Comhairle Ardoideachais News

If you have any stories,photos,videos or other multi-media that may be of interest to the GAA's third level sector please email or

Match reports on Higher Education games are also very welcome and if any budding journalist would like a place to get some work published they should send them

Cork Colleges Overpower UCD

posted by HE GAA   [ updated ]

Ballykelly was the venue for this afternoon's HE GAA Fresher Hurling League Division 2 Semi-Final which was briefly interrupted by one exuberant supporter (via @UCDGAA)

Cork Colleges Overpower UCD Fresher Hurling League Division 2 Semi-Final
Cork C.F.E. 2-8
U.C.D.(B) 0-12

By Michael Dwyer

A hammer-and-tongs second-half display from Cork C.F.E. put them through to the Freshers hurling division 2 league final to the despair of U.C.D. on a dreary Thursday afternoon last at Ballykelly.

With heavy ground at the Kildare venue, a war of attrition was in-store. However, some splendid individual performances on both sides made the game an attractive spectacle. Eric Mealy was unceasing for Cork while Aaron Stafford showed his experience as a Cork county minor hurler. Stafford's class was matched near the end by U.C.D.'s Collum Breslin. For the metropolitans, Nevin Rossiter commanded the full-back berth and Henry Keyes made a few incisive bursts through the Cork defence. It was a terrific acid test for the Rebels as they now face either UUJ or Galway/Roscommon ETB in the final/

Cork's cracking start was an ominous sign for U.C.D. Within six seconds of the throw-in, their captain, Stafford, broke from the centre of the field and opened his side's scoring-account with a splendid shot. Ben Cowman struck back for U.C.D. four minutes later when he sallied over a similar gem. Although Eoin Sheehan restored the Munster men's lead, his score also marked the start of a thirteen-minute scoring-drought for the eventual victors. In the interim, U.C.D.'s half-back line of Andrew O'Dowd, Tom Skehan and Ben Cowman began to play with composure, which gave rise to a U.C.D. string of four points as Henry Keyes (2) and Brendan Cullen (2 frees) obliged. The Cork response was clinical though. Subsequent to a saved James Moynihan shot, netminder Colin Lynch couldn't keep the Cork crowd at bay as they flooded the goal-mouth with players. Darragh Looney looked like the last player to get a touch on the ball. The sides shared the final four points of the half to leave things all-square at the interval (1-4 to 0-7).

Callum Crowe and Brendan Cullen traded blows after the change-of-ends to establish parity for the sixth time of the game. A crucial passage of the game was about to unfurl though. Between the 37th and 41st minutes, U.C.D. struck four of their ten wides and in the meantime Callum Crowe and Aaron Stafford landed some inspirational points. That two-point margin was too much for U.C.D. to grapple with in spite of some tenacious harrying from Brian Bolger. As Brendan Cullen mounted pressure on Cork, they held firm and managed to steal a goal with two minutes of normal-time remaining. Paul Leopold's ball-in looked like it was connected with by Looney for the second time lucky. 

Cork C.F.E. - Nicolas Ó Direáin, David Myles, Adrian Kenneally, Eric Mealy, Dale Bowen, James Forde, Gavin Bagnell (0-1), Paul Leopold, Aaron Stafford (capt., 0-2), Callum Crowe (0-2), Eoin Sheehan (0-1), Darragh Kelly, James Moynihan, Darragh Looney (2-0), Craig Murphy (0-1). Subs: Seán Wade (0-1) for Craig Murphy; Nathan Adams for David Myles.

U.C.D. - Colin Lynch, Paddy Doran, Naomhan Rossiter, Cathal Niall (capt.), Andrew O'Dowd, Tom Skehan, Ben Cowman (0-1), Collum Breslin (0-1), Aaron Murphy (0-1), Shane O'Brien, Henry Keyes (0-2), Seadna Crowley, Declan Stack, Brendan Cullen (0-6 frees), Brian Bolger (0-1). Subs: Peter Crowley for Shane O'Brien.

Referee - Dave Coady (Ballykelly).

