This is the first year of exciting new seven-a-side Gaelic football tournament
EVEN though we don’t know whether the Sam Maguire will rest in Dublin or Kerry for the winter, we do know that the most famous cup in Gaelic football will be in Dunmanway this Saturday for the inaugural Sam Maguire 7s.
This exciting new seven-a-side Gaelic football competition is the brainchild of Dohenys’ Finnie Collins. It was a Eureka moment he shared with Mairead Mawe late last year, and the idea quickly gathered pace and support from everyone in Dunmanway town.
It’s a concept that makes so much sense. Dunmanway is the hometown of Sam Maguire, and the town is keen to increase awareness of that. With that in mind, different strands of the community have come together to create this new competition that will help put Dunmanway firmly on the map.
The result is that this Saturday, September 7th, will see huge numbers descend on Doheny GAA’s home ground of Sam Maguire Park for a blitz that has three categories – men’s senior/intermediate, men’s junior and ladies’ junior.
Local teams like the Carbery and Dohenys senior footballers, as well as Duhallow, are entered in the senior/intermediate competition, while Whiddy Island, Randal Óg and Clann na nGael are some of the sides taking part in the men’s junior competition, and home club Dohenys, Kenmare and Douglas are just some of the sides that will contest the women’s junior section.
Tim Buckley, part of the Sam Maguire 7s organising committee, says, ‘You have so many different facets of society in any town, especially in Dunmanway and every one of them has pulled together for this weekend.’
This is a real community effort and the organising committee has left no stone unturned in their preparations for the big weekend, which will have something for everyone.
‘We’ll also have a long puc competition for adults (Cork goalkeeper Anthony Nash is expected to take part in this)and underage as well as a family fun day which will run from 1pm until 5pm followed by live music from Comhaltas later in the evening,’ says Deirdre Kelly from the Dunmanway Chamber of Commerce.
The opening game of the blitz will be held at 11am on Saturday morning and the competition will run right through the day with the final that evening. Also, some of the All-Ireland winning Cork U20 footballers will attend too with the cup.
‘Dunmanway loves a festival, we are very good at supporting a festival and we can’t wait for this weekend of football, festivities and family fun,’ Tim Buckley says.
Also, the Sam Maguire Passport Trail is an exciting new family activity that can be completed throughout the day and former GAA President Liam O’Neill will be on hand to meet those with completed passports in the Parkway Hotel from 12pm to 4pm.
In addition to the Sam Maguire 7s, an underage blitz will take place on Sunday morning, including the Sam Maguire and Doheny Ladies football teams.
The annual Sam Maguire celebrations continue on Sunday afternoon, at the Sam Maguire homestead where the annual threshing takes place. A fun afternoon of Comhaltas music and dancing all in aid of a very worthy cause, Co Action.