09 Aug 2022

The Poc Fada is returning to Annaverna

The Poc Fada is returning to Annaverna

The annual All Ireland Poc Fada competition takes place on Monday August 1st next on Annaverna in the Cooley Mountains.

This year promises to be even better with the best of the four province’s greatest hurlers and camogie players competing for the title of All Ireland Champion.

Who will follow in the footsteps of Cú Chulainn and poc all before them?

The modern Poc Fada recreates the legendary journey of Cú Chulainn, who as the seven-year-old boy Setanta decided he had waited long enough to become a member of the famous Red Branch Knights of Ulster.

So he set off from his home in Dundalk for the Macra, the Red Branch Knights school in Ard Mhacha (Armagh), some 60km away.

While crossing The Cooley Mountains Setanta hit his sliotar far ahead and ran forward to catch it on his hurley stick before it hit the ground.

While today's competitors cannot fully recreate Setanta's mythical feats, they do compete over the same Cooley mountains as Setanta once passed. The 5 km Senior Hurling and 2.5 km Senior Camogie and Under 16 courses do provide ample opportunity to practice poc's, as on average the Senior Hurling takes 50 pocs to win.

The modern All-Ireland Poc Fada dates back to 1960 when six boys from Dundalk (Mal Begley, Peter Crilly, Sean Mc Aeney, Jerome Mc Donagh, Peter Myles and first ever winner Damien Callan) under the watchful eye of An tAthair Pól Mac Shean, took part in the very first Poc Fada. The first All-Ireland Poc Fada took place the following year in 1961.

First sponsored by Martin Donnelly over 25 years ago the MD Sports All-Ireland Poc Fada Finals represent one of the longest-running sponsorships within the GAA and Camogie Association.

Everyone is very welcome to Annaverna on Bank Holiday Monday, so why not make your way to the mountain for 10am and make sure to bring the kids who can meet our hurling heroes.

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