Gala Year for Camogie Players!
Gala All-Ireland Camogie Championships are launched in Croke Park
The 2009 Gala All-Ireland Camogie Championships were launched today, 10th June, in Croke Park by President Joan O’Flynn, Denise Lord, Customer Service Manager of Gala, and the captains of the 27 counties competing in this year’s Championships at senior, intermediate and junior level.
The Gala All Ireland Senior Championship will be the most hotly contested in recent years with eight teams now competing for the O’Duffy Cup. Clare have joined the senior ranks this year following success in the Gala All Ireland Junior Final in 2008 when they beat Offaly in a thrilling final in Croke Park. Recognising the awesome contributions of the players involved Gala has introduced an award for the Senior Camogie player who delivers the most outstanding performance of the season, as voted for by the public – the Gala Performance Award. The player will win the Gala Performance Award trophy and a 5* luxury weekend break.
Newly-appointed President of the Camogie Association, Joan O’Flynn, said at the launch:
“This year’s Championships have been ten years in the making as 2009 marks the transition from a 12-a side to a 15-a side game. In the last decade there is no doubt the inter-county game has been transformed and the standard has increased to new levels. I welcome too the Gala award which is an excellent addition to our senior championships as it recognises the individual and is not based on an entire team’s performance. It enhances Gala’s outstanding support for Camogie.”
“Attending matches is one of the most important ways of giving recognition to our players and increasing attendances is something we can improve on. In this context, the support of national and local media is much appreciated. Web broadcasting by RTE of some our senior championships games is an innovative aspect of this year’s Gala All Ireland series, while the Sunday Game will show highlights of our weekly senior matches.
“Our relationship with the GAA is also crucial. This year we look forward to staging a number of our championship games in county grounds around the country and, of course, to All Ireland finals day here on September 13th in Croke Park.”
Reigning champions Cork will be hoping to move a step closer to the top of the roll of honour by retaining the crown they won last year for the 23rd time. However, there will be several teams waiting to relieve them of the O’Duffy Cup including last season’s runners up Galway and 2007 winners Wexford who made a significant statement already this season by winning the National League Division One and Two titles. Tipperary is another county looking to add to their five titles accumulated in the early 00’s. Newcomers to this year’s Senior Championship, Clare, will be out to make a good impression while Dublin will be looking to make an impact in their opening clash away to Cork. Kilkenny too come in search of silverware having built on massive underage successes while Limerick are seeking to get back to All Ireland glory having secured the intermediate title two years ago.
Gala, the Championship’s title sponsors are celebrating four years of involvement with the Camogie Association and have pledged their support until 2010.
Speaking at the launch, Denise Lord, Customer Service Manager of Gala, said: “Our partnership with the Camogie Association has been immensely successful for the Group over the past three years. Many of our shoppers, staff, family and friends have close ties with Camogie, an iconic female sport, which is why the sponsorship is so highly-regarded in our stores’ communities
“Gala stores are unique and from our research, we found that Gala stands for great value, quality stores and the friendly community spirit of Gala. Every day of the year, Gala stores are performing to the best of their ability therefore we wanted to extend this by rewarding a Camogie player who delivers a unique performance. Most importantly, the award is voted for by the public.”
The Gala All-Ireland championship action begins on Saturday June 20th. At senior level All Ireland champions Cork entertaining Dublin, while Wexford travel to play Limerick. On the same day 12 teams will compete in the junior championship of which Offaly and Antrim are vying to get back to centre stage. Derry will be hoping to impress in the intermediate grade.
Details on how to vote for the player who you think should win the Gala Performance Award will be posted on www.gala.ie and www.camogie.ie by the 20th June 2009. The Gala All-Ireland Senior Championship action begins on Saturday June 20th with All Ireland champions Cork entertaining Dublin, while Wexford travel to play Limerick.
• The Gala brand was established in 1998 and celebrated ten years in business in 2008.
• Gala is Ireland’s fastest-growing convenience retailer of the decade.
• Gala has in excess of 200 stores across Ireland.
• Gala employs over 3,000 people in both retail and wholesale operations.
• Gala’s projected group retail sales in 2009 will be in excess of €550 million Gala currently sources €200 million from Irish suppliers.
• Gala Retail Services, through the company’s association with the Stonehouse buying group has access to buying power in excess of €2 billion
Gala All Ireland Senior Championship Roll of Honour
Gala All Ireland Championships – Participating Counties
Grade Cup Counties
Senior O’Duffy Cup Cork, Clare, Dublin Galway, Kilkenny, Limerick, Tipperary, Wexford
Intermediate Jack McGrath Cup Cork, Derry, Galway, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Wexford, Clare
Junior A New Ireland Cup Antrim, Down, Dublin, Laois, Waterford, Meath, Offaly
Junior B Nancy Murray Cup Roscommon, Carlow, Kildare, Armagh, Tyrone, Westmeath
Junior C Máire Ní Chinnéide Cup Donegal, Monaghan, Mayo, Louth, Cavan, Wicklow
• Over 100,000 women and girls play camogie throughout Ireland and abroad
• There are almost 550 Camogie Clubs
• The All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship Final was first played at Croke Park in 1934.
• There was a record attendance of 34,000 people at the 2007 Gala All Ireland Senior & Junior Finals last year
• The first Player Welfare Camogie Committee was recently set up by President Joan O’Flynn
• Camogie is played overseas in the United States, Europe, Australia, Dubai
• For further information on Camogie visit www.camogie.ie
COMPETITIONS ALREADY COMPLETED THIS YEAR
• Wexford won the 2009 Division One and Two Camogie National League finals. Wexford captain Aoife O’Connor delayed her honeymoon by two weeks to play in the final. Aoife married former Wexford hurler Declan Ruth.
• Down won the Division Three title the same day the Down footballers claimed Division Three honours – Ross Carr managed the football team while daughters Sara Louise and Fionnuala featured on the camogie team
• Joan O’Flynn who resides in Celbridge presented her first trophy to Kildare following their defeat of Westmeath in the Division Four league final
• Galway are All Ireland U16 camogie champions – rising stars Niamh, Orlaith and Clodagh McGrath who played major parts are daughters of Hopper McGrath. Niamh is a member of the Galway Senior Camogie panel for 2009