Féile Peil na nÓg, the national festival of under age Gaelic Football comes to the Midlands next weekend with the hosting of the national finals in Laois / Offaly with the assistance of clubs in the neighbouring counties of Kildare and Westmeath.
Over the weekendm 76 visiting teams will be hosted by local clubs with approximately 4,000 boys and girls taking part in 268 matches over the weekend.
On Friday 76 matches will take place at home venues before teams proceed to O’Moore Park, Portlaoise for the Féile Parade through the streets of Portlaoise where a crowd of approximately 10,000 is expected. On Saturday games commence at 10 am in 38 venues to decide the semi finalists who will play off on Saturday evening for the right to compete in the Féile finals on Sunday at O’Moore Park, Portlaoise and Portlaoise GAA Grounds. A total of ten finals take place during the day with the presentations to be made by Uachtaran Cumann Luthchleas Gael Liam O’Neill and Uachtaran Cumann Peil na mBan Pat Quill.
The visiting clubs to Féile Peil na nÓg include some famous names including current Dublin senior champions St Brigid’s led by former Dublin star Keith Barr, current AFL and Kerry All Ireland medallist Tommy Walsh’s club Kerins O’Rahilly’s and St Canice’s Dungiven, home club of Joe Brolly Sunday Game analyst all competing in Division One of the boys competition with local clubs like Portlaoise, Ferbane/Belmont, Edenderry and Portarlington.
In Ladies football the competition will be close also with Foxrock Cabinteely, Dublin joined in Division One by last year’s finalist St Val’s from Cork, Monaleen from Limerick, Rathmore (Kerry), St. Laurence’s (Kildare), Westport (Mayo), Kilmurray Ibrickane (Clare) and Galway champions Claregalway competing with local clubs including former Féile ladies champions Portlaoise, St. Rynagh’s and Tullamore.
The motto for the Féile weekend is “Fun and Friendship” and the local host clubs have gone to great efforts to prepare their facilities and organise activities for their visitors.
In total there are thirteen overseas entries as well as representatives from each of the 32 counties. The overseas counties are New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco, Hertfordshire, Yorkshire, Warwickshire, London, Lancashire, Gloustershire and Scotland. In the case of London there will be boy’s teams from both North and South London while London and New York will field teams in both the boys and ladies competitions.