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Dreams Come True in the Munster GAA

The Munster GAA Primary Game, which has been in existence since 1996, continues to make dreams come true for boys and girls throughout the province. What an opportunity it is to run onto the pitch in a packed stadium in your county colours on one of the great sporting days of the year. Afterwards, each of those boys and girls returns to the schoolyard with a unique jersey and a treasure trove of memories that will last a lifetime.

In total, 484 primary school pupils, all in Sixth Class, will line out in this year’s Munster GAA Primary Game. The introduction of the Round Robin format in last year’s hurling Championship saw the number of senior hurling fixtures in the province increase from 4 to 11. The Munster Council has ensured that there will be a Primary Game match during the interval at each hurling tie. The backing that the Primary Game concept has received is testimony to the vision of Comhairle na Mumhan and its commitment to promoting Gaelic Games among young players.

Many of the marquee names who light up the GAA season have a treasured Primary Game jersey at home. Shane Dowling, Dan and Tom Morrissey, Aaron Gillane and Declan Hannon are just some of the stars of Limerick’s All-Ireland winning squad who first wore a Limerick jersey in the Primary Game.

Of course, the Primary Game relies on the work of the many teachers who are involved in promoting Gaelic Games in all counties of the province through their work with Cumann na mBunscol. Almost 2,000 primary schools take part in Cumann na mBunscol activities throughout Munster, be it boys’ football, girls’ football, hurling, camogie or rounders.

The 2019 Munster GAA Primary Game was launched by Ger Ryan, Vice- Chairman of the Munster Council, in Áras Mumhan, Castletroy, Limerick.

Gradaim an Uachtaráin 2019

EDUCATION AWARD: Brother James Dormer

Born in Dublin, Brother James Dormer has been immersed in the promotion of the GAA throughout several teaching posts around the country.

His teaching career began at Wexford CBS in 1970. Brother Dormer spent three years in Wexford Town. Among his best- known students was Billy Walsh, future Olympic boxer and coach.

After teaching for a short period in Carlow, in January 1974 Brother Dormer began teaching in Sexton Street CBS in Limerick City, and although he finished his teaching there in 1980 he has been an ever-present figure in Sexton Street since then, sitting on a wide range of boards and assisting in a vast array of positions throughout the school.

In February 1980, Brother Dormer was appointed principal of Lismore CBS Primary School in County Waterford. He enjoyed 13 years as principal of Lismore CBS where he oversaw the education of the local boys and nurtured their hurling skills. During that time, he brought unprecedented success to Lismore GAA Club, winning a host of county and divisional titles at underage level and two county seniorhurling titles, in 1991 and 1993. He was a mentor in the lives of many famous Lismore past-pupils including Waterford county players, Dave Bennett, Brendan Landers, and Dan Shanahan.

Brother Dormer was appointed principal of Doon CBS Primary School in Limerick in 1993, a role he filled for the next 23 years. In that time, he dedicated his life to advancing education, Irish culture, Irish language, Irish games and religion in the local area. After 46 years as a teacher, Brother Dormer officially retired on August 31st, 2016. He was the last Christian Brother to teach in Doon CBS, and also the last Christian Brother to be a primary school principal in the country.

At Doon CBS, every one of Brother Dormer’s pupils learned to play hurling in the school yard. As a result, the school has been a leading light in primary school hurling since the early 1990s and Doon GAA Club has had enormous success in all grades of hurling. Presently, Doon is the only club in County Limerick fielding three adult hurling teams, with success at all levels. Among the many hurlers to pass through his hands at school and club level were 2018 All- Ireland winners, Pat Ryan, Barry Murphy, Darragh O’Donovan and All-Star Richie English.

Brother Dormer has served as an officer of Cumann Na mBunscol in Limerick and Waterford for four decades. He spent five years as National Treasurer of the organisation and from 2011 to 2016, he was Uachtarán of Cumann an mBunscol (Coiste Náisiúnta).

South Limerick win Neville Cup

After the final Joe Lyons, Chairman of Allianz Cumann na mBunscol Luimnigh, presented the Neville Cup to South Limerick captain Emer O’Donovan of Effin NS. Mr Lyons praised all four teams for their performances on a great day for camogie.

Mr Lyons said that all four teams had represented their Divisions with skill and pride. He praised the teachers and other mentors who had prepared the teams for the tournament and predicted that many of the girls would be seen in the Limerick colours in years to come.

Mr Lyons thanked Bruff GAA club for their help in making the Neville Cup such a successful tournament. He also thanked referee John Paul Kiely who was in charge of all three games.

Both captains in the final come from distinguished hurling families. Sophie Carey from Patrickswell NS is a niece of Ciarán Carey while South captain Eimear O’Donovan is a niece of Conor O’Donovan, All-Ireland winning full back with Tipperary in 1989.

Mackey Cup 2019

East Limerick are back in the Winners’ Enclosure

East Limerick regained the Mackey Cup after a six-year gap when the team of 2019 captured the blue riband of primary schools hurling at Bruff GAA Grounds. The tournament which showcases the cream of young hurling talent had to be moved at short notice as the Gaelic Grounds was unavailable. Bruff proved an excellent venue with Michael Weekes of enormous assistance as he ensured the smooth running of the games. JP Kiely was the referee for all three games and he acquitted himself superbly.

“The Mackey Cup has a niche of its own in the Cumann na mBunscol calendar,” said Joe Lyons, Chairman of Allianz Cumann na mBunscol Luimnigh. “Nowadays, it has an added attraction for players as the players for the Munster GAA Primary Game are chosen based on their displays in the Mackey Cup”.

Mr Lyons also paid tribute to the teachers and coaches involved with all four teams for their time and effort in coaching teams.

Cian & Anton.

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