HE GAA Football Championships Launch

January 24, 2013

At the launch were Athlone IT players Cathal Shine of Roscommon, Gary Connaughton of Westmeath and Killian Clarke of Cavan with Sinead Lambe, Marketing an Sponsorship manager of the Irish Daily Mail. INPHO
Irish Daily Mail Higher Education GAA Football Championships Weekend Launch

The Irish Daily Mail Higher Education GAA Football Championships Weekend was launched this morning at the grounds of host venue, Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT).

The final and semi-final of the prestigious Irish Daily Mail Sigerson Cup will be hosted at AIT on 22 February and 23 February. In addition, AIT will host also the Irish Daily Mail sponsored Trench and Corn na Mac Leinn Cup, a total of six semi-finals on Friday and three finals on Saturday, as well as the inaugural Corn Comhairle Ardoideachais final on the Friday of what promises to be fantastic weekend of Gaelic Football.

AIT President, Professor Ciarán Ó Catháin, said that he is "very much looking forward to welcoming GAA fans to the campus. The Irish Daily Mail Sigerson Cup Weekend is a highpoint of the GAA calendar, and this year's semi-finals and finals hold the allure of watching some of the finest footballing talent on the circuit."

Sinead Lambe, Marketing and Sponsorship Manager of the Irish Daily Mail says "It gives us great pleasure to see the Irish Daily Mail Sigerson finals being held in the superb new AIT Sports Complex. It is fitting that such an important and prestigious Third Level competition be hosted by one of the finest sporting facilities in the country"

The competition was founded in 1911 when George Sigerson, an academic and scholar, used his salary to donate the cup as up until then there had been no intervarsity tournament for Gaelic Football.

Until 1933, the Sigerson Cup was played out as a three team league involving UCD, UCC and UCG and interestingly in the first three years of the competition all of three colleges had their name etched onto the prestigious trophy with UCD claiming the very first one. Queens University, Belfast later came on board in 1933.

However, since its inception the Sigerson Cup has evolved into a nationwide tournament with several universities, institute of technology's and colleges now all taking part. IT Tralee became the first non-university side to win the Sigerson Cup, when they claimed the title in 1997.

While AIT was one of the colleges to join the competition in its expansion in 1991, the institute has yet to raise the famous cup in victory. This is also the first time that the finals of the competition will have been hosted in Athlone.

Defending Irish Daily Mail Sigerson Cup champions DCU will face stiff competition to retain their crown this year from the likes of recent league winners and capital rivals DIT, while defeated league finalists St.Mary's College, Belfast also impressed during their campaign this winter. Fixtures commence on Tuesday January 29th with one preliminary and seven first round ties. This year's final will take place in Athlone IT on Saturday February 23rd at 3pm and will be televised live on TG4.

Follow all the action from the Irish Daily Mail HE GAA Championships including video previews and highlights on www.youtube.com/HEGAATV, match updates via @HigherEdGAA and GAA Higher Education on Facebook with fixtures, match reports and previews in the Irish Daily Mail and www.he.gaa.ie

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