Casey & O'Riordan Inspire UCD to Victory

posted Nov 26, 2014, 3:05 AM by HE GAA   [ updated Nov 26, 2014, 3:07 AM ]

Casey & O'Riordan Inspire UCD to Victory

Maynooth University regroup at the final whistle - Picture Credit - @BarryEgan20 via @MaynoothUniGAA HE GAA Fresher Football League Division 1 Semi-Final 
UCD 2-14
Maynooth University 1-5
by Michael Dwyer

Dynamic midfielders Liam Casey and Colm O'Riordan guided UCD to a comprehensive division 1 league semi-final victory to the despair of Maynooth University amid heavy fog at the Kildare college's campus on Tuesday evening last.

Casey was industrious, especially in how he crafted attacking threats but his Tipperary counterpart stood out as a possible man-of-the-match.  O'Riordan's audacious catches from kick-outs held the sizeable crowd that had gathered in awe. Yet in the second half, UCD found complacency in their ten-point lead and  Colm Basquel, who claimed 1-6 in all, was the only poacher to keep the tempo up for UCD as he closed the game with a string of four points. Maynooth employed a ten-men blanket defence at times during the first half and although Ciarán Sheridan and Chris Gillian thwarted the UCD advances, Stephen Coen and Brian Harnan were quick to drift forward and smother any counterattacks.

Intensity characterised the first-half as UCD grappled with the formidable defence before them. Seán Dempsey showed positive signs for Maynooth as the home-side's sole scorer landed two points to keep tabs on UCD's 0-4 tally on 11 minutes. But UCD struck back with a vigorous six-minute scoring streak, when UCD completed a haul of 1-3. A crescendo of points from Seán Meade, Colin O'Riordan and Colm Basquel preceded Basquel's brilliant goal on 18 minutes (1-7 to 0-2). While Seán Dempsey attempted to lift the siege imposed on Maynooth, Seán Meade wriggled through to bag a second UCD major. Amid a few off-the-ball scuffles, the sides traded blows on the scoreboard too, which gave UCD a 2-8 to 0-4 halftime advantage.

While Seán Dempsey cut Maynooth's deficit within a minute of the restart with a pointed free, a twelve-minute scoring drought for both sides led to a bland second-half. In response to a UCD brace of points! Dempsey buried a penalty for Maynooth, which was awarded by referee Fergal Kelly subsequent to a foul on Patrick Byrne. Colm Basquel answered that blow with a sparkling claim of 0-4 to wrap up the spoils and UCD and set up an All-Ireland league final against DCU/NUI Galway next week. 

UCD - Ryan Haughey, Seán Conlon, Seán Mullooly, Eoin Murchan, Eoin Lafferty, Stephen Coen, Brian Harnan, Liam Casey (0-1), Colin O'Riordan (0-1), Jake Malone, Brian Byrne (0-2, 1 free), Dylan Kilgallon, Conor McCarthy (0-2), Colm Basquel (1-6), Seán Meade (1-2).

Maynooth University - Bob Fitzgerald, Barra McCarthy, Aidan Brennan, Matthew Taggart, Chris Gillian, Ciarán Sheridan, Derry Bradley, Brian O'Connell, Tom Hanaffin, Cathal Maguire, Seán Dempsey (1-5, 1-0 pen., 0-3 frees), Henry Walsh, Cathal Dunne, Evan O'Carroll, Patrick Byrne.

Referee - Fergal Kelly (Longford).

UCC Book Final Place In Quest To Retain League Title

posted Nov 25, 2014, 1:10 AM by HE GAA   [ updated Nov 25, 2014, 1:12 AM ]

UCC Book Final Place In Quest To Retain League Title

Mallow was the venue for last night's HE GAA Senior Hurling League Semi-Final Clash where the Clock Hooter System was trialed.

UCC: 2-18

LIT: 2-14

By: Stephen Walsh

UCC emerged victorious in this Higher Education league semi-final clash against LIT in Mallow on a score line of 2-18 to 2-14. A strong second half showing from UCC, who were a point behind at the break, was enough to ensure they emerged victorious by a four point margin.

The game had only started when Jamie Shanahan goaled for LIT following a scramble in the UCC square.

Both teams would then swap points with Conor Lehane and David Geary scoring for UCC while Shanahan, who would go on to score 1-9 during the game for LI,T kept them in front with his accurate free-taking..

Cork panellist Rob O’Shea saw his free from the 21 saved by the Limerick defence on 14 minutes as UCC attempted to close the gap while at the other end Seanie O’Brien saw his shot just flash narrowly over Paul Hallissey’s crossbar.

