A Scottish under 16 Shinty select travelled to Stormont to play the Belfast based cross-community Hurling Team the Belfast Cúchulainns in a challenge match on Thursday 26th June at 4pm.The Belfast Cúchulainns are a post-primary cross-community inter-school hurling team of 20 all of whom are under the age of 16, with the players being drawn from the following schools:
- Corpus Christi College
- St. Patrick’s College Bearnageeha
- Belfast Boys’ Model School
- Ashfield Boys’ School.
The team has been in existence for just over two years and has participated in a range of events, which included travelling to Scotland in 2007 to play an international Shinty Match. The children in the team represent both the Catholic and Protestant traditions and live in North, West and East Belfast.
The Belfast Cúchulainns will also tour the USA, leaving on the 18th July for twelve days and will hosted by the British and Irish Consulates in New York before travelling to Washington for a tour of Capital Hill and a challenge match against the Washington Gaels. The Cúchulainns will complete the tour in Philadelphia by competing in the GAA Continental Youth Championship representing the city of Belfast and the province of Ulster.
GAA President Nickey Brennan is enthusiastic about the tour:
“To see the Cúchulainns taking part in the CYC games in Philadelphia is particularly satisfying and I wish them a most enjoyable trip. I have no doubt that they will make new friends during the period of the games, and that they will have a lifetime of memories when they return home.”
Tom Daly, President of Ulster GAA said:
“I am delighted that Ulster GAA is involved in developing this flagship project which merges the two main cultural traditions of Ulster together embracing both respect and diversity. We in the GAA see great value in strengthening our links with the Scottish Shinty Association, which has an important east west dimension that will benefit Ulster GAA in the development of Hurling.”
Danny Murphy, Director of Ulster GAA highlighted that the Cúchulainns are the first of several cross-community hurling teams, which the Ulster GAA plan to establish over the next year.
“Hurling is the indigenous game of Ireland and we can trace its roots back into iniquity, it is directly linked into some of the great stories of Cúchulainn. Already we have had great interest from other schools in urban areas that are willing to establish teams similar to the Cúchulainns and we envisage our first cross-community Hurling competition taking place in 2009. Additionally we hope to select an Ulster All-Star U-16 Hurling Team from this competition to play an international match against a Scottish Shinty select on an annual basis”.
Thursday’s match will highlight the unique nature of the team, which represents both the Irish and Ulster Scots cultures. A range of guests from both the educational and political world will be present at the event, which will be followed by a drinks reception and buffet at the Stormont Pavilion.
For further information contact:
(Community Development and Public Affairs Manager)