29 May 2023
~25 minutes read
FAI Primary School 5s National Finals set for Wednesday in Aviva Stadium
The countdown is on to this year’s FAI Primary School 5s National Finals which takes place in the Aviva Stadium, Dublin this Wednesday, May 31 with seven National titles up for grabs.
The first section is relatively new to proceedings with four Special Schools lining out in the Football for All category.
Scoil Íosagáin, Buncrana, Donegal, St. Columba’s NS, Douglas, Cork, Scoil Eoin, Crumlin, Dublin and St. Anne’s School, Ennis, Clare will compete in the Special Schools division with the chance of lifting a National title. The players are gearing to go and have put in some extra practice in the run up to the finale. With the calibre of players featuring in the provincial stages, it should be a brilliant end to their Cup campaign.
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, last season, we piloted the initiative with recreational in-house competitions taking place nationwide. A draw was completed to invite schools to participate at the Dublin venue.
However, this season, we returned to our traditional knock-out competitions with the schools winning through to the National showcase. The last competitive outing for these schools was four years ago so the anticipation is mounting now for all involved.
In the mainstream category, six sections will see the schools divided in Provincial representatives in small, medium and large schools’ divisions.
The girls are encouraged to play with the boys in the ‘A’ Cup, ‘B’ Cup and ‘C’ Cup sections but there is a separate competition for girls only; ‘A’ Girls Cup for small schools, ‘B’ Girls Cup for medium schools and the ‘C’ Girls Cup for large schools.
The event will see 224 children from 28 schools participate in the final stages of the competition following four months of fun filled nationwide activity. The qualifying schools have come through their local County events, Regional and/or Provincial qualifiers to reach this stage of the competition with players eager to get togged out again for the conclusion of the tournament.
This year the programme featured 1,802 schools with a total of 41,384 children participating which is a new record for the Primary 5s programme which has been in existence since the mid-1990s.
13 counties will be represented in the Aviva with Donegal leading the charge with 7 representatives. The Donegal army hail from Letterkenny (2), Carndonagh, Buncrana, Raphoe, Lurgybrack and Kerrykeel. The yellow and green bunting will be visible in the Stadium on Finals Day.
Limerick and Galway have an impressive 4 schools qualified. Cork, Carlow and Mayo have 2 schools lining out.
Meanwhile, Offaly, Kildare, Westmeath, Wicklow, Tipperary, Dublin and Clare will each have one representative. The action will commence at 11.30am with the Football For All and Girls
sections kicking us off. The Boys or mixed section will do battle at 3pm.
The ‘A’ Cup has St. Mary’s NS, Mountbellew, Galway (Connacht), St. Joseph’s NS, Hacketstown, Carlow (Leinster), Scoil Naomh Íosaef, Dromcollogher, Limerick (Munster) and Scoil Naomh Colmcille, Dún na nGall (Ulster) all in the driving seat for National honours. All four are newcomers to this stage of proceedings so the excitement among the traveling parties will be at fever pitch come match day. Who will be crowned the new ‘A’ Cup Champions for 2023? It should make for some very interesting viewing. Whatever the outcome, it will be a memorable outing for all involved.
The ‘A’ Girls Cup feature three out of four as debutants this season with Castleblakeney NS, Galway (Connacht), Ardnagrath NS, Athlone, Westmeath (Leinster), Kilbehenny NS, Limerick (Munster) and Scoil Colmcille, Kerrykeel, Donegal (Ulster) in the melting pot for the small girls school’s section. Back in 2016, the Westmeath scholars Ardnagrath NS picked up a winner’s medal in the same category with John Keane at the helm again this season. Could they repeat this feat come Wednesday evening? All four teams will provide a scintillating assortment of skills to the contest as all provincial winners were exceptional this season. There were also some stand out performances particularly in their County qualifiers. This group will be worth watching out for.
The ‘B’ Cup will see a broad geographic remit covered as St. John the Apostle, Knocknacarra, Galway (Connacht), St. Colman’s NS, Mucklagh, Offaly (Leinster), Ballylooby NS, Tipperary (Munster) and St. Eunan’s NS, Raphoe, Donegal (Ulster) attempting to make a top of the table finish. The Leinster Champions will be in familiar territory as their girls were winners in the Girls ‘B’ Cup back in 2019 and they claimed third in 2016 in the same field. The pressure will be on the boys to grab top spot.
