South London Boys Bring GAA Skills To Tralee

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The Dulwich Harps GAA team who are taking part in the Comortas Peile  John Egan tournament at Caherslee on Friday. Photo by Gavin O'Connor

The Dulwich Harps U14 GAA team who are taking part in the Comortas Peile John Egan tournament at Caherslee on Friday. Photo by Gavin O’Connor

A Dulwich Harps player survey his options at the Comortas Peile  John Egan tournament at Caherslee on Friday. Photo by Gavin O'Connor

A Dulwich Harps player survey his options at the Comortas Peile John Egan tournament at Caherslee on Friday. Photo by Gavin O’Connor

IT’S an unusual sight.

A Gaelic Football team made up of mostly black players from London, with no connection to Ireland, beating Kerry teams in our national game.

London side Dulwich Harps are in Tralee playing a blitz in honour of the late, great John Egan.

The tournament called Comórtas Peile John Egan is being played in Caherslee and John Mitchels new GAA complex in Ballyseedy along with other venues in the county.

“Some of these lads would have never been out of the country before if it wasn’t for Gaelic Football, so we are certainly enriching their lives,” said Dulwich Harps U14 coach, Brian Smyth.

Miltown/Castlemaine are the players’ hosts for the weekend where eight families are taking in two boys each.

“They are loving it, we got a wonderful welcome from Miltown/Castlemaine. They’ve been so good to them already,” said Brian.

The London side draw their players from two schools in the city; 14 of them from St Paul’s School in Abbeywood and two from St Thomas More school in Wood Green.

“Gaelic Football is such a strong part of the locality of Dulwich which is a very deprived area, there’s not much for these lads to do,” Brian said.

“They’re coming on leaps and bounds. We’re getting better year in year out, we’ve won our division in the All Ireland Feile three years in a row. Next year we’re moving up to Division Two which is going to be very difficult, but we’re going to enjoy the challenge” said Brian.

Continued below…

A Dulwich Harps player slots home a goal past the Milltown/Castlemaine goalkeeper at the Comortas Peile  John Egan tournament at Caherslee on Friday. Photo by Gavin O'Connor

A Dulwich Harps player slots home a goal past the Milltown/Castlemaine goalkeeper at the Comortas Peile John Egan tournament at Caherslee on Friday. Photo by Gavin O’Connor

“Our goal is to keep them interested and to get them playing inter-county football for London,” he said.

The boys were in flying form on Friday winning their first three games.

The Tralee sides who competed in the John Egan tournament were recent Feile U14 champions John Mitchels and Na Gaeil.

“We’re very happy with the competition,” said the late John Egan’s wife Mary Egan. “The organisers were fantastic. They put an amount of work into, not only today, but over the last few months” she said.

“It’s especially great to see Dulwich Harps playing, so hopefully a few more teams from England can come over in the future,” said Mary.

The competition concludes tomorrow in Fitzgerald Stadium.

The Na Gaeil GAA team at the Comortas Peile  John Egan tournament at Caherslee on Friday. Photo by Gavin O'Connor

The Na Gaeil GAA team at the Comortas Peile John Egan tournament at Caherslee on Friday. Photo by Gavin O’Connor

John Mitchels GAA team at the Comortas Peile  John Egan tournament at the John Mitchels GAA grounds on Friday. Photo by Gavin O'Connor

John Mitchels GAA team at the Comortas Peile John Egan tournament at the John Mitchels GAA grounds on Friday. Photo by Gavin O’Connor

 

 

 

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