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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.

Some counties are traditionally stronger in hurling, others in football.

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.

County Colours Nicknames Songs
Antrim Saffron County

The Glens

The Green Glens of Antrim
Armagh Orchard County

Cathedral County

The Boys from the County Armagh
Carlow Dolman County

The Barrowsiders

The Scallion Eaters

Cavan Breffni County Come Back Paddy Reilly
Clare Banner County Oh My Lovely Rose of Clare
Cork Rebel County

The Rebels

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
Down Mourne County

The Mournemen

The Ardsmen

The Star of the County Down
Dublin The Dubs Rare Auld Times or Molly Malone
Fermanagh Erne County

The Ernesiders

Galway The Tribesmen Galway Bay

The West’s Awake

Fields of Athenry

Kerry The Kingdom Rose of Tralee
Kildare Short Grass County

The Lilywhites

The Curragh of Kildare
Kilkenny Marble County

The Cats

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
Longford O’Farrell County

Slashers

Louth The Wee County
Mayo The Westerners Moonlight on Mayo
Meath Royal County

The Royals

Beautiful Meath
Monaghan Farney County
Offaly Faithful County The Offaly Rover
Roscommon The Sheepstealers Man of Roscommon
Sligo Yeats County

Yeat’s men

The Isle of Innisfree

Down By The Sally Gardens

Tipperary Premier County Slievenamon
Tyrone The Red Hand
Waterford Decies County

The Deise

Old Dungarvan Oak
Westmeath The Lake County

Lake men

Wexford Model County

The Yella’ Bellies

The Boys of Wexford

Boulavogue

Wicklow Garden County The Meeting of the Waters
London The Exiles
New York The Exiles
 

What Others Say

  1. Boib Canty May 29, 2010 at 10:04 am

    For Cork: “The Blood and Bandage” and “In Around the House”.

  2. Caitlin Feb 24, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    Another nickname for Roscommon: The Rossies

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