M Donnelly Poc Fada Finals launched
By Camogie Press
The 2017 M. Donnelly GAA All-Ireland Poc Fada Finals was officially launched in Croke Park today.
The All-Ireland Poc Fada finals in Camogie and Hurling will be held on the Cooley Mountains on Saturday August 5th. The competition was first held in 1960 and following a short hiatus from 1970-1980, it returned in 1981 and has been ever-present on the National calendar since.
The unique contest promises to be a great day of sport. Aoife Murray (Cork) returns to defend the Senior title she captured 12 months ago. The 2015 and 2016 Under 16 winner, Sarah Healy (Gaillimh) returns to the mountain but she is taking part in the Senior competition for the first time.
Defending senior hurling champion James McInerney (An Clár) puts his crown on the line against a high calibre field that includes All-Star winning goalkeepers Brendan Cummins (Tipperary) and Eoin Murphy (Kilkenny). Cathal Kiely (Offaly) does likewise in the Under 16 hurling competition and he will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of his older brother and current Offaly senior player, Cillian by annexing the title for a second year-in-a-row.
Across all competitions Hurlers and Camógs from Clare, Louth, Antrim, Derry, Laois, Dublin, Galway, Limerick, Tipperary, Kilkenny, Down, Roscommon, Offaly, Cork and Meath will have the opportunity to compete for an All-Ireland title.
The M. Donnelly GAA All-Ireland Final proceedings will get under way at 11.00am on Annaverna Mountain, Ravensdale, Co. Louth on Saturday, August 5th.
Speaking at the launch Ard Stiúrthóir an Cumann Camógaíochta, Joan O’Flynn said: “I am looking forward once more to this year’s prestigious Poc Fada Finals, which promise to be an exciting event in the spectacular Cooley Peninsula at the foot of the Annaverna Mountain. I am very pleased that Camogie players are, once again, part of this outstanding competition. I am really looking forward to a tremendous contest over the very challenging course. Thanks to Martin Donnelly, whose commitment to the Poc Fada goes beyond that of a standard sponsorship.”
Speaking at the launch event the GAA Leas-Uachtarán, Jim Bolger said: “There are few events in our diary that stand out from the rest of our activities in the same way as the Poc Fada.
“The Poc Fada is a truly unique event held at the picturesque setting of the Annaverna Mountain. It is a real test of skill and stamina. The contestants value the competition highly and given that they participate at a very busy time of the season, both at intercounty and club level, shows the importance they place on their involvement. I would also like to thank Martin Donnelly for his continued support of the competition, in what will be the 21st year sponsoring the Finals in the Cooley Mountains.”
Martin Donnelly said: “I’m particularly proud to continue my association with the Poc Fada, supporting this wonderful and exciting competition as this is my 21st year sponsoring the Finals in the Cooley Mountain. This year’s finals promise to be “as good as ever” with James McInerney and Aoife Murray returning to defend their titles against very stiff opposition.”
Humphrey Kelleher, Chairman of the National Poc Fada Committee stated: “An Poc Fada is one of our finest traditions and we in the GAA, whether it be at Club, County, Provincial or National level have a responsibility to cherish and develop it to the best of our ability. I am particularly delighted that most counties and provinces have held their competition on “mountain courses” this year. That gives the final contestants a real flavour for what they will face on the mountain.”
1. Aoife Murray (Cork)
2. All-Star Pick to be confirmed
3. Orlagh O’Hara (Antrim)
4. Faye McCarthy (Dublin)
5. Sarah Healy (Galway)
6. Áine O’Loughlin (Clare)