29 May 2023

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FAI Primary School 5s National Finals set for Wednesday in Aviva Stadium

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<strong>FAI Primary School 5s National Finals set for Wednesday in Aviva Stadium</strong>

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 ÍosagáinBuncrana, Donegal, St. Columba’s NS, Douglas, Cork, Scoil EoinCrumlin, 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 CONTENDERS

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.

PLAYER PATHWAY

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 

SQUAD LISTS

Special Schools Cup

Scoil Eoin, Crumlin, Dublin | Tommy TobinKswawery KitaKairon WynneLacie ManlyLennon O’BrienCarl McNamaraGabriella DuffKillian Flanagan

Teachers / Coaches | Michel Conlon, Richie Doran

St. Anne’s School, Ennis, Clare | Tony MullinElliot MaxwellSeán Connors, Thomas KeenanRoman StepanovAna IsaiasCillian HoganDaniel O’Connell

Teachers / Coaches | Brendan Murphy, Francis McInerney

Scoil Íosagáin, Buncrana, Donegal | Adrians AleksejevaEoin HirrellDaniel BrollyNuh NorrisDanny BradleyCilléin DohertyNiall DohertyEthan Duffy Sheridan

Teachers / Coaches | Jonathan Adair, Kieran Sharkey

St. Columba’s GNS, Ballybrack, Cork | Saoirse Breen, Owen ObaziFinín McCarthyCaolán BreenCian HigginsRuth MnaseGearóid Cunningham, Kayden Deasy

Teachers / Coaches | Mary Hennessy, Chris White

‘A’ Cup (Small schools, mixed/boys)

St. Mary’s NS, Mountbellew, Galway | Daniel Hyland, Cuan KellyRonan McDermottPatrick LohanJack NolanKieran CunniffeStephen KellyFelix Fahy Igoe

Teachers / Coaches | Michael Kelly, Colin Murray

St. Joseph’s NS, Hacketstown, Carlow | Jack KaneNoel ButlerPáidí ConnollyBobby CullenJohnny KellyOisín Wall, William MyersAdam Doyle

Teachers / Coaches | Barry Murphy, Paula Butler

Scoil Naomh Iosef, Dromcollogher, Limerick | Stephen PierceMuiris McCarthyAnthony CashmanCalum CurtinBen LenihanTiernan O’Flynn, Anthony PiercePatrick Cotter

Teachers / Coaches | Michael Murphy, Jason Stokes

Scoil Naomh Colmcille, Dun na nGall | Riley KellyCadhan McGonagleDylan DonaghyCaelan Stevens O’NeillConnor Gallagher, Kayden McCloskey, Ethan McLoughlinColm Callaghan

Teachers / Coaches | Gerard O’Kane, Joanne McKinney

‘A’ Girls Cup (Small schools, girls only)

Castleblakeney NS, Galway | Megan LawlorEmma GeraghtyCiara McGintyLillian FlemingMairéad MullinsRóisín ReynoldsDearbhla McDonagh, Kaitlynn Lally

Teachers/Coaches | Michelle Walsh, Seámus Diskin

Ardnagrath NS, Athlone, Westmeath | Emily SullivanMollie QuinnLily RattrayErin RattrayErin McHughAoife McHugh, Sorcha AspellAva Lynam

Teachers/Coaches | John Keane, Justin Couglan

Kilbehenny NS, Limerick | Lucy BaileyRóisín DooleyLucy GearyAoife CaseyAoife NoonanSaoirse CliffordMeabh KearneyCiara Maher

Teachers/Coaches | Mark O’Connell, Olive Kenneally

Scoil Colmcille, Kerrykeel, Donegal | Natalie EganCiara McVeigh Crossan, Cliodhna RobinsonClodagh McAteerAishling DuffyAine DohertyKatie McLaughlinErin Logue

Teachers/Coaches | Fergus McAteer, James Gallagher

‘B’ Cup (Medium schools, mixed/boys)

St. John the Apostle, Knocknacarra, Galway | Ben LynchCayden HartyChris DillonJohn Mark BrowneEoin MulleryRichard ChristieBen FahertyAdam Lynch

