Save the date, Thursday, June 1st, at 10:30pm (CET) or 9:30pm (Irish time) as the Cologne Celtics GAA Club will make their Irish television debut. The Celtics will feature in the new documentary, „Cluiche as Baile“ („The Away Game“), produced by the highly-talented Desmond Bros. The documentary will highlight the work and craic involved in playing GAA in Europe. The German Cup 2022, which we hosted back in September last year, will be one of the centrepieces of the documentary.
We won’t be the only club in the documentary, with Hamburg GAA, Darmstadt GAA, Madrid Harps and Fillos de Breogán (in Galicia) also featuring prominently. The documentary will feature many languages, including German, Spanish and Galician, Gaeilge and English, to show that Gaelic sports are growing and are more than just what happens in Ireland. It should make for a cracking documentary.
The Cologne Celtics will host a watch party in Jameson’s Distillery Pub on the night of the documentary. If you are in Cologne and would like to join us for that watch-along, please do not hesitate to contact us here on the website or on social media and join us there.
Cian and Jack Desmond (from Kilbrittan in Cork) came into contact with the Cologne Celtics in early August 2022, saying they were interested in flying to Cologne to film for their documentary around the time of the German Cup. We were delighted to hear from them and to host them for the week. A special shout-out here has to be given to Düsseldorf hurling legend Jack McCarron, who put them in contact with us.
Once in Cologne, the Desmonds attended our Wednesday training session before the German Cup. Upon hearing that television cameras were around, our players were inspired to get out and train. We had one of our biggest training sessions ever in Nippes (the upcoming German Cup tournament was also a primary reason for so many of our players to come out).
During the buildup, they also had the opportunity to interview some of our club members and players. As well as Jack, they interviewed the club chairperson at the time, Oisín, and the current club chairperson (previously treasurer), Laura. Considering that Jack is based in Düsseldorf, Laura in Hürth and Oisín in Bonn, the Desmonds had a pleasant tour of the Rhineland.
Unfortunately, we didn’t retain our trophies at the 2022 edition of the German Cup, but it was a great tournament. In the hurling, the two sides who met in the final, Cologne Red and Hamburg A, were the strongest teams throughout the day. The final was a brilliant match that eventually went the way of Hamburg, while in the camogie, Hamburg and Cologne played out a three-game epic that was ultimately decided by score difference over the three matches. It was a brilliant day of hurling and camogie, and we are confident that the passion, skill and craic will come across in the documentary.
Here is a taster of the documentary:
The Desmond brothers were a pleasure to host in Cologne, and we highly enjoyed contributing to the documentary. Their presence brought something new to the tournament, and there was real energy around Chorweiler with the TV cameras documenting the day. It was our second time hosting a tournament (after our Cologne Tournament 2021), and it sets a high bar for future affairs.
We look forward to hosting more tournaments and matches in Cologne as our club grows and develops. We still have some significant plans for 2023, so stay tuned by following us on social media.
„We really enjoyed our time in Cologne. The Celtics were very welcoming and made us feel at home right away. It was a privilege to try and capture a bit of their experience. Everyone was very generous with their time. There’s a great community in Cologne, which came from a lot of hard work and passion, so well done!“Cian Desmond
Hopefully, this documentary will inspire other filmmakers, journalists etc., to look at the GAA in Europe. It is a small but passionate community with some fantastic stories to tell. With his „The Loaf of Bread GAA Podcast„, Westmeath teacher Jason Keelan has highlighted some of them from Europe and worldwide. We highly recommend his GAA Global series, especially Episode 3, featuring the Cologne Celtics. Still, with over 100 clubs around the continent and more appearing every year, it is only the tip of the iceberg.
At the Celtics, we appreciate any interest in our club from Ireland, Germany and elsewhere. We have previously featured on German TV when Achim Winter came to training to film our training session for ZDF. We have also been featured on GAA.ie, the National Geographic „Explore“ Podcast, and our members have been on Newstalk radio and RTÉ’s Prime Time.
We look forward to more such projects in the future!
If you would like to know more about the Cologne Celtics GAA Club, please feel free to contact us. We have players from Germany, Ireland and many other countries. Previous experience playing our sports is not required as our coaches specialise in coaching new players. If you become a member, we cannot promise you that we will always be on television, documentaries or podcasts. However, we can say that you will have a great time, meet new people and have the opportunity to travel around Germany and Europe playing in tournaments.