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Abu Dhabi Fianna in Abu Dhabi & Dubai UAE Directory


Abu Dhabi Fianna was formed a number of years ago by Irish expatriates who wanted to play the national games of Ireland, Hurling and Gaelic Football, on a somewhat regular basis. These two great sports, with their long and renowned history, are played wherever Irish people are gathered in the world, and despite being of solely Irish background soon win over the hearts of sports fans everywhere with their high level of skill and relentless pace. Hurling is one of the oldest recorded field games, with records dating back over 2000 years, to the time of the great mythological figure of Irish history, Cúchulainn. It is played using hurls or camáns, sticks used to strike the ball, a sliotar, at speeds of up to 100 m.p.h. Gaelic Football is a bit more modern, with the first recorded games being played back in the 15th century. In 1884, the Gaelic Athletic Association, or GAA, was founded to try and regularise the playing of these games. Rules were developed, which, despite periodical changes over the years, have remained much the same as they were over 100 years ago. Gaelic games have continued to develop over the years and they are now highly regarded sports, indeed they have even taken on an international aspect with regular Hurling internationals against Scottish Shinty teams, and the now annual Compromise Rules Football series between Ireland and Australia. Here, in Abu Dhabi, the club has continued to grow each year, and we now boast a very healthy membership. Over the years we have had members from every corner of Ireland but we have also included many different nationalities among our ranks, with English, Scottish, Canadian, Australian, American, Kenyan and a few more nationalities having represented the Fianna. Basically, anyone who wants to give it a go is always more than welcome with us. And of course it’s not just the men…Ladies Gaelic Football is one of the fastest growing sports in Ireland and this fact is also mirrored out here, where the standard of play has been improving steadily. Abu Dhabi typically enjoys a very transitionary lifestyle, with people continually coming and going as they finish up their contracts and move on. Basically so, once the All-Ireland comes around in September the scouts come out, searching out the new faces in the crowd gathered to watch, eagerly hoping that Santa has been good to us and sent a fresh supply of hopefuls to swell the ranks. We compete regularly in Gaelic Games tournaments around the Gulf, the highlights being our own Periwinkle Games in October, The Bahrain Tournament in November, Al Ain in February and the Arabian Gulf Championship in Dubai in March. As well as these we compete with the Dubai Celts, and , when they can muster a team, Al Ain, for the UAE Championship in a series of games over the year. A major achievment in the history of the club came this year (2001) when Abu Dhabi Fianna were crowned the Arabian Gulf Senior Mens football champions after a thrilling victory in Dubai in March. The aim now is to continue to build on this success and to try and equal the achievments of those who have proudly worn the Fianna jersey. We train regularly in the W&E Grounds during the season and are always looking for fresh blood! Past Committees of the Abu Dhabi Fianna; The Role of the committee is to ensure that the needs of the club, both sporting and social, are fulfilled to their maximum potential. They meet formally once a month to wheel and deal, to plot and prepare for the next event...1998/1999; Johnny Rea (Chairman), Mary Dore, Rory Rahilly, Mick Ryan, Kevin McGuire, Shane Courtney, Bernie Briody, Pat English, Frank Hughes, Ger Greene. 1999/2000; Johnny Rea (Chairman), Pat English, Roger Finigan, Mike Gallanagh, Felim Bolster, Anthony Carey, Neil Creedon, Mairead Rowan. 2000/2001; Anthony Carey (Chairman), Johnny Rea (PRO), Neil Creedon (Treasurer), PJ Kirwan (Secretary), Felim Bolster, Maura Geoghegan, Marian McElligott. 2001/2002; Anthony Carey (Chairman), PJ Kirwan (Secretary), Neil Creedon (Treasurer), Johnny Rea (PRO), Felim Bolster, Maura Geoghegan, Gearoid Leen, Sarah Howard, Greame Thomson. 2002/2003; Neil Creedon (Chairman), PJ Kirwan (Secretary), Felim Bolster (Treasurer), Karen Frehill, Neiti Morgan, Declan Brady, Gearoid Leen, Graeme Thomson, Cathy McFerran, Dixie Collins.


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