LIT were to get their reward for some attacking play on 22 minutes when David Reidy finished off his impressive run to the bottom right hand corner to put LIT into a lead of 2-3 to 0-6.

Both sides were guilty of some poor shooting during the first half with the ball often dropping short into the keeper’s hands or going wide of the goal.

The half finished off with Geary pointing for UCC as both sides went for the cover of the dressing room as the rain increased.

UCC manager Ger Cunningham introduced Anthony Spillane for Ja Colleran at the start of the second half and he was to have a major influence on the half helping UCC to emerge victorious. Two quick fire points from Spillane had the side’s level as Shanahan pointed yet again.

Both teams then proceeded to give an exhibition in point scoring with Eoghan Finn and Lehane pointing for UCC from all angles while Shanahan kept scoring the frees to keep the score board ticking over.

O’Shea, who was to score four points for UCC from frees during the game. kept UCC within a point of LIT.

Clare senior Shane O’Donnell then scored a goal for UCC following a run through the LIT defence on 43 minutes to put UCC into the lead for the first time in the game. This was a lead they were never going to lose for the rest of the game.

LIT made an attempt to recapture the lead with Shanahan scoring more points from 65’s and a free but Geary pointed for UCC on 50 minutes to relieve the pressure.

The decisive score for UCC arrived on 52 minutes when a low shot from substitute Spillane flew into the bottom left hand corner of the goal to put UCC into a 2-16 to 2-12 lead.

Davy Fitzgerald’s LIT side then threw the “kitchen sink” at the UCC goal in the hope of claiming a few goals but the UCC defence held firm despite the concession of a few late points.

The hooter sounded to UCC cheers and they will now go on to the final next week where they will play the winners of tonight’s other semi-final between Carlow IT and DCU (Hawkfield, Kildare GAA Centre 7.30pm)

UCC Scorers: A. Spillane 1-3, D. Geary, R. O’ Shea (0-4f) 0-4 each, Conor Lehane 0-3, S. O’Donnell 1-0, E. Finn 0-2, R. Cahalane, DJ Foran 0-1 each

LIT Scorers: J. Shanahan 1-9 (0-5f, 0-2. 65), D. Reidy 1-1, S. O’Brien, Paul Flaherty, S. O’Halloran, P. Fitzgerald 0-1 each

UCC (Cork unless stated): Paul Hallissey, Ja Colleran (Clare), Michael Breen (Tipperary), Diarmuid Lester, Killian Burke, Tadgh Bourke (Waterford), Paudie Prendergast (Waterford), Rickard Cahalane, Cormac Murphy, Eoghan Finn, Conor Lehane, DJ Foran (Waterford), Rob O’Shea, Shane O’Donnell (Clare), David Geary

Subs: Tom Devine (Waterford) for Foran (19 injured), Anthony Spillane for Colleran (30), Alan Cadogan for Devine (52)

LIT (Limerick unless stated): Aaron Murphy, Cian Nolan (Clare), Niall O’Connor (Clare), Alan Dempsey, Kieran Bennett (Waterford), Barry O’Connell, Willie Ryan (Tipperary), Paul Flaherty (Galway), Stephen O’Halloran (Clare), Joe Campion (Laois), Seanie O’Brien Peter Duggan (Clare), David Reidy (Clare), Jamie Shanahan (Clare), David Dempsey

Subs: Mark Geaney (Tipperary) for D. Dempsey (30), Shane McGrath (Clare) for A. Dempsey (38), Paddy Fitzgerald (Clare) for Geaney (52)

Referee: Fergal Horgan (Tipperary)

DCU and St.Mary's Advance to Ryan Cup Final

posted Nov 20, 2014, 2:20 PM by HE GAA   [ updated Nov 21, 2014, 4:55 AM ]

St.Mary's defeated IT Sligo in the fog in the Tyrone GAA Centre of Excellence in Garvaghy 



UCC 2-13                               DCU 2-19


Kevin Egan reports


DCU produced a devastating second half surge to turn a nine point deficit into a six point victory over UCC in the Higher Education Division One semi-final at Hawkfield GAA grounds in Kildare last night.


