Irish-speaking club makes Antrim league debut

April 21, 2018

General view of an Antrim flag.
©INPHO/James Crombie.

A small piece of history was made last Wednesday night when an Irish-speaking Gaelic football team from Belfast played their first competitive game.

Laochra Loch Lao made their debut in Division 3 against St. Malachy's at Colaiste Feirste. The result didn't go their way - they lost 1-11 to 3-10 after leading by 1-9 to 1-2 at half-time - but it was still a momentous occasion for the club which was only founded in December.

"For us, the first game was a hugely historic occasion because we had established Laochra as an amalgamated team back in 2006/07 to take part in the national Gaeltacht competition (Comórtas Peile na Gaeltachta) but the step of starting a new club is a big deal," Laochra Loch Lao secretary Feargal Mac Ionnrachtaigh told the Irish News.

"We have U6, U8 and nursery programme, which is thriving, and we have a ladies team who have entered in Division 3 and are top of the league. The key for us is participation, that's the main thing - we're a GAA club, but also a language project."


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