Five-a-side tournament for emergency service members

A five-a-side indoor soccer tournament for members of the various branches of the emergency services throughout Ireland will be held in Galway on May 24.

The tournament, first established in 1978, will be hosted by the Galway Fire Brigade Sports & Social Club with games played in the Kingfisher Club at NUI Galway.

Teams will play for the Richard Ward Memorial Trophy, which was presented to the Galway Fire Brigade Sports & Social Club by Martin Ward of Loughrea Fire Service in memory of his late brother, who served in Galway Fire Brigade.

Teams comprise a squad of seven players, and the entry fee is €75 per team. Games will be run off on a pool format, each game being seven minutes with each team having a minimum of two games.

Organiser Billy Clery says although some stations may not have enough players to field a team, he is encouraging neighbouring stations to merge if they are interested in taking part in what promises to be a fun event.

All stations are encouraged to take part in what promises to be a fun event.

The first competition was organised in 1978 by Billy Conroy, who was the chairman of the GFB Sports and Social Club at the time. The event attracted teams from Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Derry, Waterford and Sligo, as well as Galway. As the event grew, these brigades were joined by Kilkenny, Knock, Shannon and others, and in an effort to broaden contacts with other organisations, invitations were extended to the Red Cross, the Garda and the Civil Defence.

To date 18 fire stations around the country have registered for the event, and as a result of the growing interest, the organisers have opened up the fun event to all branches of the emergency services. These include An Garda Siochána, the Armed Forces, the RNLI, the Civil Defence, Ambulance Service, the Coastguard, and medical personnel including the Red Cross, the Order of Malta and St John’s Ambulance.

The tournament is sponsored by Monroe’s Tavern, and following the tournament the awards presentation will be held at the Dominick Street venue. A meal will be served, and all participants are invited to the post-tournament party which will be held in Monroe’s Live.

The closing date for entries is Saturday May 17.

For more information, email Billy Clery at [email protected], or call 086 8364457.

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