UCC’s inexplicable collapse came on the back of an excellent first 34 minutes in which Conor Cox terrorised the DCU backline and Luke Connolly was also prominent in helping the Cork students into a 2-11 to 0-8 lead. However the tide turned utterly after Cox added their second goal shortly after half time and it was one-way traffic from then on, led by Roscommon's Enda Smith who posted seven points from play.


DCU advance to meet St Mary’s in next Wednesday’s final.


Scorers for UCC: C Cox 1-5 (0-2f), L Connolly 0-3 (0-1f), C Horgan 1-0, K Davis, A Spillane, C Dornan, M Sugrue & D Culhane 0-1 each

Scorers for DCU: E Smith 0-7, C McHugh 0-4, D Smith 1-1 (1-0 pen), S O’Brien 1-0, C McGraynor 0-2f, T Flynn, D Byrne, E Keane, E O’Connor & C Daly 0-1.


UCC: (Cork unless stated): MA Martin; J Davis, J Maguire (Kerry), C Histon; C Dornan, S White, K Fulignati; G O’Sullivan (Kerry), D Culhane; K Davis, L Connolly, A Spillane (Kerry); C Cox (Kerry), P Geaney (Kerry), C Horgan.   

Subs: T Clancy for K Davis (42), M Sugrue for Fulignati (48)


DCU: B Flynn (Leitrim); C Ward (Louth), D Wrynn (Leitrim), D Ward (Monaghan); J Bealin (Dublin), D Byrne (Dublin), C Daly (Roscommon); T Flynn (Galway), S O’Brien (Tipperary); E Smith (Roscommon), D Smith (Roscommon), E O’Connor (Louth); C McHugh (Dublin), C McGraynor (Wicklow), R O’Connor (Longford).

Subs: E Murray (Galway) for D Ward (6), E Keane (Laois) for C Ward (25), C Meredith (Laois) for Byrne (36), C McNally (Armagh) for Bealin (27 – B/C)


Referee: Maurice Deegan

UCC advance to Semi-Final

posted Nov 19, 2014, 2:00 PM by HE GAA   [ updated Nov 19, 2014, 2:06 PM ]

UCC advance to Semi-Final

UCC's Tadgh Burke catches the ball ahead of UCD's Ross King
  Photo credit: Marc Moylan HE GAA Senior Hurling League Division 1 Quarter-Final UCC: 3-14 UCD: 0-18
By: Stephen Walsh

UCC emerged victorious in last night’s Higher Education League quarter final against a strong UCD side in the Mardyke on a 3-14 to 0-18 score line. There is a popular saying that “goals win matches” and this was very appropriate with regards to tonight’s game as goals from Rob O’Shea, DJ Foran and Shane O’Donnell proved to be the difference between the sides as UCC now progress to play LIT in the semi final next week at a venue still to be decided.

UCD started of stronger and took the lead within 50 seconds of the first half when Wexford county hurler Conor McDonald pointed from 40 yards.UCC though bounced back immediately when Tom Devine went on a strong run before passing to O’Shea who hit the ball to the back of the net from a few yards out. UCD then went on a scoring spree and took the lead on eight minutes after hitting three unanswered points from Pat Purcell and Ross King.

The second goal arrived on nine minutes after a period of time of wayward shooting from their forward unit. Waterford’s Foran ran with the ball before exchanging a quick one two with O’Donnell which put him into a one on one situation and he scored by hitting it under the body of Billy Leyden to make it 2-0 to 0-4. UCD took control of the game for the next 15 minutes with their midfield of Purcell and Devitt winning lots of ball and they were able to make the most of a lack of discipline with UCC by winning a number of frees. Laois county hurler King who had a brilliant game was accurate with frees to put UCD into the lead on a score of 0-9 to 2-2 as the game approached 26 minutes.Some brilliant long range frees from Cork panellist O’Shea kept UCC in touch and he was assisted by fellow Cork player Conor Lehane as UCC regained the lead. There was still time for Dave Higgins to point for UCD as UCC went into the break 2-6 to 0-10.

Straight from the restart Lehane had a long range shot that was well saved by Leyden for a 65 which O’Shea converted. Both teams then exchanged points with Joe Lyng and O’Shea scoring as the game approached the 39th minute with the score 2-8 to 0-13.UCC introduced Cork player Alan Cadogan and he scored a point from out near the side line within minutes of his introduction.
Clare player O’Donnell scored a goal on 46 minutes when converting a rebound following a great save from Leyden stopping a powerful Lehane shot. He could have scored another goal minutes later when he reacted to a ball in the square after Alan Cadogan’s shot had bounced back off the upright, however Leyden was alert to save it for a 65.

