The National u14 Feile na nGael championships this year will see two hurling sides from Mayo taking part in Dublin from July 5 to 7. Tooreen will represent Mayo in division four, as they are hosted by the Naomh Mearnog Club in Portmarnock. The side are also grouped with Tomas Davis in Tallaght and Dungannon (Tyrone ). The Tooreen side go to the festival in high hopes of progressing out of their group, with one eye also on the division four final in Croke Park also. Tooreen’s last national title was in 2004, as they overcame Middletown of Armagh in the division three final in Navan to claim the Michael Cusack Trophy. Many of that Feile na nGael winning side are now members of the Tooreen and Mayo Senior Hurling teams.
Caiseal Gaels will make history in Dublin, as they represent Mayo in division five. The club formed in 2008 now gets its first chance on the national stage, after seeing massive growth and support within the Carracastle Parish over the past four years. Caiseal Gaels will be hosted by Good Council in Drimnagh, while they are also grouped with St Maurs (Rush ) and Aodh Ruadh (Ballyshannon ). Massive hurling coaching and growth has been evident in the local national schools in recent years, with past and present players from Carracastle NS, Brusna NS, Kilmovee NS and Derrynabrock NS all featuring on the side.
The Feile na nGael parade this year has an extra dimension in that it will start and end in Croke Park - taking in O'Connell Street along its route. The capital will come to a standstill as 140 hurling and camogie teams take centre stage in Dublin city centre, with the lucky captain of each team getting to meet the -president of the GAA Liam O'Neill and An Taoiseach Enda Kenny on the viewing podium on O'Connell Street.
Also representing Mayo at the event is Castlebar Mitchels Skillstar champion Conor Browne. The St Gerald’s College student will be in action in Parnell Park on Friday at 12pm, as he compares his skills amongst the best u14 hurlers in the country. The Na Brideoga and Westport Camogie Clubs are also in action at the three day event, bringing the total number of Mayo children taking part over the weekend to 106.
Locals take on exiles in charity challenge
A novel pairing will take to the Tooreen Hurling field tomorrow, Saturday June 30 at 6.30pm, as an American Exiles XV selection take on the home side. The event is being organised by Claremorris resident and Limerick native Christy Phillips, who is currently undertaking a program of charity fund-raising for the Neurofibromatosis Association of Ireland. Christy - who along with his wife Anita - have already raised over €10,000 for the cause - and hope to keep the funds rolling in over the weekends activities, with All-Ireland Hurling and Football final tickets up for grabs in a raffle also.
Neurofibromatosis is a condition that Christy and Anita know only too well, as Anita’s brother suffers from it. Anita has already undertaken a 'Mizen to Malin' cycle over four days to raise funds for the cause. This game however will see hurlers from counties Tipperary, Kilkenny, Galway, Westmeath and Offaly come together to take on the local side in Tooreen. It is also been rumoured that Christy himself will don the colours of the American Exiles - as he joins up with many of the players he hurled with and coached in Chicago down through the years.
Entry is free to the match but donations will be taken up at the gate for anyone able to support the cause. Also, raffle tickets for the draw will be available for purchase on the night. All hurling enthusiasts are invited along on the evening to support this worthwhile event.