The GAA and the All Ireland Championship
There is a GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) club in almost every parish in Ireland, and in each county teams are drawn from these clubs to contest the annual All Ireland Championships in Football and Hurling, the biggest competitions of the GAA year.
The map on the left shows counties where hurling predominates in blue, where football is strongest in yellow and where both games are strong in green.
County teams are avidly supported, players are heros and tens of thousands regularly attend games.
By the time the competitions reach the semi-final and final stages tickets for matches are like gold dust and every one of the 82,000 tickets for the national stadium at Croke Park will be sold out weeks in advance.
Flying the GAA County Flag
Each county has its colours, which will be used in players’ jerseys and seen in flags flying all over the county – especially in years where the county is doing well and has reached the latter stages of the Championships.
You are bound to see some of these flags flying from flagpoles, trees, windows and on cars as you travel around Ireland, particularly in late summer as the finals, which are held in September each year, draw closer.
Most counties also have nicknames, by which the county, the inhabitants of the county and the team are known. They also often have a song, which fans sing loudly to urge their side on, and even more loudly if they win!!
GAA Colours, Nicknames and Songs
This is a list of the various colours, county names or nicknames and the songs for each county of Ireland.
|The Green Glens of Antrim|
|The Boys from the County Armagh|
The Scallion Eaters
|Cavan||Breffni County||Come Back Paddy Reilly|
|Clare||Banner County||Oh My Lovely Rose of Clare|
|The Banks of my Own Lovely Lee|
|Derry||Oak Leaf County||The Town I Loved So Well|
|Donegal||The Tír Conaill Men||Mary from Dungloe|
|The Star of the County Down|
|Dublin||The Dubs||Rare Auld Times or Molly Malone|
|Galway||The Tribesmen||Galway Bay
The West’s Awake
Fields of Athenry
|Kerry||The Kingdom||Rose of Tralee|
|Kildare||Short Grass County
|The Curragh of Kildare|
|Rose of Mooncoin|
|Laois||O’Moore County||My Lovely Laois|
|Leitrim||Wild Rose County||Lovely Leitrim|
|Limerick||Treaty County Shannonsiders||Limerick You’re a Lady|
|Louth||The Wee County|
|Mayo||The Westerners||Moonlight on Mayo|
|Offaly||Faithful County||The Offaly Rover|
|Roscommon||The Sheepstealers||Man of Roscommon|
|The Isle of Innisfree
Down By The Sally Gardens
|Tyrone||The Red Hand|
|Old Dungarvan Oak|
|Westmeath||The Lake County
The Yella’ Bellies
|The Boys of Wexford
|Wicklow||Garden County||The Meeting of the Waters|
|New York||The Exiles|