UCC had goalkeeper Paul Hallissey to thank for not conceding as he made two brilliant saves from Lyng and King at point blank range in the final ten minutes as UCC dealt with everything UCD could throw at them.A late point from corner back Killian Burke sealed the victory for the home side as they emerged triumphant on a score line of 3-14 to 0-18 and get ready for further challenges ahead in the coming week.

UCC scorers: R. O’Shea 1-6 (0-2f, 0-2. 65) C. Lehane 0-3 (0-1f), Foran and O’Donnell 1-0 each, S O’Keeffe 0-2, A. Cadogan, K. Burke, T. Devine 0-1 each

UCD scorers: R. King 0-8 (0-6f, 0-1. 65), P. Purcell 0-3, C. Davitt 0-2, C. O’Shea, C. O’Shea, D. Higgins, J. Lyng, C. McDonald 0-1 each

UCC (Cork Unless Stated): Paul Hallissey, Killian Burke, Tadgh Burke (Waterford), Shane Roche (Waterford), James Nagle, Michael Breen (Tipperary), Mark O’Brien (Waterford), Michael Collins, Tom Devine (Waterford), Shane O’Keeffe, Rob O’Shea, DJ Foran (Waterford), Anthony Spillane, Conor Lehane, Shane O’Donnell (Clare)
Subs: Alan Cadogan for Spillane (39), Brian Hartnett for Collins (39), Cormac Murphy for Nagle (41), Paudie Prendergast (Waterford) for Devine (57)

UCD (Dublin Unless Stated): Billy Leyden (Kilkenny), Eoin Conroy (Wexford), Matthew O’Hanlon (Wexford), Seán Murphy (Wexford), Barry Whelan (Kilkenny), Cian O’Callaghan, Cillian Buckley (Kilkenny), Conor Devitt (Wexford), Joe Lyng (Kilkenny), Dave Higgins (Westmeath), Conor O’Shea (Kilkenny), Ross King (Laois), Conor McDonald (Wexford), Darragh Dolan (Galway)
Subs: Conor O’Shea (Galway) for Dolan (34), Lorcan Mullins (Down) for O’Shea (56)

Referee: Cathal McAllister (Aghada) to sponsor Higher Education GAA Competitions

posted Oct 9, 2014, 6:44 AM by HE GAA to sponsor Higher Education GAA Competitions 

Comhairle Ardoideachais and Cumann Lúthchleas Gael are delighted to announce the as the new competition sponsor of all Higher Education GAA competitions for the next three academic years.  The partnership will lead to increased coverage of Third Level games on the website.

The Higher Education Leagues commence this week with over 400 fixtures scheduled before the champions will be crowned in late November. Over the next two months, 45 Higher Education Institutes will take part in nine Gaelic football competitions with 31 involved in the seven hurling competitions on campuses all over the island.  The 16 competitions cater for all levels of students from All-Star nominees to beginners.

Speaking on behalf of Cumann Lúthchleas Gael Uachtarán Liam Ó Néill said: “The third level sector is one of huge importance to us in terms of games promotion and player retention.

“It has been a fertile ground for the Association and our activity in this sector ensures a presence for us with a hugely important demographic, not just for the GAA, but for the island as a whole

“We are pleased to partner with given the reach of their platform in addition to the strong tradition of Gaelic games coverage within the group as a whole.

On behalf of, Lia Bresnihan said “We are delighted to partner with the GAA on the Higher Education competitions.  There is a great appetite online for GAA content and we are thrilled to be able to provide rich online experiences to the GAA communities across Ireland and abroad.”

This season’s Higher Education Gaelic Football Championship Finals will be hosted by defending Sigerson Cup champions UCC on February 20th and 21st 2015. This year’s All-Ireland Championship season once again highlighted the links between Higher Education GAA and the inter-county set-up, with eight members of the victorious Kerry panel having donned the famous skull and cross bones of UCC in the Mardyke before graduating to inter-county success.

