London Irish has, obviously, a very long and distinguished link with Ireland and being Irish in London. The Gaelic Athletic Association mirror’s London Irish in this way, with members playing Gaelic Games in London dating back to 1896 and even beyond.

We now are making history with the plan to start up a GAA Club at Hazelwood and thus providing our London Irish Mini and Youth Members the opportunity to play the ancient and uniquely Irish game of Gaelic Football.

As well as being a fun sport for our kids to play in the Rugby off-season and a fantastic game in it’s own right, Gaelic Football is now globally recognised as a fantastic way to develop ball handling and kicking skills as well as positional awareness, invaluable to Rugby Players. There have been many newspaper articles referring to this over the last months mainly referring to the fact that Tommy Bowe, Simon Zebo, Ian Madigan, The Kearney Bothers, Sean O’Brien and Robbie Henshaw have all played Gaelic Football extensively as kids and youths. This has been the case in the past too with many Irish Rugby internationals, including Munster, Ireland and B&I Lions Legend Mick Galwey who won a Senior All Ireland Medal playing Gaelic Football for Kerry as a 19 year old.

Don’t take our word for it. Here is what Zinzan Brooke had to say:

“I unashamedly wallowed in the game (Gaelic Football), great for elevation skills, anticipation, kicking off either foot (a must), running, passing by hand or kick-passing. And the contact! The contact made the blood run whether you were taking it or giving it.” `If I was Irish I’d play Gaelic’

Zinzan Brooke, a retired Gaelic Football player and All Black Legendary No8

Go raibh mile maith agaibh,

Kieran, Mary, Liam, Paul and Tiernan.