Belgium GAA’s hurling and camogie teams crowned European Champions
Belgium GAA’s hurling and camogie teams have been crowned European Champions for the fourth year in a row at the European Championship Finals in Dresden, Germany. Expertly organised by Dresden Hurling Club, teams from 15 different European cities came together on Saturday the 15th of October for the largest ever European Hurling & Camogie tournament.
In the hurling, an incredibly closely fought final between Belgium and Luxembourg saw Belgium come out as victors with a score line of 1-17 to 3-9, securing their fourth tournament win of the year and the European Championship title. Belgium’s second team claimed third place, after both Belgian teams met in the semi-finals.
Hurling manager and Cork native Dave Barrett said: “It’s been a ground-breaking year for hurling in Europe. A lot of that credit goes to the county board who made some brave decisions in the winter to grow the game. Having so many teams in Dresden at the weekend endorses those moves. Sligo
Three Sligo hurlers tookl part in the tournament, Darragh Burke (Coolera / Strandhill), Tomás Baynes (Naomh Eoin) and Pádraic Burke (Coolera / Strandhill).
For Belgium, it’s been a breakthrough year, fielding two teams at every tournament for the first time. Winning the championship after such a close final against Luxembourg was the perfect ending for us.”
Belgium’s Camogie team also made in four in a row with their 1-08 to 0-01 win in the final against Switzerland.
Hailing from Wicklow, Belgium’s Caoimhe Ní Shúilleabháin was awarded the camogie player of the tournament for her excellent performance over the whole day.
Camogie captain Gráinne Corry, originally from Clare, said: “I'm very proud of the girls and what we've achieved this season. The players put in a huge effort and commitment in terms of training over the 9 months, attending 5 international tournaments and recruiting new players all season. Looking forward to 2017!”Family Affair
It’s been a family affair this year in Belgium GAA, with Sligo brothers Padraic and Darragh Burke and Dublin father and son Seán and Cian Hade lining out together on Saturday.
A few special guests were in Dresden on Saturday to witness the finals, including GAA President Aogán Ó Fearghaíl, Camogie Association President Catherine Neary, Camogie Association CEO Joan O'Flynn, Irish Ambassador to Germany Michael Collins and Dresden Bürgermeister Dr. Peter Lames.
Seàn Kelly MEP, former GAA President and Honorary President of Belgium GAA commented: “Congratulations Belgium GAA on their four in a row in both hurling and camogie. As honourary president of the club, I'm very proud of you all. You reflect all that's good about the GAA.”
Established in 2003, Belgium GAA has teams in all four codes, Hurling, Camogie, Gaelic Football and Ladies Football and is growing rapidly with players hailing from Sligo, Dublin, Limerick, Kilkenny, Antrim, Tipperary, Cork, Carlow, Westmeath, Clare, Waterford, Wicklow, Wexford, Galway, France, Serbia, Estonia, Spain, Colombia, Belgium and many more among its ranks.