The 2015 Higher Education Hurling Championship Finals return to Limerick Institute of Technology on February 27th/28th for the first time since 2005, when the hosts claimed their first premier title inspired on the pitch by Tipperary legend Eoin Kelly, and off the pitch by Clare manager Davy Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald continues to be involved as an integral part of the hurling set up in the Institute.

Fixtures, results and news updates will be available throughout the season on and

Follow all the action on the ‘GAA Higher Education’ or ‘Independent Sport’ Facebook pages, and on Twitter @HigherEdGAA or @IndoSport.

National Student Bursaries Scheme 2014/15

posted Sep 17, 2014, 3:36 AM by HE GAA   [ updated Sep 17, 2014, 3:37 AM ]

National Student Bursaries Scheme 2014/15

The GAA have again reiterated their commitment to the ongoing educational development of its players and members by announcing details of the 2014/2015 GAA National Student Bursary scheme. Now in its eighth year, the scheme is open to members of the Association who are attending a full-time Higher Education course (except those who hold another GAA-related or college scholarship/bursary) and who are active participants in their Higher Education club; to date the GAA has invested close to €1.5million in the seven years that its Bursary Schemes have been in existence.


The schemes are administered by the respective Provincial Councils and recipients will again be selected based on a range of criteria, including their playing, coaching or administrative commitments to the GAA. A number of awards in each province will be reserved for those excelling in the areas of coaching and administration.


Applications for the scheme will be considered by a sub-committee in each province; each bursary granted will be for €750/£600.


Further information and application forms for this year’s scheme are available to download by clicking on the below form and guidelines and the various GAA Provincial Council websites and offices and from the Higher Education Colleges website All completed forms should be returned to the relevant Provincial Council and the closing date for application will be October 10th.  


Senior Inter-County players who were on their County’s Senior Panel in 2013 should apply for Bursaries via the Gaelic Players Association; further information at


* Ulster GAA has not confirmed its involvement with the scheme for this year therefore players within Ulster should contact the Ulster Council for more information. T: 028 (048) 3752 1900.


NCGAA Championships 2014 Report

posted Jun 5, 2014, 3:15 AM by HE GAA   [ updated Jun 5, 2014, 3:16 AM ]

NCGAA Championships 2014 Report

The Memorial weekend saw another chapter in the remarkable story of how Gaelic games on American college campuses have become the latest “prairie fire” in the GAA’s history. Teams from as far afield as Cal and the University of Montana made the trip to New York where a total of seven hurling teams and five football teams assembled to determine the fourth national college hurling championship and the first national college Gaelic football championship.

University of California, Berkeley (Cal)
University of Montana
Indiana University
University of Pittsburgh
Iona/Kean (joint team from New York)
St Thomas Aquinas College, New York
University of Connecticut
Iona College, New York
Kean University, New Jersey
Boston College
Manhattan College
St Joseph’s University, Philadelphia

The number of teams represents a quadrupling in size for the now four year-old competition, and more than one field was required for the first time. Paddy’s Field in Woodlawn was called into play along with Gaelic Park, with the New York GAA community throwing their weight behind the venture to put on a grand show. A total of 39 games were played over two days, with Gaelic Park’s famous pitch hosting two seven-a-side football games at once while the hurlers battled it out on the full size field at Woodlawn on the Saturday, with everyone decamping to Gaelic Park on the Sunday afternoon.

The fifteen hurling group games saw a few one-sided affairs but also some epic and close tussles. The Montana Grizzlies, a new club at the University of Montana which has been generating a lot of local attention in the area, emerged as by far the strongest team with only the University of Connecticut and St Thomas Aquinas able to challenge them for supremacy. The Grizzlies have burst onto the scene in the last twelve months thanks to a few Irish students appearing on that campus from Ireland as part of the Fulbright program and getting hurling established there.

By Sunday Cal had already qualified for the semi-finals by guaranteeing a spot in the top four with a last-minute game winning goal against Pittsburgh, but had to play against St Thomas Aquinas to avoid Montana in the semis. In a testy and heated encounter, St Thomas Aquinas prevailed and the stage was set for a dramatic end to the competition. Montana swept away a valiant but outgunned challenge from Cal in their semi final, and UConn faced San Thomas Aquinas in a tight and tough game that had NCGAA officials clarifying contingency plans for the event of a tie. UConn got a last minute point that seemed to seal the deal, but in the dying seconds conceded a penalty in their own goal mouth that was converted to a goal putting St Thomas into the final.

