Birr GAA planning weekend of celebration to coincide with county final return
The race for the 2023 Offaly senior hurling championship title is hotting up very nicely at this stage and so too are the preparations for the return of the county’s showpiece hurling final to Grant Heating St Brendan’s Park, Birr on Sunday, October 15.
The last occasion the SHC Final was contested at the venue steeped in GAA history was seventeen years ago, and having hosted every final between 1954 and 2006, inclusive, Birr GAA club officers and committee members are busy putting in place arrangements for the staging of a celebration of hurling and the clash that will decide the destination of coveted Sean Robbins Cup for 2023.
Last year’s kingpins Shinrone got the better of Birr following an epic high scoring quarter-final that went to extra-time on Sunday and Trevor Fletcher’s men, along with Kilcormac/Killoughey, Ballinamere and St Rynagh’s all have their eyes firmly fixed on the prize.
To coincide with the return of the SHC FInal to Grant Heating St Brendan’s Park, the Birr club has organised a series of events that are sure to whet the appetite of supporters, young and old alike.
Primary school pupils throughout the county are being invited and encouraged to participate in county final themed painting, colouring and essay competitions. There are various categories for Junior Infants up to Fourth Class and for Fifth and Sixth Classes and correspondence has been sent to schools with full details.
The closing date for receipt of entries is Friday, October 6 and the winning prize in each category will be an Offaly GAA jersey.
On Saturday, October 14, the eve of the county hurling final, St Brendan’s Community School will be the venue for a ‘Future Stars’ festival of hurling featuring U8 players from throughout the county and beyond. This promises to be a very enjoyable day for the ‘Future Stars’, their coaches and their parents and make sure to watch this space, as there may also be a few special guests in attendance!
The County Arms Hotel, Birr will play host to an historical talk entitled ‘Sean Robbins - Flying the Faithful Flag’ on Friday, October 13, at 8pm. The guest speaker will be renowned Historian & Author Aidan Doyle as he takes the audience on an insightful journey through the life and times of Sean Robbins, the man whose name is commemorated in Offaly hurling's most coveted prize.
On Saturday, October 14, there will be a huge night of hurling nostalgia and chat, again in the County Arms Hotel, as Birr’s 1995 and 1998 All-Ireland club championship winning sides are honoured. This event is being sponsored by EJ Ireland, based at Roscrea Road, Birr.
Broadcaster Will O’Callaghan of ‘Off The Ball’ and Midlands 103 will be the MC for a gala night that will feature guest contributions from Anthony Daly (Clare & Clarecastle), Dave Clarke (Limerick & Kilmallock), Michael Duignan (St Rynagh’s & Offaly) and Joe Dooley (Seir Kieran & Offaly), while many other players that faced Birr during the 90s are also expected to be present and these will be announced over the coming weeks. Tickets costing €20 can be purchased via Eventbrite or at the County Arms Hotel reception 057 91 20791.
2023 also marks the Silver Jubilee of Offaly’s 1998 Liam MacCarthy Cup triumph and the members of that squad will be introduced to the crowd at Grant Heating St Brendan’s Park, Birr on Sunday, October 15. Top class music guests will also be performing ahead of the county final throw-in. More details to be revealed closer to the final.
Birr GAA Club Chairperson Willie Rigney thanked Daithí Regan and EJ for coming on board as sponsors of the Saturday night event and he said the club were looking forward to a great celebration of all that is positive about Offaly hurling on the county final weekend.