Countdown to the All-Ireland Club Championship Finals
16th March 2014
The AIB GAA All-Ireland Club Championship Finals take centre-stage in Croke Park on St. Patrick’s Day, Monday 17th March. Four counties – Carlow, Galway, Dublin and Mayo – will be represented by their senior champions as the teams battle for what many regard as the toughest-won medals in GAA.
The All-Ireland Club Championship was first contested in 1971 when Roscrea won the hurling title and East Kerry won the football title. The All-Ireland Club Championships Roll of Honour in The GAA Museum documents the success enjoyed by clubs like Nemo Rangers, Crossmaglen Rangers, St. Finbarr’s, Ballyhale Shamrocks and Birr. But there is also representation from those counties that have not always enjoyed success at inter-county level but that can boast a club that has reached the pinnacle of success on St. Patrick’s Day in Croke Park.
Mount Leinster Rangers from Carlow have already made history by becoming the first Carlow team to reach the All-Ireland senior decider. They face tough opposition – including All-Star hurler Joe Canning – when they face Portumna. The Galway side will go into the final as overwhelming favourites having previously been to four finals, winning the title in 2006, 2008 and 2009 before their bid for three-in-a-row was ended by Ballyhale Shamrocks of Kilkenny in 2010. Ballyhale Shamrocks hold a record five All-Ireland titles, the last of which was won in 2010 when they beat the then reigning-Champions Portumna who were bidding for a third consecutive title.
In the football final, there is a repeat of last September’s All-Ireland Football Final with another Dublin versus Mayo showdown as St. Vincents take on Castlebar Mitchels. While St. Vincents have won 26 Dublin county championships, the club has only twice lifted the Andy Merrigan Cup – in 1976 and more recently in 2008. After a 20-year wait, Castlebar Mitchels were crowned Mayo champions for 2013 and now look forward to the All-Ireland final for only the second time in the club’s history.
Regardless of the outcome of Monday’s encounters, there will be two new displays in the GAA Museum’s Clubs & Community section and the 2014 winners will be added to the prestigious All-Ireland Club Championship Roll of Honour.
The GAA Museum will be open on St. Patrick’s Day from 13.00 – 17.00 and admission will be FREE (access restricted to match patrons only)
Find out more – www.crokepark.ie/gaa-museum