Category Archives: Luxembourg

Destination: Junkers Bunker (aka Lux)

together at lastFriday, 27th of June, 2014.

A surreal day. Brussels is locked down as European Heads of State come together in the aftermath of the European Parliamentary Elections 2014/*Bun Fight 2014 – to carve up who gets what part of European Priorities/cake for the next five years, and guess who is on the head of the list of conversation topics? One Mr. Jean Claude Junker, by now the most famous Luxembourgian to ever grace the planet. The personal attacks and the newsprint inches about his suitability for the role of Head of the Commission aside, we’re heading to his neck of the woods to play in the 2nd last round of the European GAA Hurling and Camogie Championship. I’m sure he’d love to join us, but he’s currently being slagged by the European Press and is otherwise occupied…

 

Grey bureaucrat, moi?
Grey bureaucrat, moi?

Luxembourg is lovely, even if the taxi drivers there aren’t up to much. But that’s just an aside.

Belgium’s hurlers are heading down with one team, and the camogs are sending two squads (divided this time, for some baffling reason, by hair colour). The battle of the Blondes v. the Brunettes and Luxembourg and a mixed team from Zurich and Holland will be the fun for the ladies, while established hurling teams will be flocking to prove their worth at different venues throughout the day.

A camogie workshop will also be provided – hosted with the group games at the International School of Luxembourg grounds in Merl. See http://www.islux.lu/page.cfm?p=687 and http://www.luxgaa.lu/?page_id=85#merl for GPS co-ordinates and full addresses.

The tournament will then move on to Stade Michel Wagner in Weimerskirch (http://www.luxgaa.lu/?page_id=85#weimerskirch) where the Hurling matches as well as the final games of the Camogie tournament will take place at ISL – International School of Luxembourg. We’ ll be back up in Brussels to celebrate (we hope) in the Old Oak – please do join us there!

 

Belgium Footballers lope down the road to Luxembourg for round 3 / finals of the Benelux regional competition

Benelux-Meeschterschaft am gälesche Fussball (This, friends, is Luxembourgish, a language not invented by three people as a joke, but a REAL LIFE ACTUAL LANGUAGE. This contradicts the constant refuting of ‘Belgian’ as a language. ‘Luxembourgish’ lives.

This weekend, we’re heading down the E411 to Beggen Sports grounds outside Luxembourg City (well, not really a city city, but more a beautiful town where princes and princesses should live)

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FC Beggen Avenir pitches will host the Gaelic Sports Club Luxembourg finals of the Benelux Gaelic Football Championship on the 14 June 2014 at Stade Beggen in Luxembourg City. Men’s and women’s teams from the region will battle to lift the Black Stuff 7s Cup and the Peil na mBan trophy – spectators can expect a fun day out with a grill and drinks. Fáilte roimh chách – Jidfereen ass haerzlëch wëllkomm!

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We’ll keep you updated on how the games go during the day. (Do you see what I mean about the fairytale place though?)

Amsterdam football tournament

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Amsterdam takes centre stage in the European GAA calendar this weekend as the 3rd round of the Benelux Mens Championship and 2nd round of the Benelux Ladies Championship takes place on Saturday May 10th. We’re heading up at unmentionable o’clock tomorrow morning, with squads depleted by the recent rush to leave Brussels, the ongoing European Election campaigns (for the love of god, please vote people) and the month of May and its generous Bank Holidays.

We’re very much looking forward to playing against unknown teams in the shape of Dusseldorf ladies and our other familar friends, Luxembourg, and Holland Ladies. Two Belgian ladies teams will head up – with a 2014 record breaking 6 matches potentially ahead of us. WHOOOP!

In the Mens Championship, Belgium will face Amsterdam who’ll be looking to avenge their defeat in the final by Belgium in our home tournament in Kituro last month – Dusseldorf GFC, Eindhoven Shamrocks, Luxembourg and newcomers to the Benelux Championship, the somewhat geographically challenged Zurich Inneoin, will also take part in the competition.

We’ll be updating you on Facebook, but really looking forward to a great day of competition and the promised BBQ in the fancy new clubhouse in Amsteelveen, followed by an evening watching Kasper Juul presenting the Eurovision upon our return to Devs.

 

 

We’re hosting the 2nd round of the Benelux regional tournaments – Saturday 12th of April 2014 – you should come!

We're having a tournament, you should come!
We’re having a tournament, you should come!

