THE planning and preparing is nearly over. Hundreds of budding young GAA enthusiasts are looking forward to the weekend’s action at Greenford.
It promises to be a lively three days for an event sponsored by The Irish Post, O’Neills and ESB. Brendie Brien, president of the GAA Provincial Council of Britain, is looking forward to the event.
“It is going well everything is falling into place for us now. It is great when it comes together at the end and we are really looking forward to it. The weekend should be great for everyone interested in the GAA. It will be a lovely occasion for all of us involved.”
With more than 100 teams expected to feature in the various competitions O’Brien is encouraged by the fact that schools are entering now. “We have a new development this year with competitions for primary and secondary schools on Friday. That has interested people hugely and it is something that will benefit us. It is a sign of the progress that is being made.
“We should have 20 schools involved in the primary schools competition and it is looking like that we will have eight in the secondary schools tournament. That is brilliant for us. Having new people on the scene is a positive thing.”
It is crucial that youngsters participate at a young age and O’Brien is proud that new ideas and concepts will be implemented. “New ideas are going to be introduced, we will have a three tier competition for Ladies Gaelic Football. It is vital that people are introduced to the game early and the skills they develop at a young are remain very important.”
So an exciting weekend of activity beckons with Brien enthusiastic about the continuing success of the ABC’s. “Overall the interest is very strong. The reaction and feedback we’ve received is very positive. People are very interested. Now that it is getting closer you sense that people feel good to be part of it. That is something we always want to encourage.
“GAA President Aogan O’Fearghail will be here for three days. Ambassador Dan Mulhall will be here on Friday and he will be represented by Alma Ni Choigligh and Cathy Barnicle on the other days. It should be a very good weekend. This year we have put together a programme booklet for the first time which is another important thing to mark a special occasion in the GAA calendar in Britain.”