Category Archives: Hurling

Kelly drops by for master class

From Hoganstand.com

Sean Kelly MEP with Belgium GAA players Kevin Keary, Darragh Loftus and brothers Enda and Frank McNamara.

Brothers Enda and Frank McNamara from Ballyhea in Co Cork, who are working in Brussels and playing hurling and football for Belgium GAA listen to special guest coach Sean Kelly MEP, a former GAA President.
Former GAA President, Sean Kelly MEP, recently held a master class in Gaelic football for European sports experts and EU officials, including those from Ireland South, at a special event hosted under the Irish EU Presidency in Brussels.

The EU Sports Platform event took place outside the landmark European Parliament buildings in Brussels, with large crowd present for the unique demonstration of the Gaelic game.

 

Belgium GAA take Round 1 of the Hurling Championship in Paris

The men of Belgium GAA’s hurling team won the first round

of the Hurling and Camogie Championship in Paris on May 4th.

More reports to follow but in the Hurling Belgium took the final 3-10 to 2-6 for Luxembourg, while in the camogie the ladies were edged out by Paris on a score of Paris (4-15) – Belgium (4-1)

 

 

Full scores from Paris

 

Hurling

 

GROUP GAMES
Luxembourg (4-10) – Paris (2-5) Zurich (0-3) – Den Haag (3-7) Belgium (1-10) – Luxembourg (2-4) Paris (0-2) – Den Haag (2-12) Zurich (1-4) – Belgium (3-9) Luxembourg (0-10) – Den Haag 0-7) Paris (1-2) – Belgium (8-6) Zurich (0-2) – Luxembourg (1-12) Den Haag (1-2) – Belgium (4-9) Paris (1-3) – Zurich (2-12)

 

3/4 place

Den Haag (3-6) – Zurich (0-5)

 

Final 

Belgium (3-10) – Luxembourg (2-6)



1. Belgium – 25 pts

2. Luxembourg – 20 pts

3. Den Haag – 18 pts *

4. Zurich – 15 pts *

5. Paris – 13 pts *

1. Paris – 25 pts

2. Belgium – 20 pts

 

 

*bonus points awarded for fielding minimum of two non-Irish born players
Camogie

 

Paris (4-15) – Belgium (4-1)

 

RANKING

 

RANKING

1. Paris – 25 pts 2. Belgium – 20 pts

 

A brief history of Belgium GAA

Some highly recommended reading material on the history of Belgium GAA from former player, captain and trainer Eoin Sheanon for livegaelic.com

http://www.livegaelic.com/gaa-abroad/gaa-abroad-belgium-gaa/

Belgium GAA

A friend of mine once asked me was Belgium in Brussels or was Brussels in Belgium? Indeed.
Ordinarily famed for its chocolate, the pissing boy and “the place that tells us what to do”, Brussels is not generally recognised; never mind as a GAA stronghold.

But visit any of the city’s watering holes, such as DeValera’s on Place Flagey or The Old Oak on Rue Franklin and you will see the trophies, jerseys and memorabilia of Belgium’s only Gaelic Football club.

Originally founded in 2004, Brussels Hurling club was renamed Brussels Hurling and Camogie club in 2007. A year later, this fledgling club, based in the heart of Europe, changed its name for the third time in 4 years to “Belgium GAA.” This time to accommodate football, not just camogie. The demand for the big ball game was healthy and Dave Barrett, a Cork native, working with Toyota, at their plant in Evere on the outskirts of the city, decided that the time was ripe to put a team together.

The club has grown exponentially over the years and has many individuals to thank for that. Conan MacOscair, who moved to Brussels over ten years ago, was there when the club was founded. Conan played hurling for Setanta and was used to the bright lights of that famed pitch in Ballymun, the San Siro, before his big move to Brussels. Conan runs the Delish Cafe in the centre of town but still takes the time to train the Belgium footballers whenever the opportunity arises.

Breeding Ground

The club’s chairperson is Maria Brosnan, a Kerry native who worked as a Press Officer for Fianna Fail in the European Parliament, a breeding ground for new recruits. At one point in 2011, there were 12 Members of the club working in Committees and Plenary sessions on Rue Wiertz. The European Parliament is also host to the club’s honorary President, none other than Sean Kelly –former President of the GAA.