Its that time of the year again, when the regional rounds of tournaments really start getting into gear. It’s our turn, privilege and pleasure to invite you to join us for this next round of the regional competition.

The lovely lads and lassies of Belgium GAA are delighteturnd to host the 2nd round of the Benelux regional football tournaments on Saturday 12th of April at the Royal Kituro Rugby Club, 50bis Ave Des Jardins, 1050 Brussels

kituro

Tournament times and schedules will be posted closer to the date itself, but 9am starts are traditional so prepare yourselves for an early start.

Volunteers, are, as ever needed, loved and cherished. Should you wish to volunteer some of your time on Saturday, we’d be really delighted to have your help – please let the code officers know if you’re interested in helping out. As this is a football tournament, if the hurlers, camógs and social members were free to help out to free up the footballers, it would be most appreciated.

Very much looking forward to this, and looking forward to welcoming you to Belgium/ seeing you in Schaerbeek!

schaerbeek-heart
Schaerbeek is for lovers, and potentially lovers of football – Image courtesy of Solamente55 – http://www.solamente55.com/ – 55 countries, 55 stories

 

 

Hard day in Luxembourg but Benelux conquered

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(Hat tip to Conor Mulv for the montage)

Full report to follow…

Luxembourg – 15 June 2013- results

Men´s championship

 

GROUP GAMES
Luxembourg A (1-9) – Amsterdam A (1-7)
Luxembourg (0-7) – Belgium (0-7)
Belgium (4-4) – Amsterdam A (2-4)

 

FINAL
Amsterdam (3-5) – Luxembourg A (2-6)

 

STANDING
1. Amsterdam – 25 pts
2. Luxembourg A – 20 pts
3. Belgium – 13 pts*

 

*3pts less per loan of weekend players

 

 

ladies championship

 

GROUP GAMES
Holland Ladies (4-1) – Luxembourg (0-0)
Belgium A (0-10) – Belgium B (2-8)
Luxembourg (0-2) – Belgium B (1-15)
Holland Ladies (2-18) – Belgium A (2-6)
Luxembourg (0-1) – Belgium A (3-10)
Holland Ladies (0-5) – Belgium B (1-?)

 

3/4th PLAY-OFF
Belgium A (3-10) – Luxembourg (1-1)

 

FINAL
Holland Ladies (4-6) – Belgium B (0-3)

 

STANDING
1. Holland Ladies – 25 pts
2. Belgium B – 20 pts
3. Belgium A – 16 pts
4. Luxembourg – 13 pts

 

men’s shield

 

GROUP GAMES
Belgium B (1-10) – Luxembourg B (0-1)
Frankfurt (0-3) – Dusseldorf (2-9)
Belgium B (2-6) – Eindhoven (2-6)
Luxembourg B (1-5) – Frankfurt (1-2)
Dusseldorf (2-7) – Eindhoven (1-5)
Belgium B (2-6) – Frankfurt (2-2)
Luxembourg B (2-2) – Eindhoven (6-3)
Belgium B (2-4) – Dusseldorf (4-12)
Frankfurt (4-3) – Eindhoven (1-7)
Luxembourg B (1-2) – Dusseldorf (2-3)

 

3/4th PLAY-OFF
Eindhoven 5-8 Luxembourg B 1-2

 

FINAL
Dusseldorf 1-9 Belgium B 2-3

 

 

STANDING
1. Düsseldorf – 25 pts
2. Belgium B – 20 pts
3. Eindhoven – 16 pts
4. Luxembourg B – ?? pts* TBC
5. Frankfurt – 11 pts

*Loan of weekend player

Hurling/Camogie Round 2 Luxembourg – 1 June 2013

Ladies fight back to win, while men face stern tests. 

Camogie

Belgium Ladies recorded a vital victory in round 2 of the Camogie Campionship, defeating Paris ladies (Belgium (4-7) – Paris (2-6)) in the final.

The ladies overturned the loss from round one and are now tied with Paris at the top of the table heading into Round 3.

The ladies came through the group games, narrowly defeating Paris by 2 points in the first game (Belgium (2-6) – Paris (2-4)), a narrow 1 point defeat to Holland (Holland (1-8) – Belgium (2-4)), didn’t derail their progress as the ladies recovered well, to win comfortably against hosts Luxembourg (Belgium (4-8) – Luxembourg (4-0)).

The final offered a chance to stay right in the hunt for the championship against a strong Paris side. However, the ladies make no mistake taking the spoils Belgium (4-7) – Paris (2-6).