Scoil Phádraig, Westport, Mayo (Connacht), Scoil Naomh Peadar S’Pol, Ballon, Carlow (Leinster), Scoil an Spioraid Naoimh, Roxborough, Limerick (Munster) and St. Patrick’s NS, Lurgybrack, Donegal (Ulster) make the cut for the medium schools in the ‘B’ Girls Cup which should serve up some delightful football if the Provincial showdowns were anything to go by. It’s great to welcome back two schools who have experienced these big occasions with Roxborough returning. The boys came second in the ‘B’ Cup in 2011 while the girls were third place finishers in 2014. Roxborough’s Anna Horan was named Player of the Tournament that day, such was the talent on display. It’s lovely to see Eileen Stapleton return to the side-line with the girl’s squad following such a long hiatus. More recently the boys from Lurgybrack starred in 2016 as they got a bronze medal for third place in the ‘C’ Cup.
An array of talent will be on show in the ‘C’ Cup for large schools. All four teams will be at full strength for the final showdown. Castlebar Primary School, Mayo (Connacht), St. Kevin’s NS, Greystones, Wicklow (Leinster), Monaleen NS, Limerick (Munster) and Scoil Chomcille, Letterkenny, Donegal (Ulster) are sure to impress. Interestingly, the Mayo outfit, Castlebar Primary School formed in September 2022 and it’s an amalgamation of St. Angela’s Girls and St. Patrick’s BNS. Historically Des Cogan’s St. Patrick’s had a superb record in this competition spanning over the 23 years with six appearances for the School in total. First appearing back in 2000, the School were crowned National Cup Champions in the ‘C’ Cup. They then went on to three consecutive appearances in the Nationals stages with 3rd place in 2007, 2nd place in 2008 and finally another first-place finish in 2009. They qualified again 10 years ago with a bronze for third. Their last appearance was in 2015 when they collected a silver medal for their endeavours. Extraordinary, Monaleen make only their second ever appearance with a National title for the Girls ‘B’ in 2012. To add to their celebrations, Claire Kelly was named as Player of the Tournament that afternoon. Another historic name to feature again is Ulster crew Scoil Cholmcille of Letterkenny. They were finalists back in 2003, took fourth place two years after that and captured third the following year, 2006. What can they achieve fourth time around?
Remarkably it’s an all-Irish affair in the Girls ‘C’ Cup. Out of the 143 schools registered in the Republic of Ireland, four Gaelscoils will contest the large school’s division. Gaelscoil Mhic Amhlaigh, Gaillimh (Connacht), Scoil Uí Riada, Cill Choca, Co. Chill Dara (Leinster), Gaelscoil Charraig Uí Leighin, Co. Chorcaí (Munster) and Gaelscoil Adhamhnáin, Leitir Ceanainn, Dún na nGall (Ulster) will make history when one of these schools are crowned National Champions for the first time. The only school to have previously featured is Ulster side Gaelscoil Adhamhnáin, as their boys select werefinalists in the ‘B’ Cup in 2004. This category was only established in 2016 as the programme began to grow in popularity among the female participants. This season, we saw 43% female participation in the programme which has been the marker in the last number of years.
With the Women’s World Cup only around the corner, we’re sure to see the numbers in the girl’s game explode over the Summer. This initiative is a key asset to continue to showcase the talent on display at school’s level. Notable Internationals that participated in the National Finals are Underage Internationals Gemma McGuinness (2008, Greencastle NS, Donegal), Niamh Kelly (2008, Bohola NS, Mayo), Sarah Rowe (2008, St. Oliver Plunkett NS, Ballina, Mayo), Amy Boyle Carr (2011, 2012, Scoil Mhuire, Glenties), Rachel Baynes (2011, 2012, Holy Family NS, Newport, Mayo), Tiegan Ruddy (2012, Scoil Mochua, Celbridge, Kildare), Courtney Maguire (2014, Scoil Cholmcille SNS, Ballybrack, Dublin), Kerry Ann Brown (2014, Scoil Cholmcille, Greencastle, Donegal), Shauna Brennan, Kate Slevin (2016, Claregalway NS), Ciara Glackin (2016, St. Colman’s NS, Mucklagh, Offaly), Heidi Gill, Keri & Jodie Loughrey (2018, Scoil Íosagain, Buncrana, Donegal), Ellie O’Brien (2018, Clogheen Kerry Pike NS, Cork), Aoife Kelly (2018, Rathoe NS, Carlow), Senior Internationals Roma McLaughlin (2010, Scoil Eoghain, Moville, Donegal), Former Internationals Karen Duggan (2001, 2002, Piltown NS, Waterford), Meabh De Burca (2000, St. James NS, Bushypark, Galway) to name a few.
