03 Oct 2022

Stacked field set to descend on the Cooley Mountains as National Puc Fada returns

Stecked field set to descend on the Cooley Mountains as National Puc Fada returns

Pictured at the launch in Croke Park are from left, Kilkenny hurler Eoin Murphy, sponsor Martin Donnelly, and Antrim Camogie player Roisin McCormack. (Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile)

The 2021 M. Donnelly GAA All-Ireland Poc Fada Finals were officially launched by Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael, Larry McCarthy and Uachtarán an Cumann Camógaíochta, Hilda Breslin in Croke Park yesterday..

This is a very special year for a number of reasons. Firstly, this year’s competition is an invitational event which will see recent competitors return to Annaverna Mountain in what promises to be a highly competitive field. Also, it marks 60 years of All-Ireland Poc Fada competition.

Additionally, we celebrate and honour the very first Poc Fada which saw six Under 16 boys compete on Annaverna Mountain. We will be delighted to welcome the four surviving players and their family members this year.

We will also be taking the opportunity to remember two great Poc Fada loyalists – former champion Oliver Gough (1964) and Lester Ryan who championed the competition at every level and was responsible for so many others driving this unique event. We look forward to welcoming their families to Annaverna.

This year also sees us celebrate one of the longest running GAA sponsorships. Martin Donnelly has been sponsoring the GAA Poc Fada for 25 years through his MD brand- A fantastic contribution that has sustained the competition throughout so many years.

The unique Gaelic Games contest promises to be a great day of sport. Speaking at the launch Larry McCarthy said: “I am delighted to see the return of this unique sporting event which embodies the broad cultural and historical significance of our unique game of hurling, which we are proud to say has been recognised by UNESCO for its intangible cultural heritage.

"We are honouring that designation by holding an event which sustains and secures a heritage dating back to Cu Chulainn. We are very grateful to Martin Donnelly for his continued support through MD”

Speaking about this year’s Finals Uachtarán an Cumann Camógaíochta Hilda Breslin said: “It’s fantastic to see the All-Ireland Poc Fada Finals return this year in what is always an exciting day in the Camogie calendar. I am particularly enthused to see such a star-studded field taking part on what should be a fantastic occasion at the Annaverna Mountain.”

Defending senior hurling champion Cillian Kiely (Uíbh Fhailí) puts his crown on the line against a high calibre field that includes his brother Cathal and players of the calibre of Kilkenny’s Eoin Murphy. The Kiely’s finished in 1st and 2nd place in 2019 with Cillian finishing with one less poc than his younger sibling, Cathal.

On the Camogie side, champion Caitriona Daly from Galway defends her title against a field that includes recent All-Ireland Intermediate medal winner from Antrim Roisin McCormack.

Abbey Donnelly, from Meath continues a family tradition by following in the footsteps of her father, and grandfather who was a joint winner in 1962. All-Ireland Senior winning goalkeeper Sarah Healy from Galway, a two-time Under 16 winner and Lyndsey Condell from Carlow a two-time winner in 2007-2008 will also compete.

Unfortunately, due to Covid 19 restrictions that have been in place in the months leading up to the event, there is no Under 16 competitions this year.

The M. Donnelly GAA All-Ireland Poc Fada Final proceedings will get under way at 12 noon on Annaverna Mountain, in the Cooley Range, Ravensdale, Co. Louth on Saturday, September 25th.

Hurling Playing Order:

1.     Paddy McKillian (Tyrone)

2.     Colin Ryan (Limerick)

3.     Gareth Johnson (Down)

4.     Sean Nugent (Galway)

5.     Darren Geoghegan (Louth)

6.     Callum Quirke (Wexford)

7.     Eoin Murphy (Kilkenny)

8.     Tadhg Haran (Galway)

9.     Ronan Taaffe (Clare)

10.  Sponsors Guest TBC

11.  Cathal Kiely (Offaly)

12.  Cillian Kiely (Offaly)

Camogie Playing Order:

1.     Aideen Lyons (Galway)

2.     Roisin McCormack (Antrim)

3.     Lyndsey Condell (Carlow)

4.     Martina McMahon (Limerick)

5.     Abbye Donnelly (Meath)

6.     Áine Slattery (Tipperary)

7.     Aoife Murray (Cork)

8.     Sarah Healy (Galway)

9.     Molly Lynch (Cork)

10.  Caitriona Daly (Galway)

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