Middle East GAA - Round 3 Review - 2022/23
February 10, 2023
2023 got off to a flying start with Round 3 of the Arab-Irish Chamber of Commerce Middle East League taking place in Dubai, Qatar and Al Ain.
The Sevens Stadium in Dubai was the location for the Hurling & Camogie tournament held on Saturday, 14th January, where 3 pitches catered for 22 different teams and over 300 players on the day. Mild weather conditions facilitated a fantastic day of action across Senior, Intermediate and Junior divisions. Well done and thank you to all members and supporters who attended the event on the day, and to the hosts Dubai Celts. Congratulations to our winners:
Senior Camogie – Dubai Celts
Intermediate Camogie – Dubai Celts
Junior Camogie – Sharjah Gaels
Senior Hurling – Abu Dhabi na Fianna
Intermediate Hurling – Dubai Celts
A sunny Doha was the location for the next tournament, Senior and Intermediate Football, on Saturday, 21st January. Following a short break, this was the first tournament that was hosted by Qatar GAA in recent years and saw the long-awaited return of hundreds of players, managers and supporters who descended on Sports Park for a great day of competitive action. A large, enthusiastic crowd was present as the day progressed and teams moved towards the knockout stages of the competition that evening. Well done to the committee of Qatar GAA on hosting this round, and to all teams and players who travelled to take part. Congratulations to our winners on the day:
Senior Ladies Football – Sharjah Gaels
Intermediate Ladies Football – Qatar GAA
Senior Mens Football – Dubai Celts
Intermediate Mens Football – Qatar GAA
Next up, Al Ain Rugby Club was the venue for Junior A, B, C and D football divisions. The tournament was split over 2 days, Friday 27th and Saturday 28th January, to accommodate travelling teams in the region. Friday Night Lights saw 31 teams and over 400 players take to the field, with an early start required on Super Saturday to cater for the remaining 24 teams and 350 players. Despite some rainy weather across the region over the weekend, pitches remained in good condition and games proceeded without interruption. Thank you to the hosts, Al Ain GAA, who also welcomed H.E. Ambassador Alison Milton, Irish Ambassador to the UAE, Kuwait & Qatar to the event. Ambassador Milton offered great encouragement and support in her address to the community, spoke about a number of upcoming initiatives, and was on hand to present trophies and medals to our winners on Saturday. Congratulations to all who took part and to our winners on the weekend:
Junior A Ladies Football – Kerry Middle East
Junior B Ladies Football – Qatar GAA
Junior C Ladies Football – Abu Dhabi Na Fianna
Junior D Ladies Football – Clann na hOman
Junior A Mens Football – Laochra Gaels
Junior B Mens Football – Jumeirah Gaels
Off the pitch, a pop-up Gaeltacht came to life in Dubai, where a number of members in the region came together on every Sunday morning in the month of January to practice some cúpla focail as Gaeilge. Similar to our sporting competitions, all levels were catered for on these days, which offered a relaxed atmosphere for members to get together and connect. Middle East GAA would like to thank all who were involved in this pop-up Gaeltacht initiative, which we hope to develop further in the future.
Elsewhere, on February 4th, the Middle East County Board hosted its inaugural juvenile tournament in the region, which proved to be a resounding success and looks set to be developed even further over the coming years. Over 200 children took part in a great day of spraoi agus spórt at Sharjah Wanderers Rugby Club, where a full schedule of football, hurling, camogie and handball was complemented by bouncing castles, an Irish-language corner and live music. Mammy’s and Daddy’s even got in on the action when they took to the field for an exhibition match, loudly supported by all of our juvenile members! Middle East GAA were delighted to welcome John Forde, Deputy Head of Mission at the Irish Embassy, who commended members, coaches, parents, players and the wider community in the region for their dedication and efforts, which resulted in everybody coming together to create a memorable day. Mr. Forde had the honour of presenting medals to juvenile members involved on the day, along with trophies to Qatar GAA and Abu Dhabi Na Fianna. We thank all those from Abu Dhabi Na Fianna, Arabian Celts, Dubai Éire Óg, Naomh Alee Riyadh, Qatar GAA and RAK Ropairí who travelled to take part, and we look forward to seeing everybody again in the not-too-distant future.
Looking ahead, the final rounds of the Arab-Irish Chamber of Commerce Middle East League are set to take place throughout February. Sharjah Gaels will host the final round of the AICC Hurling and Camogie League at Sharjah Wanderers Sports Club on Saturday, 11th February while Dubai Celts will host a busy day of footballing action on Saturday, 25th February at the Sevens Stadium for the final rounds of the AICC Middle East GAA Football League.
On both days, AICC Middle East GAA League Winners will be crowned, and seedings will be confirmed for the P4ML Middle East GAA Championship, which will take place in Abu Dhabi on March 10th and 11th. The P4ML Middle East GAA Championship represents the culmination of an exciting 2022-23 season of action for over 2,000 members and looks set to be one of the highlights of the year as all 118 teams from across the region are set to descend on Abu Dhabi to take part in our showpiece event.
Go n- éiri libh go leir!