ON THE DAY
The day promises to be fun filled and action packed as the future starlets entertain the crowds in the Aviva as the final curtain comes down on the FAI Primary School 5s programme for 2023. The event will be a family fun day focusing on providing participants and spectators alike with huge excitement and entertainment, making it a day to remember for all involved.
All 224 players will receive a medal, the seven winning teams will be crowned Primary 5s Champions for 2023 as well as a Player of the Tournament accolade in each division to be awarded. Ambassador’s Jamie Finn and Conor Levingston will be on hand to distribute the silverware. Conor previously participated in the competition back in 2009 and 2010 when he attended St. Joseph’s NS, Gorey. He picked up a runners-up medal at the National Finals in 2009 and a winners medal the following year in the large schools, ‘C’ Cup.
Cheer on the Schools from your classroom or office chair if you can’t make the trip to Dublin and follow the progress on the FAI Schools Facebook and Twitter pages (@faischools) #Primary5s
LIST OF PARTICIPATING SCHOOLS
Special Schools Cup
Leinster Scoil Eoin, Crumlin, Dublin
Munster St. Columba’s NS, Douglas, Cork
Munster St. Anne’s School, Ennis, Clare
Ulster Scoil Íosagáin, Buncrana, Donegal
‘A’ Cup (Small schools)
Connacht St. Mary’s NS, Mountbellew, Galway
Leinster St. Joseph’s NS, Hacketstown, Carlow
Munster Scoil Naomh Iosaef, Dromcollogher, Limerick
Ulster Scoil Naomh Colmcille, Dún na nGall
‘A’ Girls Cup (Small schools)
Connacht Castleblakeney NS, Galway
Leinster Ardnagrath NS, Athlone, Westmeath
Munster Kilbehenny NS, Limerick
Ulster Scoil Colmcille, Kerrykeel, Donegal
‘B’ Cup (Medium schools)
Connacht St. John the Apostle, Knocknacarra, Galway
Leinster St. Colman’s NS, Mucklagh, Offaly
Munster Ballylooby NS, Tipperary
Ulster St. Eunan’s NS, Raphoe, Donegal
‘B’ Girls Cup (Medium schools)
Connacht Scoil Phádraig, Westport, Mayo
Leinster Scoil Naomh Peadar S’Pol, Ballon, Carlow
Munster Scoil an Spioraid Naoimh, Roxborough, Limerick
Ulster St. Patrick’s NS, Lurgybrack, Donegal
‘C’ Cup (Large schools)
Connacht Castlebar Primary School, Mayo
Leinster St. Kevin’s NS, Greystones, Wicklow
Munster Monaleen NS, Limerick
Ulster Scoil Cholmcille, Leitir Ceanainn, Donegal
‘C’ Girls Cup (Large schools)
Connacht Gaelscoil Mhic Amhlaigh, Gaillimh
Leinster Scoil Ui Riada, Cill Choca, Co. Chill Dara
Munster Gaelscoil Charraig Uí Leighin, Co. Chorcaí
Ulster Gaelscoil Adhamhnáin, Leitir Ceanainn, Dun na nGall
Special Schools Cup
Scoil Eoin, Crumlin, Dublin | Tommy Tobin, Kswawery Kita, Kairon Wynne, Lacie Manly, Lennon O’Brien, Carl McNamara, Gabriella Duff, Killian Flanagan
Teachers / Coaches | Michel Conlon, Richie Doran
St. Anne’s School, Ennis, Clare | Tony Mullin, Elliot Maxwell, Seán Connors, Thomas Keenan, Roman Stepanov, Ana Isaias, Cillian Hogan, Daniel O’Connell
