Sarsfields Ladies GAA players will join GAA clubs from the United Arab Emirates, Scotland, England and 17 counties across the four provinces of Ireland in the 30th anniversary of the Lidl Comórtas Peile Páidi Ó Sé 2019 in Co Kerry.
A total of 44 adult men’s and ladies club teams will be descending on the rugged Dingle Peninsula from 15th to 17th February.
Newbridge Sarsfields will be one of 22 Ladies football teams taking part.
The football festival, which is supported by Lidl Ireland, EJ Menswear.com, Kerry County Council Tourism Unit and Lee Strand Milk, was officially launched at an event in Dublin this week by former Kerry great Kieran Donaghy and Dublin ladies star and holder of three senior All-Irelands Lyndsey Davey, and which was also attended by Kerry Ladies nine-in-a-row legend Eileen Lawlor, Listowel’s Billy Keane, Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh, former Kildare footballer Dermot Earley and many more.
The festival, founded by Kerry iconic footballer Páidi Ó Sé, has attracted over 15,000 club players over 30 years and has grown into a major international GAA event with senior, intermediate and junior competitions as well as teams attending cultural and social events at Comórtas HQ, Páidí Ó Sé’s pub in Ventry, Co. Kerry.
There is some stiff opposition in the Dermot Earley senior men’s cup with Westmeath’s Rosemount back to defend their 2018 title against local sides An Daingean, Milltown Castlemaine and An Ghaeltacht while newcomers including Laois’s Portarlington and Éire Óg Inis of Clare will be attempting to leave their mark on this historic year. Also competing at senior level is Cork’s Knocknagree, who won the Comórtas intermediate final two years ago, setting them on their winning ways to All-Ireland Intermediate Club final victory in Croke Park later that season.
There are 11 Kerry teams competing in total. Apart from the senior Kerry clubs, the intermediate men’s clubs include Annascaul, Lispole, Cromane and Renard. The intermediate ladies’ competition sees Austin Stacks and Corca Dhuibhne togging out while John Mitchel’s and Dingle Ladies line out in the Junior Ladies competition.
Ladies football is well represented with 22 teams in all. There are some big names in the eight team senior ladies’ competition which are all from outside Kerry including 2018 Comórtas champions Ballyboden St. Enda’s of Dublin along with Thomas Davis, Cavan’s Mullahoran and Templeport At Aidan’s, Kildare’s Newbridge Sarsfields, 2018 Leitrim senior champions St. Joseph’s as well as Mayo’s Burrishoole and Louisburgh.
There is a large travelling party from the UK Ladies GAA club scene with Dunedin Connolly’s Ladies, Edinburgh, Scotland in the intermediate ladies competition while Glen Rovers GAA, Watford, Round Towers GAA, Tír Chonaill Gaels and Kingdom Gaels of Finchley of the greater London area all line out in the junior ladies competition. The Comórtas also welcomes Dubai Celts who travel for the second time to the competition, lining out in the junior men’s cup.
The football festival will also host nightly free music and entertainment which is open to the general public and a Saturday Night Players Banquet at theComórtas marquee at Páidi Ó Sé’s pub in Ard a' Bhóthair , Ventry
Comórtas Chairman Pádraig Óg. Ó Sé said, ‘We are delighted with the response to our 30th anniversary Comórtas with 17 counties represented, the largest amount in our history.
"We thank our UK GAA friends with five travelling teams and indeed Dubai Celts who are making the longest journey of all.
"The support of local host clubs is crucial in ensuring we can maintain such a high number of teams and we thank them for their co-operation.
Local partners Lee Strand Milk and Kerry County Council Tourism Unit are backing us also to continue with the Comórtas, which has become a big benefit in terms of local tourism. We are also delighted that EJMenswear.com of Sligo, who are related to the Ó Sé family as well as Lidl Ireland are back to help make this event happen.
Michael Collins, Regional manager, Lidl Ireland said: "We are delighted to continue our partnership with this year’s Comortas Peile Paidi O Se.
"Our store teams in Dingle and Tralee are proud to support the Comortas Peile Paidi O Se and we are all looking forward to the festival of Gaelic Football ahead."
For a programme of events and a full list of teams visit www.Paidiose.com.
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