St. Patrick’s Weekend Hurling Invitational: Saturday, 18th March 2023

Save the Date! On St. Patrick’s Weekend (Saturday, 18th March), the Cologne Celtics GAA Club is back in hurling action in the inaugural Francie O’Connor Hurling Cup.

We will be playing at Bezirkssportanlange Chorweiler (Merianstraße 5, 50769 Köln). The event is free to attend and is open to the whole family.

At the Celtics, we welcome everyone interested in our club and in Gaelic Sports around the Rhineland (and further afield) to come and watch. The first match will start at approximately 11:00am and continue until 3:30pm.

We are thrilled to welcome our neighbours, Düsseldorf GFC, Eindhoven Shamrocks GAA and Monagea GAA Club, to Cologne for this invitational tournament.

The players from Monagea GAA are making their way over to Cologne from Limerick, Ireland. For the first time on German soil, the Celtics will face off against Irish opposition in hurling.

This match will be the first hurling event of the year in Cologne but not the last. Keep tuned for events later in the year.

  1. Tournament Schedule
  2. Getting to the Tournament
  3. Who are the Cologne Celtics?
  4. The Opposition
    1. Düsseldorf Gaelic Football Club
    2. Eindhoven Shamrocks GAA Club
    3. Monagea GAA Club
  5. What is Hurling?

Tournament Schedule

The tournament will have an early start, with the first game thrown in at 11:00. The final game will finish around 3pm, and it will be followed up by the trophy presentation and concluding speeches.

Players are expected to be there at least half an hour before the first match, and volunteers setting up the ground should be there an hour beforehand.

Although the tournament starts at 11am, supporters can arrive at any time in the day, and it is free of charge.

The tournament schedule is as follows:

TimeTeam Team Referee
11:00Cologne CelticsRheinland Gaels/DüssMonagea
12:20Rheinland Gaels/DüssMonageaCologne
13:00EindhovenCologne CelticsRheinland
13:40Rheinland Gaels/DüsEindhovenMonagea
14:20Cologne CelticsMonageaEindhoven
The tournament schedule

Following the tournament, the Celtics and the rest will be going to the Black Sheep Pub to watch the Ireland v England rugby match in the 6 Nations Tournament. Spectators and those interested in meeting the club can, of course, come to the pub and chat with us all there.

Getting to the Tournament

The tournament will take place at Bezirkssportanlange Chorweiler (Merianstraße 5, 50769 Köln), which is located here:

For those driving, plentiful parking options are available at the location of Bezirkssportanlage Chorweiler. In contrast, the best public transport option for those coming from Cologne Centre is the UBahn to Köln-Chorweiler from Köln Hbf.

Although the tournament starts at 11am, supporters can arrive at any time throughout the day. Refreshments will be available at the pitch.

Who are the Cologne Celtics?

The Cologne Celtics Gaelic Sports Club, e.V., is the Domstadt’s only GAA club. We are a team consisting of players from Ireland and Germany but also an impressive international element with players from Greece, Finland, India, the UK, Uruguay and further afield.

The Celtics won the German Hurling and Camogie Cups 2021 and came just short in the 2022 editions. Our teams and players compete in GAA tournaments across Germany and Europe.

Our recent appearance on the German TV station, ZDF.

This tournament is the third time we have hosted tournaments in Cologne, following on from our 2021 Invitational Tournament and the aforementioned German Cup 2022.

We are always looking for new players and members, regardless of experience level. As well as on-field training, we offer off-the-field events, such as watching live matches at our sponsor pub, Jameson’s Distillery Pub, and our regular Live Music Sessions at the Black Sheep Pub.

The Opposition

To find out more about our opponents, we invited them to tell us about their clubs and here is what they had to say about themselves:

Düsseldorf Gaelic Football Club

We have regularly collaborated with Düsseldorf GFC in recent years, as both clubs have tended to have different focuses. Whereas the Celtics have experienced most of our success in hurling and camogie in recent years, Düsseldorf has primarily concentrated on Gaelic football. They have emerged as one of Germany’s powerhouses on the Gaelic football scene.

However, Düsseldorf hurlers have regularly teamed up with the Cologne Celtics in recent tournaments and have played crucial roles in our successes. This year they have started to build their own hurling team, and this tournament will be the first time they have lined out as Düsseldorf Hurling.

We’re looking forward to facing the lads from Düsseldorf and the beginning of regular Rheinderbys in hurling as well as Gaelic football.