Teachers / Coaches | Brendan Murphy, Francis McInerney
Scoil Íosagáin, Buncrana, Donegal | Adrians Aleksejeva, Eoin Hirrell, Daniel Brolly, Nuh Norris, Danny Bradley, Cilléin Doherty, Niall Doherty, Ethan Duffy Sheridan
Teachers / Coaches | Jonathan Adair, Kieran Sharkey
St. Columba’s GNS, Ballybrack, Cork | Saoirse Breen, Owen Obazi, Finín McCarthy, Caolán Breen, Cian Higgins, Ruth Mnase, Gearóid Cunningham, Kayden Deasy
Teachers / Coaches | Mary Hennessy, Chris White
‘A’ Cup (Small schools, mixed/boys)
St. Mary’s NS, Mountbellew, Galway | Daniel Hyland, Cuan Kelly, Ronan McDermott, Patrick Lohan, Jack Nolan, Kieran Cunniffe, Stephen Kelly, Felix Fahy Igoe
Teachers / Coaches | Michael Kelly, Colin Murray
St. Joseph’s NS, Hacketstown, Carlow | Jack Kane, Noel Butler, Páidí Connolly, Bobby Cullen, Johnny Kelly, Oisín Wall, William Myers, Adam Doyle
Teachers / Coaches | Barry Murphy, Paula Butler
Scoil Naomh Iosef, Dromcollogher, Limerick | Stephen Pierce, Muiris McCarthy, Anthony Cashman, Calum Curtin, Ben Lenihan, Tiernan O’Flynn, Anthony Pierce, Patrick Cotter
Teachers / Coaches | Michael Murphy, Jason Stokes
Scoil Naomh Colmcille, Dun na nGall | Riley Kelly, Cadhan McGonagle, Dylan Donaghy, Caelan Stevens O’Neill, Connor Gallagher, Kayden McCloskey, Ethan McLoughlin, Colm Callaghan
Teachers / Coaches | Gerard O’Kane, Joanne McKinney
‘A’ Girls Cup (Small schools, girls only)
Castleblakeney NS, Galway | Megan Lawlor, Emma Geraghty, Ciara McGinty, Lillian Fleming, Mairéad Mullins, Róisín Reynolds, Dearbhla McDonagh, Kaitlynn Lally
Teachers/Coaches | Michelle Walsh, Seámus Diskin
Ardnagrath NS, Athlone, Westmeath | Emily Sullivan, Mollie Quinn, Lily Rattray, Erin Rattray, Erin McHugh, Aoife McHugh, Sorcha Aspell, Ava Lynam
Teachers/Coaches | John Keane, Justin Couglan
Kilbehenny NS, Limerick | Lucy Bailey, Róisín Dooley, Lucy Geary, Aoife Casey, Aoife Noonan, Saoirse Clifford, Meabh Kearney, Ciara Maher
Teachers/Coaches | Mark O’Connell, Olive Kenneally
Scoil Colmcille, Kerrykeel, Donegal | Natalie Egan, Ciara McVeigh Crossan, Cliodhna Robinson, Clodagh McAteer, Aishling Duffy, Aine Doherty, Katie McLaughlin, Erin Logue
Teachers/Coaches | Fergus McAteer, James Gallagher
‘B’ Cup (Medium schools, mixed/boys)
St. John the Apostle, Knocknacarra, Galway | Ben Lynch, Cayden Harty, Chris Dillon, John Mark Browne, Eoin Mullery, Richard Christie, Ben Faherty, Adam Lynch
Teachers/Coaches | Conor O’Sullivan, Cillín de Paor
St. Colman’s NS, Mucklagh, Offaly | Oisín Rigney, David O’Shea, Daniel Trainor, Keith O’Rourke, Jayden Daly, Ben Nestor, Conor McEvoy, Tim Cusack
Teachers/Coaches | Keith O’Connor, Claire McIntyre
Ballylooby NS, Tipperary | DJ Brennock, Jack Galvin, Noah McCarthy, Luke O’Donnell, Oisín Savage, Darragh Quinlan, Evan Lonergan, Lima Klonowski
Teachers/Coaches | Kieran Scanlon, Aoife Neville
