Féile Peile na nÓg 2012 was launched by GAA President Liam O’Neill in the Heritage Hotel, Portlaoise last Thursday night.
The launch was attended by over 300 boys and girls from local clubs and guests including Ladies GAA President Pat Quill, Chairman of the Leinster Council Martin Skelly and members of the Laois and Offaly senior football teams and Ladies Football teams from both counties.
This year Féile Peile na nÓg will be hosted by Laois and Offaly for the first time on June 22 to 24. 152 boys and girls teams will participate over the weekend with the highlights including the Féile Parade through the streets of Portlaoise on June 22 and the finals of 10 competitions in O’Moore Park and Portlaoise GAA grounds on Sunday, June 24. Approximately 4,000 boys and girls will participate in Féile Peile na nÓg over the weekend with the boys and girls from the 76 visiting teams staying in the homes of their host club players.
Peter O’Neill, Chairman of the Laois-Offaly Féile Peil na nÓg Committee welcomed guests to the launch and encouraged the local clubs to continue their excellent preparations for this major event. “The hosting of Féile Peil na nÓg 2012 is an exciting prospect for the GAA in our counties. With boys and girls coming from all thirty two counties, as well as England, Scotland and the USA, we are looking forward to offering them our hospitality and making Féile Peile na nÓg 2012 a great experience for all who participate.
Mr O’Neill also noted the boost that Féile will provide for the local economy. “There has already been a huge demand for accommodation from parents and families coming to enjoy Féile and we are very pleased that our festival will bring some valued business to local hotels, restaurants and shops that support our clubs each year.”
Speaking at the launch, Liam O’Neill thanked Laois GAA and Offaly GAA for taking on the responsibility of organising the Association’s national festival of football for boys and girls under 14 years of age. “Our Féile competitions occupy a special place in the GAA calendar and many of the top players in both codes today have fond memories of travelling to other counties to represent both their clubs and their counties.
“While there is undoubtedly a competitive side to the games there is so much more to the competition thanks to the special bonds created between host and visiting clubs, and the superb hospitality which will be evident across Laois and Offaly this year.
“Thanks to all involved for their hard work and attention to detail and also to our sponsors Bus Éireann for their valued support of what are valued competitions.”
Mr. Ó Néill also thanked Bus Éireann for their continuing sponsorship of Féile Peile na nÓg and Féile na nGael, the national festival of underage hurling.
See this week’s Leinster Express for pictures from the Feile launch and the Feile school visits in Laois