Category Archives: 2012

Results of 2012 ECB Convention

The 2012 Convention of the European County Board was held on 8-9 December 2012 (around the time that Belgium GAA was engaged in some major back-patting, dancing and singing up a storm at the end-of-season dinner). 
Ahead of this week’s Annual General Meeting (on Wednesday 30 January – don’t forget to sign up here), please click the below links to keep up to date on decisions made at County level.

Quiz-nuts Roasting on an Open Fire



In case you missed it, tonight will be the very last Belgium GAA event of 2012, the Christmas quiz in De Valeras. Contact the lovely Christine O’ Gorman ( if you want a last-minute registration for your team. 

That’s it – no more end-of-season dinners, no more Race Nights, no more Fr. Ted Céilis and no more St. Patrick’s Day Festivals. 
Until 2013, that is, when it starts all over again with the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in the European Parliament on 30 January (tbc). Watch out here, on the Belgium GAA+Friends FB page, on Twitter and in any emails you receive from the code officers in the coming weeks for more information, as you will need to submit your details to get a pass for the Parliament.
During the meeting the 2013 committee will be elected. Any club member is entitled to put their name forward for any of the positions on the committee.
I have listed them below for your information.  Those in red are committee members who have indicated that they will not stand for re-election in 2013.  As you can see there are alot of positions which need to be filled!  
Chair – Aonghus O Muirtheartaigh
Secretary – Jane Brennan
Assistant Secretary – Irish Club Liaison Officer – Caoimhe Ní Shuilleabháin 
Treasurer – Oliver Swann
Men’s Football – Colin Byrne
Ladies Football – Anna Bates
Camogie – Christine O’Gorman
Hurling – Shane Ryan
Equipment Officer – Phil Cushen
Social Secretary – Maria Brosnan
Public Relations Officer – Sylvia McCarthy
If you are interested in any of these roles, and why wouldn’t you be, please contact Jane Brennan ( no later than 10th January 2013 to declare your interest.
Being a committee member is a rewarding role, and this year’s committee deserves its just rewards. It is always good to have fresh faces and fresh ideas, but the beauty of a revolving committee is that the old committee members are still around to give support and help where needed. Between them and the rest of the reliable club members who are willing to provide their time and expertise, there is no excuse for 2013 not to be as productive and prosperous for the club.
Please click here to see some descriptions of the various roles – these descriptions were made by the officers themselves and the roles are constantly evolving.
Finally, if you have made it this far, you deserve a little flashback on Belgium GAA in 2012. Yes – it’s the little slideshow that could (or could not, depending on where you were on the night of the end-of-season dinner). Enjoy, good luck tonight, happy Christmas and see you all in the New Year!!
<div style=”margin-bottom:5px”> <strong> <a href=”; title=”2012: A Belgium GAA Odyssey ” target=”_blank”>2012: A Belgium GAA Odyssey </a> </strong> from <strong><a href=”; target=”_blank”>Sylvia McCarthy</a></strong> </div>

The Return of the Wild Geese

On Saturday 8 September 2012, the current batch of Belgium GAA footballers will face their biggest threat yet: a conglomerate of past players, former comrades and old friends. The All-Stars have challenged the Belgian men to a duel on home (astro)turf. In the words of organiser Shane Griffin, the All-Stars “will return to Brussels and take on the current pretenders to their former shirts. It’s a time for anyone who enjoyed playing in the red and grey to show the 2012 team exactly what they are missing”.

The winning Belgium Shield team in Limerick, November 2011 (photo by Caoimhe O'Sullivan)
The winning Belgium Shield team in Limerick, November 2011 (photo by Caoimhe O’Sullivan)

