Asian Gaelic Football 7's information

The All Ireland Football Final weekend promises to be a truly international weekend with over 500 people watching it live in Hong Kong having slogged it out over the 2 previous days in their own All Asian version. In what promises to be the biggest and best celebration of Irish sports and culture ever held in Asia- The 8th Asian Gaelic Games will take place in Aberdeen stadium , Hong Kong from September 26th to 28th.

Winners from last years Gaelic Football 7’s

Receiving the cup from Ireland President Mary McAleese

The three day long event will bring together the Irish diaspora from across the region. Teams representing Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore, Taiwan, Dubai, Abu Dabi, Bahrain, Macao, will compete in the seven-a-side mens and ladies football competitions. There will also be an exhibition of hurling and International Rules Games ( GAA select V Aussie Rules team). Over 300 players will participate in the competitions with Korea seeking to regain the Derek Brady Trophy in the mens’ competition and Japan defending their ladies’ title. In 2002 a lean mean Korean machine gave a master class in sevens football brushing aside all-comers with a display that brought the competition to a new level in their first appearance. This year past winners Japan , Singapore and Hong Kong will be hoping to stop them in their tracks and relive their past glories . In the womens’ competition a kimono clad Japanese team received their winners medals from the President of Ireland, Mary Mc Aleese after a bruising final against Dubai. Hosts Hong Kong will be eager to ensure that this year the winners will be receiving their medals in cheung sams and with Korea competing for the first time Japan will have to be at their best to retain their title.

The Asian Gaelic Games was founded by a group of Irish people in Taiwan on New Year’s Eve, 1995. The first games took place in Manila in 1996 which was also the venue in 1997 and 1998. In 1999 they moved to Singapore and have been held in Phuket since 2000. Men and women from many different countries and cultures take part in various competitions; the most prestigious of which is the Derek Brady Cup, the oriental Sam Maguire. Derek was one of the original founders of the games in Taiwan and died tragically in a road accident before he could witness the incredible success of the venture he had helped to inspire. His parents have continued to support the event throughout the years.

The Winners Line-Up

The HK team that won in Phuket in 2001

In addition to its sporting and cultural significance this weekend also provides an excellent opportunity to raise a substantial amount of money for charity. The games will continue to support the Human Development Foundation in Bangkok which co-ordinates 31 kindergarten schools for 4,500 children aged three to six years. These centres provide vocational training, support for AIDS sufferers and hospice care for older children.

Support will also be given to the Hong Kong Down Syndrome Association, whose Special Olympic team members were unable to travel to Dublin due to complications with the SARS quarantine arrangement agreed with the Irish Department of Health. The entire Hong Kong Special Olympics Team will also be invited along to the Sunday of the Games.

More information on the games can be obtained by visiting HKGAA website: and or the AGAA website

John Hone, President of Hong Kong GAA

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