GAA Festival 2014

Queen's GAA Festival Press Release 

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The GAA Clubs at Queen’s University have secured the right to host the Ashbourne, Sigerson Fitzgibbon & O’Connor Cups in February / March 2014.  This will be an ambitious and unique initiative as no college has ever hosted even two of the four major tournaments in the same academic year.

Queen’s Sport has a proud history of hosting sporting events successfully and so it is again we are endeavouring to set new standards.

In partnership with local business, the university and the GAA, we are combining all four competition weekends in a festival of university GAA, attracting the top colleges & players from this island and beyond.

The proposed festival of GAA at Queen’s University would stretch across four consecutive weekends in February & March 2014.

 

Anticipated schedule:

Weekend starting Friday 14th February – Ashbourne Cup (Camogie)

Three tiers of competition, including twelve teams from Ireland and the UK.

Weekend starting Friday 21st February – Sigerson Cup (Gaelic Football)

Three tiers of competition, including twelve teams from Ireland and the UK.

Weekend starting Friday 28th February – Fitzgibbon Cup (Hurling)

Three tiers of competition, including twelve teams from Ireland and the UK.

Weekend starting Friday 7th March – O’Connor Cup (Ladies Football)

Three tiers of competition, including twelve teams from Ireland and the UK.

 

In addition to the games at Upper Malone, it is proposed that the festival would also include a programme of events across all four weekends.  These will be concentrated largely in the South Belfast Area and will celebrate university sport, culture, student achievement, the GAA and Belfast as a host city.

We have combined these marquee tournaments across consecutive weekends to create a one off GAA festival at Queen’s which, in addition to the associated social fabric, will attract well in excess of 15,000 visitors.  Recent re-developments and the expansion of sports facilities at Queen’s as unveiled last year was central to the decision to apply for this series of tournaments.  We are now able to boast state-of-the-art facilities and we are planning to host a range of competitions over the coming years.  Our new arena pitch will be available, complete with built-in clubhouse and stand, with an overall capacity of 2,500 spectators.

In addition to our existing two grass pitches, our newly refurbished academy pitch has just been complete with high quality floodlighting.  This pitch will be furnished with a temporary covered stand for the festival to host some marquee games and will bring the number of pitches available for competition to four.

Our high quality facilities at Upper Malone will become the focal point of university and sporting activity for the four week duration of the festival.  All four tournaments will be covered by TG4 in a repeated highlights format and the Marquee final at each weekend will be broadcast live (Ashbourne Cup subject to scheduling).

The festival will also include a host of surrounding events which will incorporate tournament banquets, club reunions, comedy night, traditional music, outreach initiatives and many more social and cultural ventures.