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Pictured at the launch of the Mary Immaculate College (MIC) Gaelic Games Club were: Munster GAA group with : Prof. Niamh Hourigan, Vice-President of Academic Affairs at MIC and Co-Chairperson of the MIC Munster GAA Centre of Excellence for Child Coaching and Gaelic Games Promotion; Jarlath Burns, President of the GAA and Dr Angela Canny, Assistant Dean of Education at MIC. Set out as a key objective of the MIC Munster GAA Centre of Excellence for Child Coaching and Gaelic Games Promotion, founded in 2023, the club is intended to create an overarching umbrella that would unite all four codes Hurling, Gaelic Football, Camogie and Ladies Football; foster a sense of community; focus on student involvement and empowerment and will have a strong emphasis on inclusion and diversity. Pic. Brian Arthur Pictured at the launch of the Mary Immaculate College (MIC) Gaelic Games Club were: Munster GAA group with : Prof. Niamh Hourigan, Vice-President of Academic Affairs at MIC and Co-Chairperson of the MIC Munster GAA Centre of Excellence for Child Coaching and Gaelic Games Promotion; Jarlath Burns, President of the GAA and Dr Angela Canny, Assistant Dean of Education at MIC. Set out as a key objective of the MIC Munster GAA Centre of Excellence for Child Coaching and Gaelic Games Promotion, founded in 2023, the club is intended to create an overarching umbrella that would unite all four codes Hurling, Gaelic Football, Camogie and Ladies Football; foster a sense of community; focus on student involvement and empowerment and will have a strong emphasis on inclusion and diversity. Pic. Brian Arthur

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GAA President pledges “proper place” for third level competitions in the GAA calendar as he launches MIC Gaelic Games Club

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MIC Gaelic Games Club Munster GAA group. Prof. Niamh Hourigan, Vice-President of Academic Affairs at MIC and Co-Chairperson of the MIC Munster GAA Centre of Excellence for Child Coaching and Gaelic Games Promotion; Jarlath Burns, President of the GAA and Dr Angela Canny, Assistant Dean of Education at MIC. Picture: Brian Arthur

President of the GAA, Jarlath Burns launched the MIC Gaelic Games Club on Monday 22 April

Pictured at the launch of the Mary Immaculate College (MIC) Gaelic Games Club were: Jarlath Burns, President of the GAA with Colin O’Brien, Captain of the MIC Fitzgibbon Cup winning Hurling team and U-20s Hurling All Ireland winner with Cork, and Ciara Hynes, Captain of the MIC Moynihan Cup team and Ladies HEC Rising Star Award winner 2024. Set out as a key objective of the MIC Munster GAA Centre of Excellence for Child Coaching and Gaelic Games Promotion, founded in 2023, the club is intended to create an overarching umbrella that would unite all four codes Hurling, Gaelic Football, Camogie and Ladies Football; foster a sense of community; focus on student involvement and empowerment and will have a strong emphasis on inclusion and diversity.
Pic. Brian Arthur
The launch of the MIC Gaelic Games Club. Jarlath Burns, President of the GAA with Colin O’Brien, Captain of the MIC Fitzgibbon Cup winning Hurling team and U-20s Hurling All Ireland winner with Cork, and Ciara Hynes, Captain of the MIC Moynihan Cup team and Ladies HEC Rising Star Award winner 2024.Picture: Brian Arthur

President of the GAA, Jarlath Burns reaffirmed his commitment to giving third level Gaelic Games competitions a “proper place” in the association as he launched the MIC Gaelic Games Club on Monday 22 April.

In his first official visit to Limerick since becoming Uachtarán CLG in February, President Burns was at Mary Immaculate College to launch the MIC Gaelic Games Club, which has been established to further promote participation and coaching within the College. The launch was attended by over 80 MIC staff, students, sport coaches and representatives from a variety of Gaelic Games organisations and clubs from across Munster.

Set out as a key objective of the MIC Munster GAA Centre of Excellence for Child Coaching and Gaelic Games Promotion, founded in 2023, the club is intended to create an overarching umbrella that would unite all four codes Hurling, Gaelic Football, Camogie and Ladies Football; foster a sense of community; focus on student involvement and empowerment and will have a strong emphasis on inclusion and diversity.


