Middle East GAA - Round 1 Review - 2022/23
November 07, 2022
September 2022 saw the return of the Middle East League, which is proudly sponsored this season by the Arab-Irish Chamber of Commerce.
Round 1 of Hurling and Camogie was hosted by Abu Dhabi Na Fianna in Zayed Sports City, with 25 teams and approximately 400 members taking part. It was held on Friday 30th September under the “Friday Night Lights” to accommodate teams travelling from different regions with the changes made to the working week. This year saw the introduction of a junior camogie division for the first time in the Middle East, and we look forward to seeing it grow and develop in the years ahead. Congratulations to all teams who travelled to take part, and especially to our tournament winners: Dubai Celts (Senior Camogie Cup), Abu Dhabi McDonaghs (Senior Hurling Cup), Jumeirah Gaels (Intermediate Camogie Cup), Dubai Celts (Intermediate Hurling Cup), and Sharjah Gaels (Junior Camogie Cup). Middle East GAA and the Abu Dhabi Na Fianna committee were delighted to meet and welcome Irish Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton T.D., Ambassador of Ireland to the UAE, H.E. Alison Milton, and Deputy Head of Mission, John Forde, to the tournament. Pictured above are Stephen Cleary (Camogie Officer) presenting Minister Hildegarde Naughton with a Middle East GAA polo shirt to commemorate the occasion, along with Trevor Buckley (Secretary/ Rúnaí) and Gearóid Cronin (Chairperson/ Cathaoirleach).
Round 1A of the AICC Middle East League (Football) was hosted by Arabian Celts in Bahrain on October 8th, where 42 teams and more than 500 players took part. This tournament saw the return of fierce competition in the Senior and Intermediate divisions in the Middle East League, setting the high standard for the year ahead, along with a fun, social tournament hosted by Arabian Celts. A highlight of the tournament was the involvement of the Bahrain police band, coordinated by the Arabian Celts committee, who facilitated a parade for the teams competing in the tournament final. Well done to all who took part, and to our tournament winners for Round 1A: Abu Dhabi Na Fianna (Ladies Senior Cup), Dubai Celts (Mens Senior Cup), Abu Dhabi Na Fianna (Mens Intermediate Cup), and Al Reem Shamrocks (Ladies Intermediate Cup). Comhghairdeas libh.
Round 1B of football took place in Al Hamra, Ras Al Khaimah for the Junior A divisions, combined with an opportunity to play social football in a fun tournament held by RAK Ropairí. Over 20 teams and 250 players were in attendance on October 15th, which saw very competitive divisions unfold with many semi-final places going right down to the last group game. We welcomed the presence of H.E. Ambassador Milton on her visit to host club RAK Ropairí for their tournament, and we thank her for joining the Irish community on the day. Well done to our tournament winners for Round 1B: Al Ain GAA (Mens Junior A Cup) & Sharjah Gaels (Ladies Junior A Cup)! Comhghairdeas libh.
Round 1C of football took place in Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi for Junior B - D divisions, and was hosted by Al Reem Shamrocks. This round saw the continued expansion of our divisions and the growth of Gaelic games in the region, with new teams joining each year. On this occasion, 39 teams and close to 600 players took part in a Friday evening tournament on October 29th, which overcame the delicate balance of accommodating misaligned weekends in the region for travelling teams, and work commitments on Friday afternoon for local teams. Thank you to all players and members for their efforts in contributing to a great event, and well done to our tournament winners for Round 1C: Kerry Middle East (Ladies Junior B Cup), Laochra Gaels (Mens Junior B Cup), Al Ain GAA (Ladies Junior C Cup), and Clann na hOman (Ladies Junior D Cup). Comhghairdeas libh.
League tables can be found on the results tab of our website and will be updated following the completion of each round.
Middle East GAA wishes to extend a sincere thank you to all host clubs, club committees and members for planning the events, along with all those who travelled from near and far to each tournament. Thank you to our referees for facilitating our tournaments. Without their help our events would not take place, so we encourage all of our members in the region to help and support our referees in every way possible. Our thanks and continued respect and support for all GAA referees and match officials was reinforced on Referee Respect Day, which was held on Sunday 23rd October. Go raibh míle maith agaibh go léir.
Finally, Middle East GAA wishes to thank our sponsors and supporters this season.
The Middle East League is proudly sponsored by the Arab-Irish Chamber of Commerce.
The Middle East Championship is proudly sponsored by P4ML.
Middle East GAA is proudly supported by Jones Engineering.
The official equipment partner of Middle East GAA is O’Neills.
Round 2 commenced last weekend on Friday 4th November, where the “Friday Night Lights” returned to Al Ain for Hurling and Camogie. Jumeirah Gaels and Sharjah Gaels will host Round 2 of the football leagues on 11th & 12th of November, catering for Senior, Intermediate and Junior A divisions.
Rounds 3 & 4 continue in the new year, with final standings in the AICC Middle East League determining if clubs will play Cup or Plate competitions in the P4ML Middle East Championship, to be held in March 2023.
A selection of photos from Round 1 can be viewed in the photo galleries on the MEDIA tab of our website and will be updated throughout the year.