Are they any good? Well, their ladies are the best in Europe, having just completed five European County titles in a row. They have some outstanding footballers, including Grainne Ni Fhlatharta, a former inter county Kerry footballer, Anay Rios a former semi-professional Spanish soccer player and Carragh Rowan, who is the only person in the club, past or present, male or female, who can kick a 45.

They’ve trampled on everyone from Budapest to Paris and it seems most of the other teams in Europe are plain sick of them. Just as it was for Tony Soprano, it’s tough at the top.

The men don’t have this weighty burden of being the perennial favourites but have certainly had their fair share of success.
They won their first European County Football Championship in 2008, under Barrett’s leadership. Having been beaten out the gate in the first tournament in Munich – not Belgium’s favourite ground – they made up for it with sterling performances in Budapest, Rennes and Maastricht.

Winning the county title in their first year was an incredible achievement and perhaps the enormity of that success was overlooked because thereafter would follow three barren years whilst The Hague, led by Limerick man Denis Reidy, and the Channel island, Guernsey, shared County successes between them.

Champions Again

That was to change in Maastricht in November, 2012, at the penultimate stage of the three European Championship Rounds. Two points down in the final against Guernsey, with a minute left on the clock, Corkman Timmy O’Donovan galloped down the field and buried the ball in the net. Belgium GAA held on and reclaimed the title they had first won four years previous.belgium gaa hague winners

 

 

 

 

Belgium have won two hurling county championships, in 2009 and 2010. They had an exceptional team that were unbeaten for the entirety of those two years. But things have become a little leaner since with clubs such as Zurich St Gallen putting up sterner opposition after some of Belgium’s hurlers moved on in 2011.

The Irish community that the GAA club in Brussels creates is a home away from home. Oliver O’Callaghan told this author that “It’s great just to be a part of it because when I came to Belgium first, I didn’t know anyone at all. Within a week I had met the hurlers and footballers. Now I know half the Irish in Brussels”.

Another one of Oliver’s fellow players, Brendan “Bob” Lynch spoke of thrill and craic of the weekends away, “I have travelled all over Europe, to Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Budapest, Paris and beyond. But my most memorable trip was to Munich in ’09. The trip is famed because I drove a 12 seater bus down to Munich from Brussels the night before the tournament. After an 8 hour trip through the night and a couple of hours sleep in a hostel, we awoke in Munich the next morning and headed off to the pitch in plenty of time. Someone, who will remain anonymous, put the wrong pitch into the Sat Nav and we ended up in the middle of nowhere. Two hours late for the tournament our then manager Dave Barrett, went bezerk.”

“Even now if the subject is brought up it causes a divide between those who were on the bus and those who weren’t” said current Belgium manager, flame haired former Ballyboden St Enda’s man Ross Church. “Although it has ensured that no Belgian player has arrived late for a tournament since!” he continued.

Stalwarts

Still playing and with a combined age of over 150, Martin Crowley, Derek Dignam and Fergal Mythen are among the club’s older brigade showing Ryan Giggs like longevity. But the club is built on a blend of experience and youth with many coming straight out of college to internships across Brussels. It is this blend that makes the club something special.

Transience plays havoc, however. Of the 2008 team, that won the Championship, only four stalwarts remain, Phil Cushen, Kevin Keary, Olof Gill and Colin Byrne. The rest have headed to pastures new and every year sees a big turnover of players. Because of this it’s important that those who arrive buy in quickly and they usually do.

The Belgium men won their first football tournament of the Year in the Benelux Championship last weekend. They overcame their neighbours Amsterdam in the final on a scoreline of 2-7 to 0-7. The Benelux region is generally regarded as the most competitive in Europe with football powerhouses, The Hague, generally always there or thereabouts. Luxembourg are a very strong club with many of their players involved in the banking sector and Amsterdam have a constant stream of Irish passing through to bolster their ranks. Eindhoven and Dusseldorf are relatively new clubs but appear to be going from strength to strength.