Eindhoven Shamrocks GAA Club

During last year’s Den Haag Tournament, the Cologne Celtics faced off against the Eindhoven Shamrocks and came up just short in the Shield Final. That match was decided by one point, with Anto and Ciarán contributing late goals to the Celts‘ cause to make the match come down to the wire.

This St. Patrick’s Weekend, we are thrilled to welcome „The Shams“ to the Rheinland for our Hurling Invitational Tournament.

Here are a few words from the Shams about their own club:

The Eindhoven Shamrocks were born on a frigid winter evening in the flatlands of Brabant in 2013.

Originally competing in the Men’s football code, often as amalgamation experts alongside fellow newcomers to Benelux, Leuven, they have grown to now compete in the Ladies‘ football, hurling and camogie codes, with membership numbers soaring over the last few years as a result of shrewd PR content, and inspiring leadership.

Although they are yet to lift Benelux Championship gold in any format, there have been more than a few close calls, and this sweet victory is surely only around the corner.

Saying this, “The Shams” trophy cabinet is littered with players of the tournaments, shield championship trophies, the odd runners-up and third-place Gongs!

Naturally, our club’s core value is „a bit of GAA mixed with plenty of Craic“, and as we sail forward, our Friend-Ship is bound to pick up that elusive championship Gold in the coming years.

‚Hon the Shams!!

Monagea GAA Club

Monagea is a small parish in County Limerick, Ireland. It is situated 3 miles (5 kilometres) from the bigger town of Newcastle West and is on the N21, the road from Limerick to Tralee, County Kerry.

The area has a long history as, according to local historian Tim Mulcahy, a hoard of Vikings swords was found in the area. According to Art Ó Maolfabhail, the name „Monagea“ comes from the Irish Móin Achaidh Ghae, which means ‚the bogland of the field of the spear‘. However, it is generally agreed that Monagea is derived from the Irish Moín a Ghédh, which means ‚The Bog of the Goose‘.

Monagea G.A.A club, originally known as William O’Brien’s, is one of the oldest in county Limerick, having been founded in 1896. Since then, the club has experienced many successes and heartbreaking defeats. Monagea has had All-Ireland winners among its members in both hurling and Gaelic football.

If you would like to learn more about Monagea and Monagea GAA Club area, please check out the document provided by Monagea GAA PRO, Shane Brouder, and their club website.

At the Celtics, we are delighted to welcome Monagea GAA to Cologne for this tournament. We are optimistic that this is the first of many such occasions and that we will see more Irish clubs come to the Rhineland in the future.

What is Hurling?

If you are new to the Irish sport of „hurling,“ then it is time to learn more about it! We welcome people of all experience levels of our sports at the Celtics.

Hurling and camogie (the female equivalent of hurling) are the national sports of Ireland (alongside Gaelic Football). Hurling (iománaíocht in Gaeilge) has roots in Celtic times and is thought to go back around 3000 years. Every year, the hurling, camogie and Gaelic football All-Ireland Championships capture the imaginations of people around Ireland and further afield as the counties of Ireland battle throughout the summer for the ultimate reward.

Hurling and camogie are sports that rank among the fastest sports on grass. Those new to the sport have described them as similar to a combination of ice hockey (albeit on grass) and lacrosse. However, one of the best ways to get a feel for the game is by watching this video:

Hurling in Ireland consists of 15 players on each team with the aim of outscoring your opponent. A team generally includes one goalkeeper, six defenders, two midfielders and six attackers (forwards) on a pitch between 130m and 145m long and 80m to 90m wide.

Due to smaller pitch sizes and usually fewer playing members, European teams typically have 9 players. The goalposts are similar to rugby but with a goalkeeper between the posts. A goal is worth three points, while a point is scored if it goes above the goal’s crossbar but between the posts.

Describing hurling in such basic terms doesn’t do justice to the sport. To understand what it feels like to play, we can recommend this article written by some of our other players: „Our German Players describe Gaelic Sports“. The aim was to say what hurling is like for those playing for the first time as an adult.

If you are intrigued by our games and want to try them out and/or join the Cologne Celtics, please do not hesitate to contact us directly.

We would love to hear from you and will gladly provide more details regarding how you can get involved with us. You can learn more about how to join our club and become a Celt on our club website.

Kölle abú!

Tournament poster design: Credit to club Social and Social Media Officer Gareth Houston

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