B team together as well. That probably brought us to where we were last Saturday, fielding an adult team in our first year.

It has been a busy, but rewarding spell for all involved. We properly started forming the club late last year, hEadhra adds. What we decided we would do because this is a huge area - the barony of Erris is the size of county Louth. You have four football clubs in the area.

One of the reasons the previous hurling club had gone out of existence was that it was seen to be - by some - just a Belmullet club.




Ballyvarry defeated Gaeltacht Iorrais on Saturday in the Mayo Hurling League.

Ballyvarry defeated Gaeltacht Iorrais on Saturday in the Mayo Hurling League.

We felt if we could form one for the barony that would cater for everyone in all the parishes - in truth the Belmullet Hurling Club did that in the past, but maybe some people just didn't adapt to that with traditional rivalries.

So Gaeltacht Iorrais moved quickly, opting to operate juvenile sessions at three different venues each week. hEadhra estimates more than 100 children have been involved so far which is a real boost for Mayo. Ballyvarry have done massive work underage for a number of years to field an adult team," hEadhra says as Gaeltacht Iorrais suffered a 3-20 to 0-6 loss.

Obviously Moytura were set up last year - very similarly to ourselves serving a number of football parishes. Probably as the scoreline from the game would suggest Ballyvary are much further down the road than we are, but for us our targets this year are simply to fulfil all of our fixtures, and to build from there at adult level, but to continue doing what we are doing at underage.

That is operating pods in each of the parishes so we are reaching out beyond the core areas of Belmullet town and its hinterland.

Training is organised in Belmullet, Aughleam, and Bangor Erris so there is a logistical challenge, but Gaeltacht Iorrais are finding a way. The assistance received from the Gaelic Football clubs is vital according to hEadhra.

Obviously football is very strong here and as football picks up during the summer the key for us is to try to complement that rather than be in any form of competition with it, he says. Each of the football clubs have been superb in supporting us since we started.

Every journey of 1,000 miles commences with a first step. Eventually Gaeltacht Iorrais would like to have teams at every age group. It is the objective. Ultimately that is where we want to go, but we have got to build that from the bottom, hEadhra says.

The difficulty for us if you look at it at the moment, we are probably going to have two teams at the very youngest level and one at adult level. That leaves quite a gap in between.

Some of the players on the adult team are a little older so we won't be able to replenish as easily as other hurling clubs. So this could take quite a while to gain fruition, but our aim is to ultimately be able to field teams in hurling and camogie because it is both all the way up.

The Irish language will be relevant too. We want to connect from the bottom to the top, hEadhra states. Our second mandate is we have been set up very definitively as a bi-lingual club.

We are invested in the promotion not just of hurling and camogie, but also in the promotion of the language, and giving people an opportunity to use it in a fun environment.

You have a cultural element to it also. The name very deliberately was to reflect that - it is both Erris and the Gaeltacht part of Erris. Ts maith leath na hoibre.

Next week GAA.ie will have a feature on the Ballyvarry Hurling Club in Mayo.

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