Limerick hurling on the rise as Feile fever hits

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imagesJULY 2013 is set to be a very special month for Limerick GAA, with the Gaelic Grounds staging the senior and minor hurling finals, both of which involve the Shannonsiders, and the county hosting this year’s Féile na nGael.

The Féile will take place in clubs across Limerick from July 5 to 7, with participating teams from all 32 counties in Ireland, as well as representatives from London.

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The national festival of under 14 hurling, camogie and handball is expected to bring up to 150 teams and 25,000 young players to Limerick this weekend.

Eoghan O’Sullivan, IT co-ordinator for Féile na nGael, says that it is a privilege for the county to play host to this prestigious event.

He added that hosting the Féile can have a tangible knock-on effect in future years.

“It is a fantastic honour for Limerick to host Féile na nGael. It is proven to have a positive effect and it promotes the games and the county. It is the perfect opportunity to showcase Limerick and GAA in Limerick.

“I heard it mentioned the other day that Laois and Offaly hosted the Féile in 2007 and both of those counties are now really competitive at minor and under 21 level, which is not coincidental.”

As it has happened, the timing of the 2013 Féile na nGael could hardly have been more ideal, with the possibility of double provincial success on home ground for Limerick in the following week’s Munster finals.

O’Sullivan belives that it could not have come at a better time and he has noticed a discernible anticipation around the city and county.

“If you were to ask me back in January what the ideal state of events would be for us, it would have been to be in two Munster finals at the Gaelic Grounds.

“I’ve noticed a great buzz in the city and hopefully we can tap into that with Féile. I have no doubt that it will be a success and the feedback I’ve heard from clubs is that they can’t wait for this weekend.”

For O’Sullivan and the organising committee, the coming days will see the culmination of six months of hard work.

He gave special praise to the clubs who will play host to visiting teams over the weekend.

“We have been working non-stop since January. There’s a hell of a lot involved in it with the parade, the fixtures for three competitions, co-ordinating about 80 or 90 referees, the PR and the skill star events.

“The club is the rock that the GAA is built upon. It is about the community after all and we have some fantastic clubs here in Limerick who have made their homes available to visiting teams.”