During the spectacular hurling grand finale, the raucous crowd rallied behind Montana who had won the respect and the hearts of everyone throughout the weekend. St Thomas looked dangerously close to pulling an upset by the interval, trailing by only four points, but Montana had come too far to take their foot off the pedal. The Grizzlies kept up the pressure with a clean and skillful game scoring 1-6 to stretch their lead out to 3-10 to 2-4 by the final whistle. Captain and club founder Naoise Waldron delivered an eloquent acceptance speech mostly as Gaeilge after being presented with the cup donated by San Francisco GAA’s Seamus Canning and medals donated by the Irish Deputy Consul General in New York, Peter Ryan.

Iona v Manhattan College in the football finalThe football competition was another impressive showcase for the distinctly American flavor of Gaelic football that has been emerging in the last decade. The basketball skills of the New York college teams were very much in evidence, indicating a playing membership that has predominantly played in the New York GAA’s very successful Minor program. Since Gaelic Park is part of the Manhattan College campus, the Manhattan College team had a home advantage in the final against Iona. In a tight game played in searing heat, extra time had to be played in which Iona squeezed in a last minute point to secure their place in the history books.

Considering that the previous year’s competition was contested by only three hurling teams and no football teams, this year’s quadrupling in size is a major development. Simon Gillespie, the New York GAA’s Games Development Administrator and Chairman of the Northeast Collegiate GAA, hailed the event as the highlight of his four years of working in his role. “The collegiate sector is the cutting edge of games development,” he said. “It is the part of the GAA in the USA that has the biggest potential.”

Eamonn Gormley, NCGAA Chairman, hailed Gillespie’s work. “Simon has taken the bull by the horns and shown great leadership in running our regional committee in the Northeast,” he said. “He has energized these startup clubs with a regular program of local games, and now has taken the nationals to the next level. All weekend we have been discussing tactics about where to go next, and we have big plans to consolidate our presence and expand our games onto even more campuses.”

He added that the divisions between New York and the rest of the country at club level in the GAA must be overcome. “There is no business case for New York being isolated from the rest of the country. We have seen what can be achieved with greater cooperation between New York and the North American Board at youth level through the Continental Youth Championships, and now also at collegiate level through the NCGAA. The concept is proven. I would hope that the NACB and New York GAA authorities see the benefits of closer cooperation and work to heal the divisions that in my opinion have stifled the growth of Gaelic games in this country.”

Photography by Jerry Hess.

Full Results

Group games
Indiana University1-2 (5)University of Connecticut6-2 (20)
Kean1-0 (3)Montana6-8 (26)
University of Pittsburgh2-2 (8)Indiana University3-1 (10)
Kean University3-3 (12)St Thomas Aquinas1-3 (6)
University of California, Berkeley0-0University of Connecticut3-2 (11)
St Thomas Aquinas0-1 (1)Montana3-9 (18)
Indiana University0-2 (2)University of California, Berkeley3-6 (15)
University of Pittsburgh1-3 (6)Kean University1-1 (4)
University of Connecticut3-2 (11)St Thomas Aquinas4-6 (18)
University of California, Berkeley0-2 (2)University of Montana3-7 (16)
Indiana University2-2 (8)Kean University4-2 (14)
St Thomas Aquinas4–4 (16)University of Pittsburgh0-2 (2)
University of Montana3-10 (19)University of Connecticut2-4 (10)
University of Pittsburgh2-4 (10)University of California, Berkeley3-4 (13)
Shield Playoff
University of Pittsburgh3-4Indiana University1-1 (4)
Shield Final
University of Pittsburgh1-5 (8)Kean University1-1 (4)
Semi Finals
University of Montana1-12 (15)University of California, Berkeley0-1
St Thomas Aquinas4-4 (16)University of Connecticut3-9 (18)
University of Montana3-10 (19)St Thomas Aquinas2-4 (10)
Group games
Manhattan College3-12 (21)Fordham2-5 (11)
Iona College4-12 (24)St Joseph’s0-1 (1)
Manhattan College3-7 (16)Boston College2-5 (11)
Boston College3-7 (16)St Joseph’s2-6 (12)
Boston College1-6 (9)Fordham0-9 (9)
Iona College4-10 (22)Boston College1-4 (7)
Manhattan College3-10 (19)St Joseph’s0-1 (1)
Fordham1-11 (14)St Josephs’s0-7 (7)
Manhattan College2-8 (14)Iona College1-3 (6)
Iona College2-8 (14)Fordham1-3 (6)
Semi finals
Iona1-10 (13)Fordham2-5 (11)
Manhattan College1-11 (14)Boston College1-5 (8)
Iona3-10 (19)Manhattan College3-8 (17)

