Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Beware of men with big hurleys: Former Kildare Poc Fada winners Aidan Buggle, Niall Lanigan, Patrick Murphy and James Donnelly

Beware of men with big hurleys: Former Kildare Poc Fada winners Aidan Buggle, Niall Lanigan, Patrick Murphy and James Donnelly

The Cu Chulainns of Kildare hurling will be out in force tonight for the county’s Poc Fada competition in Maynooth.

Warriors of Ash will descend on Maynooth GAA from all corners of Kildare in a bid to qualify for the next stage of the the All-Ireland Poc Fada Hurling & Camogie Championships. The Poc Fada is an annual tournament testing the skills of Ireland’s best hurlers and camogie players. Poc Fada is Irish for “long puck”. The championships are sponsored by M Donnelly & Co. since 1996 with the winner will taking home the Setanta Cup.

This year TopFlight have also got on board and the provincial winners will also win a ski trip with the Ian Dempsey show from TodayFM on their annual ski trip. The All Ireland Poc Fada Finals are held at “An Fhána Mór”, Annaverna in the Cooley Mountains County Louth. Competitors must puck a sliotar with a hurley to the top of Annaverna Mountain, “An Céide,” and onwards to “Carn an Mhadaidh”‘ and after a short break continue down to “An Gabhlán,” finishing back at “An Fhána Mór,” Annaverna.

The whole course measures 5 kilometres. The tournament was founded in 1960 by Fr. Pól Mac Sheáin and the Naomh Moninne club based in Fatima, Dundalk, Louth. The concept of the competition originates in the Irish legend of “Táin Bó Cuailgne” when Cúchulainn, who as the boy Setanta set out from his home to the King’s court at Emain Macha hitting his sliotar before him and running ahead to catch it. The record currently stands at 48 pucks (an average of 104 metres per puck), achieved by Brendan Cummins (Tipperary) in 2004, while for the shorter camogie course Mary Henry has the record with 28.

The Leinster competition is played for the Ollie Walsh Cup and will be held this year in St Mullins, Co. Carlow in mid July. The historic town of Maynooth will host this year’s Kildare county Poc Fada final on June 12th in the GAA Club grounds located adjacent to NUI Maynooth and St Patrick’s College. The launch of this year’s event took place recently in the beautiful grounds of the College with the last four winners of the event in Kildare who went on the represent the county in the Leinster final.

Patrick Murphy from Leixlip will be looking to defend his title while the other past winners Aidan Buggle (Ardclough), Niall Lanigan (Celbridge) and James Donnelly (Moorefield) will be hoping to qualify to represent their clubs come Wednesday June 12. All Kildare GAA clubs are encouraged to host their own event and send forward a maximum of three to the final in Maynooth. There will be a link on the website in the run up to the final with all the club winners. For more information contact [email protected]

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