A team from South Korea will be a novel addition to the list of those competing in the Lidl Comórtas Peile Páidí Ó Sé 2018 next month.
There is no question of them being there to make up the numbers. Seoul Gaels was founded in 2002 in order to send a team to the Asian Games of that year in Bangkok. They not only sent a team but proceeded to win the tournament for the next three years.
The will be joined by teams from Germany, the UK and 12 counties from the four provinces of Ireland, bringing 1,200 players to the Dingle peninsula in West Kerry from the 16th to the 18th of February.
40 club teams will compete in ladies and men’s senior, intermediate and junior competitions in over 20 GAA venues across the Dingle Peninsula. These will be added to by cultural and social events at Comórtas HQ, Páidí Ó Sé’s pub in Ventry.
Lidl is back on board as sponsors for the second year and the tournament is also supported by Kerry County Council’s Tourism Unit, EJ Menswear and Lee Strand Milk.
Rathangan, under the management of former Kildare All-star Karl O’Dwyer, son of the great ‘Micko’ O’Dwyer, will line out in the intermediate men’s competition against Keel, Anascaul, Lispole as well as Tyrone’s Augher St Macartan’s and St. John’s of Sligo.
Ladies football is represented with 20 club teams competing including defending Comórtas champions Dublin’s Ballyboden St. Enda’s who are the most successful ladies club in the Dublin Championship’s history.
The football festival, which has attracted over 15,000 club players since it began in 1989, is a big boost for tourism in the area and continues to attract huge interest.
“We are thrilled to be breaking new ground by hosting a team from South Korea and it’s great to see Team Germany ladies and men’s teams, made up of six German GAA Clubs, making the big effort to travel,” said Comórtas Chairman Pádraig Óg Ó Sé.
“It reflects the expanding reach of the GAA community globally but also shows that interest in our tournament has spread far beyond what my father ever imagined.”
“We are delighted that Lidl is our main partner and, just as they have helped to grow Ladies Football, they have helped us to grow the tournament to 40 teams this year which we are really excited about.”
“We are delighted to continue our partnership with this year’s Comórtas Peile Páidí Ó Sé, ” added Michael Collins of Lidl Ireland.
“Our sponsorship of is an extension of our commitment to Ladies Gaelic Football and our store teams in Dingle and Tralee are proud to get behind this year’s festival too.”
Join us on Thursday morning at the Marker Hotel for Breakfast with sporting and business leaders as we look ahead to the Sporting Year with Paraic Duffy of the GAA, Pat Keogh of Leopardstown Racecourse, Sue Ronan of the FAI, Diarmaid Murphy of the GAA and with Kelli O’Keeffe of Teneo PSG delivering insight on the relationship between sport and the Irish public. Reserve your place here.