Gaelic football and hurling in Brussels is no different to any parish up and down Ireland, except your greatest rivals are 200 miles up the road. A thriving Irish community is now based around the GAA club and if you walk past the VUB University, in Etterbeek, on any Monday or Thursday night don’t be surprised to see a flame haired man from Ballyboden and a Cafe owner from Ballymun standing in the middle of a pitch roaring at their charges as they prepare for battle at the weekend.

To find out more about Belgium GAA, check out their terrific website, follow them on twitter @BelgiumGAA or find them on Facebook

For all the latest daily news follow LiveGaelic on twitter @GAALive or join us on Facebook

 

 

Belgium GAA 2013 – show me your Meitheal

Dia Dhaoibh go léir,

 

I’d like to welcome old and new members to the club for the 2013 season, Belgium GAA’s TEN year anniversary. I’d like to say a massive thanks to the outgoing committee for their hard work in 2012 and in previous years. This year’s committee stands on the shoulders of giants!

 

Last year was an incredibly successful year for the club both on and off the pitch. I’m sure if it wasn’t for the financial support and fundraising, our trophy cabinet would not be as full. We received fantastic support from our sponsor’s (DeValera’s and the Old Oak) and all club members helped fundraise to make sure that our Treasurer had an operating surplus at the end of the year. Considering our expenditure for 2012 was €17,464 with pitch rental alone at the VUB costing €9420, that was no mean feat. To sustain this level of investment we need a huge effort again in fundraising and a generous sponsor.

 

I’m delighted to announce that for 2013, De Valera’s, the Old Oak and 6 Nations will be our sponsors. We’ve signed an exclusive sponsorship agreement with them this week which holds expectations from both sides – the club will be paid a fixed amount for fifteen (or possibly more) official events that we hold in either venue, including the end of year dinner, quizzes, post tournament nights out and watching some of the main GAA games on TV. This Sunday our sponsors play a massive role in the organisation of St.Patrick’s Day, securing sponsorship from drink companies and utilising contacts to get the club great deals on the facilities we use on the day. With the sponsorship, the club saves a significant amount on VAT which is important for this year if we order jerseys/gear/equipment. In total the club will benefit €4,000-€4,500 through sponsorship. In return for this, we have agreed to support and promote our sponsors in all communications and at pitchside for Belgium tournaments. Again like last year we’ve agreed not to promote any other bar in Belgium GAA emails, facebook etc.

 

One of our aims for this year is to involve as many of the wider Irish/Belgian/international community in club events. This year we will receive a grant of €5,000 from the Department of Foreign Affairs for a project which the heroic Shane Ryan created entitled ‘Brussels Community Gaelic Football Parish league’. We will run a parish league throughout the year that involves the wider Belgium/Irish/international community, especially the kids club. More info will follow from the code officers. I’d also like to create some open events where people who have never played Gaelic Games and who are possibly scared of official training, could come and pick up a hurl/football and learn about our sport and our club. I’d especially like to target those who are slightly older and who haven’t played in years due to family commitments.

 

Finally I’m making a personal plea to all members to strengthen the Belgium GAA Meitheal by volunteering and helping the club in 2013. Each member should recognise the costs of running the club and the effort people put in to make sure this club is such a success. Some members pour their heart into the club – by researching new drills for training, organising gear, picking up rubbish after tournaments and cleaning toilets after the Fr.Ted ceili, or moving goal posts with mice in the back of a van etc. We need your help at all times. If you feel like you could contribute to the club by writing a post match analysis, or buying bananas in Colruyt or anything else you can think of please contact us. Tell your friends, invite them to our events and most importantly get people playing our wonderful Gaelic Games.

 

Go n-éirí libh go léir,

Maria

Quiz-nuts Roasting on an Open Fire

Quiz2012

 

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 (belgiumgaa.camogie@gmail.com) 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 (secretary.belgium.europe@gaa.ie) 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=”https://www.slideshare.net/SylviaMcCarthy/2012-a-belgium-gaa-odyssey&#8221; title=”2012: A Belgium GAA Odyssey ” target=”_blank”>2012: A Belgium GAA Odyssey </a> </strong> from <strong><a href=”http://www.slideshare.net/SylviaMcCarthy&#8221; target=”_blank”>Sylvia McCarthy</a></strong> </div>

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.

culcamp1

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.
culcamp2

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.

culcamp3
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.

culcamp5

What would we have done without her?