Teachers/Coaches | Conor O’Sullivan, Cillín de Paor

St. Colman’s NS, Mucklagh, Offaly | Oisín RigneyDavid O’SheaDaniel TrainorKeith O’RourkeJayden DalyBen NestorConor McEvoyTim Cusack

Teachers/Coaches | Keith O’Connor, Claire McIntyre

Ballylooby NS, Tipperary | DJ BrennockJack GalvinNoah McCarthyLuke O’DonnellOisín Savage, Darragh QuinlanEvan LonerganLima Klonowski

Teachers/Coaches | Kieran Scanlon, Aoife Neville

St. Eunan’s NS, Raphoe, Donegal | Evan McCarronBen FarrellOrran KeeRonan McGranaghanOdhran McHughLewis HamiltonRiley McBride, Tiarnan Kelly

Teachers/Coaches | George Simmons, Emmet Kelly

‘B’ Girls Cup (Medium schools, girls only)

Scoil Phádraig, Westport, Mayo | Francesca Caruana, Robyn TarmeyMay DuckettViolet O’MalleySlaney O’DriscollSaoirse ReynoldsClaire RyanAoife Corcoran

Teachers/Coaches | Gerard Murphy, Sharon McGreal

Scoil Naomh Peadar S’Pol, Ballon, Carlow | Mia ClarkeAine DeaconElla DoyleLucy KinsellaBeth LalorCharlotte Lalor, Lucy MaloneUna McFarland

Teachers/Coaches | James Kehoe, Nuala Quirke

Scoil an Spioraid Naoimh, Roxborough, Limerick | Maya Geary, Sophie GleesonEimear CroffeyHeather KevinsEllen GogginAoife LallyAoife Grant, Caoimhe Curren

Teachers/Coaches | Eileen Stapleton, Tom Kevins

St. Patrick’s NS, Lurgybrack, Donegal | Lily Grace Harvey, Cari CallaghanRuby SheridanKayla 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 KirbyRuairí MulroyKeelyn McHalePatrick KennedyMatthew DalyShane RodgersEthan KellyCillian Keating

Teachers/Coaches | Des Cogan, Brendan McHugh

St. Kevin’s NS, Greystones, Wicklow | Leo WardFinn Connerty, Jake Somers, Cillian WalshDylan Corbett, Dylan KeaneStephen MoranCian Lawless

Teachers/Coaches | Brian McNiece, Ciaran O’Neill

Monaleen NS, Limerick | Jerry PrendergastEason BianJamie Flannery, Mohammed MukbelEvan Carroll, Louis FitzgeraldDara ScullyJohn Sheahan

Teachers/Coaches | Tommy Stack, Tony Keane

Scoil Cholmcille, Leitir Ceanainn, Dun na nGall | Lee HegartyOran DalySean GallagherMartin WardHelder CarvalhoCristian EvangelistaKurt Obanor, Cayden Crossan

Teachers/Coaches | Odhrán McGowan, Rory Kavanagh

‘C’ Girls Cup (Large schools, girls only)

Gaelscoil Mhic Amhlaigh, Gaillimh  Anna Ní ChathmhaoilKate Nic SheoinClara Ní GhloinnSaorla Ní ChoncraNeasa Ní GháirbhithJenna-Rose Ní ChearúilEmma Ní LéadúsÍde Nic Gearailt

Teachers/Coaches | Fergal Ó Mainín, Saoirse Howlin

Scoil Uí Riada, Cill Choca, Co. Chill Dara | Annabelle Nic Ghiolla FhiondáinEmma de Creag, Molly Ní ThaillúirCaoilfhinn Ní RaghallaighAilbhe de FaoiteLauren de BúrcaElla Ní BhroinSorcha 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 ShearcaighZoe Ní Mhurchú

Teachers/Coaches | Rob Ó Sé, Máire Ní Longáin

Gaelscoil Adhamhnáin, Leitir Ceanainn, Dun na nGall | Ciara Ní ChuilinnAoibhe Nic PháidínÉadaoin Ní ChinnéideJessica Ní BheirnAoife Ní ChionnaithGrace Nic FhloinnFéile Ní MhearthaileLucy Nic Suibhne

Teachers/Coaches | Pól Mac Giolla Bhríde, Annita Nic Daibhéad

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