On Saturday 14 May, Jeff Smith, Labour MP for Manchester Withington, attended the Northern Community Gaelic Games at Broughton Park Rugby Club.
Gaelic Games have a strong following among the Irish community in the North of England, with 10 clubs in Greater Manchester and Liverpool city regions alone, all fielding male, female and underage teams.
The Community Games are the highlight of the year for underage teams from the North of England and Scotland. Last Saturday saw around 800 children aged between 6 and 16 competing in competitions.
Jeff Smith attended the competition hosted in Manchester Withington and presented trophies to the winners. The tournament at Hough End was also attended by Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, and Carina O’Brien, Vice Consul of Ireland.
The event was supported by the Gaelic Athletic Association UK. As well as catering to the Irish community and assisting in maintaining cultural and sporting links to Ireland, the Association’s vision is to give everyone the opportunity to be welcome and to take part in Gaelic games and culture.
“South Manchester is home to one of the largest Irish diaspora communities in the country, so it was very fitting for our area to host a day celebrating and promoting Gaelic sports.
“It was great to meet so many talented young athletes and their families, as well as the Vice Consul of Ireland and other esteemed guests from the sporting bodies. As someone of Irish heritage myself, I was very pleased to be involved and learn more about these sports.”