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Limerick hurler Cian Lynch, and Ella Troy at the launch of John West Féile, 2021 at Croke Park. Photograph by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile.

Clare kids kick off bid for Féile finals this weekend

HUNDREDS of Clare schoolchildren will contest matches over the next two weekends, August 21 and 28, in the battle for John West Féile county honours.

Camogie and hurling (Féile na nGael) take centre stage this weekend, with football (Féile Peile na nÓg) competitions running on August 28.

Clubs nationwide will showcase the GAA stars of the future as they battle it out for the chance to play in Croke Park in October.

Clare’s John West Féile na nGael hurling ties will be staged at various club venues, with the finals at Caherlohan. The camogie is taking place at Kilmaley, Newmarket On Fergus and Wolfe Tones na Sionna .

The Féile Peile na nÓg football finals will take place at the Centre of Excellence in Caherlohan, while the LGFA games will take place in Wolfe Tones na Sionna, Éire Óg Ennis, Clarecastle and Clooney Quin GAA clubs.

Organisers of the 2021 Féile have honoured their commitment that no child would be left behind this year after the pandemic caused the cancellation of the 2020 festival.

This year’s event is being run on a county basis, with the age grade moving to under-15.

It is backed by John West Féile ambassadors and inter-county stars, Kilkenny’s Denise Gaule (camogie), Limerick’s Cian Lynch (hurling), Armagh’s Aimee Mackin (ladies football) and Galway’s Shane Walsh (Gaelic football).

This year’s festival also marks 50 years of the Féile camogie and hurling competitions. To celebrate this, club representatives from the counties which participated in 1971 – Dublin, Wexford, Kilkenny, Waterford, Limerick, Clare, Cork and Galway – will play in a hurling/camogie blitz in Tipperary’s Semple Stadium on October 25.

In addition, clubs from all 32 counties will be selected to play in Croke Park over three days at Halloween – based on participation in Feile, not on whether teams win their county events.

GAA President, Larry McCarthy, insists that one of the great benefits of a lifetime involvement in the GAA, is the friendships and memories made as a result.

“As a competition, Féile has been superb at living up to this from its earliest days. To reach its 50th anniversary is a significant milestone and generations of players have experienced the joy of being a part of Féile na nGael and Féile Peile na nÓg.

“Restrictions mean that it will have to be run differently. But we will still be able to enjoy the games and the skills and talents of our young players from the hundreds of clubs and communities they proudly represent.”

Please note, all dates and venues are provisional and attendees are advised to check with their local Féile co-ordinator or County Board before attending matches.

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