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Speaking at the launch, President Burns compared the current view of third-level sports as an “unrequited love” and stressed the importance of giving third-level competitions the respect they deserve: “Many other sports would give their right hand to have the footprint that the GAA has in our Colleges and Universities. But for the GAA, we have almost seen it in our Master Fixtures plan as being a nuisance.

“Where can we fit the Fitzgibbon and the Sigerson? Could we ask the students who are county players not to play for their Colleges? This is a terrible indictment of us and one of the plans I have for the Amateur Status Committee is to give a proper place to the Fitzgibbon and Sigerson Cups in the calendar to allow those players – many of whom have scholarships from their Colleges or Provincial Councils – to play and enjoy themselves. That’s a commitment I have given to Higher Education and I really want to fulfil.”

Prof. Niamh Hourigan, Vice-President of Academic Affairs at MIC and Co-Chairperson of the MIC Munster GAA Centre of Excellence for Child Coaching and Gaelic Games Promotion, said the MIC Gaelic Games Club achieves a core mission of the centre, which is “promoting and embedding a love of, and interest in, Gaelic games, as well as encouraging young people’s participation at all levels, irrespective of ability”.

“We hope the foundation blocks we are laying will sustain that interest in Gaelic games throughout the lives of our students. These building blocks include supporting the development of best practice in areas of coaching, refereeing, safeguarding and general administration, and we look forward to the club contributing to the development of these skills. Here at MIC, we have the privilege of shaping tomorrow’s leaders and the establishment of a club enables us to focus on leadership skills.”

MIC lecturer in Physical Education & MIC Ladies Football Coach, Dr Richard Bowles, added, “The Club is a great opportunity for students who love Gaelic games, but whose skills are not necessarily on the field, to get involved with our teams. We want to encourage students, and staff, to help out with coaching, organisation, analysis, media and core club roles. If people have skills and experience, or are interested in developing specific areas, this is a great way to get hands-on experience, enhance the college experience and bring these aspects back into careers and communities as well.” 

Assistant Dean of Education, Dr Angela Canny—who with Dr Bowles, is a Board member of the MIC Munster GAA Centre of Excellence—emphasised the importance of the Club’s strong link with Munster GAA, which also sponsors a number of annual bursaries at MIC.

“The launch of this club is the culmination of a number of years of discussion and cooperation with Munster GAA and we must thank them for their support. From the outset, we were very keen to give a structure to a lot of the work that’s already happening in MIC under the Gaelic Games umbrella and this club will provide that identity. The club is for all students, regardless of ability or experience and we are really committed to the principle of the One Club Model. We are glad to see student involvement in coaching with some of the MIC Gaelic Games teams already and we hope this club will serve as an avenue through which student involvement can be increased.”

As part of the launch, Ger Ryan, Munster GAA Chairperson, presented Fourth Year MIC students with Certificates of completion of the Gaelic Games Leadership programme. As part of this initiative, the 15 students organised a recent Gaelic Games Blitz for local primary schools on-campus.

The launch of the MIC Gaelic Games Club comes on the 125th anniversary of the foundation of the College and marks another milestone in a proud sporting tradition. Since the early 1970s, MIC teams have played in intervarsity competitions at a variety of levels and have enjoyed no small amount of success. This year, the MIC Senior Hurling Team won the Fitzgibbon Cup for the third time and MICL also won the Freshers Football Division 2 title. MICL Ladies Footballers reached the finals of both the Moynihan Cup and the HEC Cup.

President Burns commended MIC on its success in recent years and said it came at an exciting time for the College’s sporting future: “For a College with no Gaelic Games club, you have done very well to date. As you know, in three years’ time we hope to become a fully-integrated organisation. Setting up a Gaelic Games Club in 2024 is a very exciting thing because you are starting off looking into that integrated future, as the next chapter prepares to be written, and I look forward to seeing you do it.
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Pictured at the launch of the Mary Immaculate College (MIC) Gaelic Games Club were: Ger Corkery, Development Officer, Limerick GAA; Paul Foley, Limerick GAA Central Council Delegate; Jarlath Burns, President of the GAA, and Frank Reidy, Vice-Chairperson of Limerick GAA. Picture: Brian Arthur


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