Hurling

After an opening win in Paris, Belgium men looked to continue where they left off, but stern tests awaited them in Luxembourg.

In the opening game the Belgium hurlers faced a combined Zurich/Paris side, who by all accounts combined well on the day. However, Belgium had that bit extra on the combined side and ran out winners by 5 points.  (Belgium (3-8) – Zurich/Paris (3-3)).

The first examination against an improved Hague team came in the second group game, with the Hague running out winners by 5 points. (Den Haag (2-6) – Belgium (1-4)).

However, like the ladies the hurlers did not let the defeat derail their progress and recorded good wins against Luxembourg and Dresden/Cologne in their last two group games. Belgium (2-7) – Luxembourg (1-6), Belgium (4-9) – Dresden/Cologne/Düsseldorf (0-5).

The final offered a second chance against the Hague, but a few new additions to their squad made a significant difference as they defeated Belgium by Den Haag (2-13) – Belgium (0-8).

 

And the score breakdown

Hurling

GROUP GAMES


Luxembourg (4-7) Zurich/Paris (2-3)
Den Haag (4-14) – Dresden/Cologne/Düsseldorf (1-3)
Belgium (3-8) – Zurich/Paris (3-3)
Luxembourg (6-8) – Dresden/Cologne/Düsseldorf (1-5)
Den Haag (2-6) – Belgium (1-4)
Zurich/Paris (3-6) – Dresden/Cologne/Düsseldorf (2-9)
Belgium (2-7) – Luxembourg (1-6)
Den Haag (2-12) – Zurich/Paris (0-2)
Belgium (4-9) – Dresden/Cologne/Düsseldorf (0-5)
Den Haag (1-5) – Luxembourg (0-7)

 

FINAL
Den Haag (2-13) – Belgium (0-8)

 

RANKING
1. Den Haag – 25 pts
2. Belgium – 20 pts
3. Luxembourg – 16 pts
4. Zurich/Paris – 7,5 pts* **
5. Dresden/Cologne/Düsseldorf – pts

* Zurich & Paris shared (13+2) pts
** bonus points awarded for fielding minimum of two non-Irish born players

 

Camogie

Holland (4-8) – Luxembourg (2-1)
Belgium (2-6) – Paris (2-4)
Paris (7-7) – Luxembourg (1-1)
Holland (1-8) – Belgium (2-4)
Belgium (4-8) – Luxembourg (4-0)
Paris (4-7) – Holland (2-10)

 

FINAL
Belgium (4-7) – Paris (2-6)

 

RANKING
1. Belgium – 25 pts
2. Paris – 20 pts
 

All roads lead to Luxembourg in June

This month the same destination is marked down in all the calendars of Belgium GAA players: Luxembourg.

 

With the next round in both the Hurling/Camogie and Football penciled in for Luxembourg it will be a busy month on the road south-east for Belgium GAA.

 

First up is the Hurling/Camogie on Saturday June 1st.

 

After a win in the first round in Paris the men will look to build momentum and a take a commanding lead in the competition.

 

While the ladies will look to avenge their narrow defeat in Paris and put themselves right back in contention.

 

We wish them the best of luck!!

 

Later in the month we head to Luxembourg again for the third and final round of the Benelux Football Competition.

 

The current standings are available on the website of the European County Board.

Belgium Tournament Round-up: Results

men championship

 

GROUP GAMES
Belgium A (4-8) – Amsterdam (0-4)
Luxembourg (1-7) – Belgium (3-3)
Amsterdam (1-5) – Luxembourg (2-6)

 

FINAL
Belgium (3-11) – Luxembourg (0-7)

 

STANDING
1. Belgium – 25 pts
2. Luxembourg – 20 pts
3. Amsterdam – 16 pts

 

ladies championship

 

GROUP GAMES
Belgium A (3-9) – Belgium B (1-5)
Belgium A (1-7) – Holland (1-15)
Belgium B (3-9) – Holland (3-8)

 

FINAL
Belgium A (0-13) – Belgium B (1-5)

 

STANDING
1. Belgium A – 25 pts
2. Belgium B – 20 pts
3. Holland – 16 pts

 

men’s shield

 

GROUP GAMES
Belgium B (0-3) – Belgium C (3-6)
Belgium B (0-1) – Düsseldorf (1-14)

 

FINAL
Belgium C (2-6) – Düsseldorf (3-10)

 

 

 

STANDING
1. Düsseldorf – 25 pts
2. Belgium C – 20 pts
3. Belgium B – 16 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

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