The winning Belgium Shield team in Limerick, November 2011 (photo by Caoimhe Ní Shuilleabháin)
For many, Brussels is a temporary home. People arrive with a set departure date in mind, but this is usually adjusted and postponed by months or even years. While the unofficial capital of the EU has other endearing aspects in the form of its vibrant nightlife, culture and location, the GAA club is a strong welcoming presence for anyone fresh off the boat.
Oliver O’ Callaghan, who relocated to London in 2010, points out that the club acts as so much more than an athletic endeavour: “It is a social hub, a support network, a link to home and Gaelic games, and above all, the source of instant yet long-term friendships”. Other non-Irish Brussels experiences notwithstanding, he says “I never get tired of reminiscing on the adventures I undertook with this club and good times that surrounded it”.
When club members eventually move on, they do so with heavy hearts and numerous leaving parties, rarely passing up the chance to pay a return visit. The Eagles could just as easily have been referring to Brussels when they sang “You can check out anytime you want, but you can never leave”.
GAA in Europe provides an added twist for home-grown players: distances between clubs mean that tournaments across Europe are played on a monthly basis. Brussels-based Mayo man, Olof Gill, notes, “I’ve always been struck by the phrases many players repeat when they come back from European tournaments – ‘a great day for the parish’ after a win, ‘a bad day for the parish’ after a loss. It’s not a coincidence that so many players use this word – it’s a marvellous validation of the community aspect of the club.”
O’ Callaghan was one of the first to sign up to Shane Griffin’s All-Star experiment, the first of its kind in mainland Europe. “I thought Griff had an organisational nightmare on his hands, akin to herding cats. But it is a testament to both his efficiency and the affection retained by former players for the Belgian club that it has come together with a minimum of fuss or hassle.”
This heart-warming spirit of fellowship is overshadowed by a dark and murky policy of Social Media Sparring. Even Muhammad Ali, godfather of sporting trash talk, never anticipated such sharp sartorial wordplay as “The All-Stars are the football equivalent of the Ugg boot – out of ideas, out of luck, and past their sell-by-date” or “You are the human equivalent of sandals with socks: hideous, never in style, woefully uncool, and only ever accepted in parts of mainland Europe”. This is expected to accelerate in the lead-up to Saturday’s match.
In a hushed tone tinged with disapproval, Gill confides: “It saddens me to report that the Belgium GAA “wild geese” are, in fact, nothing more than a hotchpotch motley crew of chancers, bounders and knaves. It is a cause of great disappointment to me how these former greats have let themselves go since they left the parish.” Nevertheless, some may say that the All-Stars are at a competitive advantage: with nothing to prove and an in-depth knowledge of their opposing numbers, they have the power to shake the current team to their very core. Many of those returning on Saturday have a history with the club that goes back to the one and only European Championship won by the Belgian men, in 2008, and there is an element of “We did it then, can you do it now?” in the minds of the club veterans.
The ties that bind past members to Belgium GAA should not be underestimated: although strips will be torn from both sides, they will be torn as a test of the strength of the team that will go on to represent the club in the first Pan-European football tournament in Copenhagen the following weekend. Copenhagen will also play host to the first ladies football equivalent of 2012, where the women of Belgium will battle to maintain their four-year grip on the European Ladies Football Championship.
As for the match between Belgium GAA and the All-Stars, the endlessly quotable O’ Callaghan imagines that “on the day it will be a lot like the scene at the end of The Quiet Man – no quarter will be given, we will have a real ding-dong battle, and leave it all out there on the field: but at the end of the day, we will be singing songs and raising glasses, toasting the continued success of Belgium GAA”.
Kickoff: Saturday 8 September, 15h00, VUB, Brussels, Belgium.  Match to be preceded by ladies football practice game at 13h00.  On Sunday 9 September, Belgium GAA sponsors, De Valeras, will host a barbecue for Belgium GAA and show the All-Ireland Hurling Final between Galway and Kilkenny.

Belgium GAA hosts 1st European Cúl Camp

The first guest post by Martin and Paul (plus photos by Jane):
On 2nd June 2012, Belgium GAA held its first ever Cúl camp. The camp was held over two days at the excellent venue that is the VUB.


For a first-time camp with any club, numbers are always going to be an issue, however that was not the case in Belgium with over fifty kids participating over the two days.

The camp was brilliantly organised by all involved, and the work put in by the organisers, parents, and club players was phenomenal. With any outdoor event weather is always the enemy but the Saturday got off to a great start with the high numbers attending and a dry morning, the kids were divided up into three age groups, and got straight to work with their different coaches.

Before we knew it time flew by, the sun emerged, and the kids had dispensed every last drop of energy they had. The day finished out with a penalty shoot out, but not before all the kids showed off their best hurling skills.
The Sunday in contrast to the sweltering heat from the day before, was a washout. The VUB looked more like a swimming pool than a rugby pitch, and people were questioning would it go ahead at all.culcamp4

Due to water damage, there are no photos from Sunday

The will to play football won out and 30 brave soldiers dawned their boots, gloves, armbands, and swim suits for what could only be described as an aquatic game of football.
The camp was a huge success and everybody involved should be hugely proud of how it turned out. The next generation of Belgium GAA stars are in safe hands.
At this opportunity we would like to thank every person involved throughout the two days and the weeks beforehand for their planning and organising. Who knows, maybe next year a week long camp could be possible.


What would we have done without her?