GAA President Liam O’Neill meets future stars of Na Gaeil Oga

Irish language GAA club Na Gaeil Oga received a considerable boost in their development last week when GAA President Liam O’Neill endorsed their growing membership and recently established juvenile section.

The visit of the GAA’s most senior figure to their Saturday morning academy training is another fillip for the club and their plans to increase their membership across all codes and levels.

Speaking to GazetteSport after the visit, PRO Colman Hanley said it was a considerable boost to have the president visit the burgeoning club.

“We invited Liam to come down to the club only last week and he immediately accepted, which was tremendous at such short notice.

“Liam is a primary school teacher by profession, and the training for the youth section takes place at Gaelscoil Naomh Phadraig in Lucan. He met our members and coaches, and young academy members and parents.

“From a club point of view, it is great to have that kind of recognition and appreciation from the highest level in the association.”

The club, founded in 2010, has flourished while other Irish language clubs in the city have fallen by the wayside. At present, they have a senior hurling and two senior football teams, a ladies football team, and are set to launch a camogie team next week. With an eye to the future, the youth development is hoped to build a base of players for the future.

“We want to be able to compete at all age levels in the GAA, and the aim of Saturday mornings at Naomh Phadraig is to establish our underage structures,” said Hanley.

Speaking at the event, O’Neill was effusive in his praise of Na Gaeil Oga: “I had to come here today as I had heard so much about the development and growth of Na Gaeil Oga recently.

“I didn’t realise so many children were involved with the club at such an early age. I think it’s a great idea to see our national language and our national games linked together like this, and as a supporter of the Irish language, I’d support the work going on here.”

Academy training for children from five years olds upwards takes place on Saturday mornings from 10.30am in the grounds of Gaelscoil Naomh Padraig in Lucan. For more information, log on to www.nagaeiloga.ie.

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