St. Eunan’s NS, Raphoe, Donegal | Evan McCarron, Ben Farrell, Orran Kee, Ronan McGranaghan, Odhran McHugh, Lewis Hamilton, Riley McBride, Tiarnan Kelly
Teachers/Coaches | George Simmons, Emmet Kelly
‘B’ Girls Cup (Medium schools, girls only)
Scoil Phádraig, Westport, Mayo | Francesca Caruana, Robyn Tarmey, May Duckett, Violet O’Malley, Slaney O’Driscoll, Saoirse Reynolds, Claire Ryan, Aoife Corcoran
Teachers/Coaches | Gerard Murphy, Sharon McGreal
Scoil Naomh Peadar S’Pol, Ballon, Carlow | Mia Clarke, Aine Deacon, Ella Doyle, Lucy Kinsella, Beth Lalor, Charlotte Lalor, Lucy Malone, Una McFarland
Teachers/Coaches | James Kehoe, Nuala Quirke
Scoil an Spioraid Naoimh, Roxborough, Limerick | Maya Geary, Sophie Gleeson, Eimear Croffey, Heather Kevins, Ellen Goggin, Aoife Lally, Aoife Grant, Caoimhe Curren
Teachers/Coaches | Eileen Stapleton, Tom Kevins
St. Patrick’s NS, Lurgybrack, Donegal | Lily Grace Harvey, Cari Callaghan, Ruby Sheridan, Kayla Watson, Emma Kelly, Isla Larkin, Ella Brennan, Tara McDaid
Teachers/Coaches | Sheenagh Morrison, Danielle Fay
‘C’ Cup (Large schools, mixed/boys)
Castlebar Primary School, Mayo | Noah Kirby, Ruairí Mulroy, Keelyn McHale, Patrick Kennedy, Matthew Daly, Shane Rodgers, Ethan Kelly, Cillian Keating
Teachers/Coaches | Des Cogan, Brendan McHugh
St. Kevin’s NS, Greystones, Wicklow | Leo Ward, Finn Connerty, Jake Somers, Cillian Walsh, Dylan Corbett, Dylan Keane, Stephen Moran, Cian Lawless
Teachers/Coaches | Brian McNiece, Ciaran O’Neill
Monaleen NS, Limerick | Jerry Prendergast, Eason Bian, Jamie Flannery, Mohammed Mukbel, Evan Carroll, Louis Fitzgerald, Dara Scully, John Sheahan
Teachers/Coaches | Tommy Stack, Tony Keane
Scoil Cholmcille, Leitir Ceanainn, Dun na nGall | Lee Hegarty, Oran Daly, Sean Gallagher, Martin Ward, Helder Carvalho, Cristian Evangelista, Kurt Obanor, Cayden Crossan
Teachers/Coaches | Odhrán McGowan, Rory Kavanagh
‘C’ Girls Cup (Large schools, girls only)
Gaelscoil Mhic Amhlaigh, Gaillimh | Anna Ní Chathmhaoil, Kate Nic Sheoin, Clara Ní Ghloinn, Saorla Ní Choncra, Neasa Ní Gháirbhith, Jenna-Rose Ní Chearúil, Emma Ní Léadús, Íde Nic Gearailt
Teachers/Coaches | Fergal Ó Mainín, Saoirse Howlin
Scoil Uí Riada, Cill Choca, Co. Chill Dara | Annabelle Nic Ghiolla Fhiondáin, Emma de Creag, Molly Ní Thaillúir, Caoilfhinn Ní Raghallaigh, Ailbhe de Faoite, Lauren de Búrca, Ella Ní Bhroin, Sorcha Breathnach
Teachers/Coaches | Sorcha Ní Ghiolla, Breandán MacGabhann
Gaelscoil Charraig Uí Leighin, Co. Chorcaí | Doireann Breathnach, Lucy Ní Choitir, Fae Ní Mhuircheartaigh, Zoe Ní Shúilleabháin, Orla Ní Mhurchú, Ruth Nic Craith, Molly Ní Shearcaigh, Zoe Ní Mhurchú
Teachers/Coaches | Rob Ó Sé, Máire Ní Longáin
Gaelscoil Adhamhnáin, Leitir Ceanainn, Dun na nGall | Ciara Ní Chuilinn, Aoibhe Nic Pháidín, Éadaoin Ní Chinnéide, Jessica Ní Bheirn, Aoife Ní Chionnaith, Grace Nic Fhloinn, Féile Ní Mhearthaile, Lucy Nic Suibhne
Teachers/Coaches | Pól Mac Giolla Bhríde, Annita Nic Daibhéad