June bank holiday Féile football feast

THE June bank holiday weekend promises to be a busy one for GAA clubs in Laois and Offaly following the announcement that ninety six U-14 football teams from throughout the province will converge on the midland counties for the Leinster Football Féile on Saturday, June 4.

THE June bank holiday weekend promises to be a busy one for GAA clubs in Laois and Offaly following the announcement that ninety six U-14 football teams from throughout the province will converge on the midland counties for the Leinster Football Féile on Saturday, June 4.

The Leinster Féile enjoyed its official launch in The Heritage Hotel, Portlaoise last Wednesday night, as county players from Laois and Offaly met with young footballers from over 50 clubs in both counties for a unique ‘Questions and Answers’ session.

Leinster Council Chairperson Martin Skelly, fresh from meeting her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II earlier that afternoon at Croke Park, said it was competitions such as the Leinster Football Féile that epitomised the volunteerism and spirit which makes the GAA such a strong and progressive sporting organisation. All participating teams are expected to gather at O’Moore Park, Portlaoise on June 4 for a parade that will commence at 10am and proceed down the Main Street, passing a review stand that will include the newly installed President-elect of Cumann Luthchleas Gael, Liam O’Neill, another who greeted the Queen at GAA headquarters.

For those who can recall the excitement and colour of the Féile na nGael parades of 2008 in Portlaoise and 2009 in Birr, this promises to be a tremendous spectacle on what is building up to be a hectic weekend in Portlaoise.

Once the parade is complete, teams will disperse to 12 venues in Laois and Offaly where the competitions will take place including the finals in each grade.

The Leinster Féile is a forerunner to Féile Péil na nÓg, the national festival for U-14 football, which will be jointly hosted for the first time by Laois and Offaly in 2012.