GAA National Student Bursary Scheme 2013/14

posted Sep 20, 2013, 2:41 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Sep 20, 2013, 2:45 PM ]

GAA National Student Bursary Scheme 2013/14

The GAA have again reiterated their commitment to the ongoing educational development of its players and members by announcing details of the 2013 – 2014 GAA National Student Bursary scheme. Now in its seventh year, the scheme is open to members of the Association who are attending a full-time Higher Education course (except those who hold another GAA-related or college scholarship/bursary) and who are active participants in their Higher Education club; to date the GAA has invested close to €1.5million in the six years that its Bursary Schemes have been in existence.


The schemes are administered by the respective Provincial Councils and recipients will again be selected based on a range of criteria, including their playing, coaching or administrative commitments to the GAA. A number of awards in each province will be reserved for those excelling in the areas of coaching and administration.

Applications for the scheme will be considered by a sub-committee in each province; each bursary granted will be for €750/£600. Further information and application forms for this year’s scheme are available to download from, the various GAA Provincial Council websites and offices and at the bottom of this page. All completed forms should be returned to the relevant Provincial Council and the closing date for application will be October 11th.  


Senior Intercounty players who were on their County’s Senior Panel in 2013 should apply for Bursaries via the Gaelic Players Association; further information at

Cal Bears Roar to Great Victory

posted Jun 4, 2013, 3:52 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Jun 4, 2013, 6:31 AM ]

NCGAA National College Hurling Championship Report

Cal Bears Roar to Great Victory

Richard Douglas spent years working several jobs to pay for his education at the University of California, Berkeley (Cal).  After three years at the famous university, he skipped his own graduation ceremony to hire a van and make a 2,300 mile journey across the country with his teammates to compete in the NCGAA National College Hurling Championship over the Memorial Day weekend at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.  This returns the favor of Purdue who last year made a fifty-two hour journey on Amtrak to compete in the 2012 nationals at Stanford, undoubtedly the longest train journey ever undertaken by a college hurling team.  This is how much hurling has come to mean to college students in this country, the dedication of the players being on a par with anything seen anywhere in the GAA.  Cal’s epic trip is almost certainly a world record for the longest road journey made by any college hurling team.

The Purdue Hurling Club were gracious hosts to the Cal and Indiana University teams.  The three clubs played off in a round robin to determine who would be the finalists.  The opening game between the hosts and IU was a nail-biter with Purdue hanging on to a precarious four point lead at half time and eventually letting the game slip away with a final score of IU 3-6 (15) Purdue 2-7 (13).

The Cal players who had arrived in town allowing a day to settle in and get their bearings came out in the next game against IU with all guns blazing.  Cal’s dogged and aggressive style completely shut out IU in the first half, and their fluent and confident movement of the ball around the field resulted in a comprehensive final score of Cal 5-11 (26) IU 1-3 (6).  

Purdue had all to play for in the third game, needing a win to get to the final.  In perhaps the most intense game of the weekend, Cal led by three points at half time. Cal eventually booked their place in the final winning by 1-15 (18) to 4-3 (15).

Before the throw-in for the final, left to right, Alex Chesterfield (Indiana University), referee Matthew Schwertfeger (Purdue), Richard Douglas (University of California, Berkeley).

A late goal from Richard Douglas seemed sealed a tightly contested final victory for Cal on a scoreline of 2-9 (15) to 1-9 (12), bringing the NCGAA hurling trophy to the west coast for the first time.

As has become the norm, the NCGAA held its Annual General Meeting on the same weekend.

The US college GAA scene continues to grow.  The NCGAA would like to thank Purdue for hosting the event, its sponsor NI Connections, and also the North American County Board for its continued support.

1-10 of 117