All Ireland Championship

more than a year ago
The All-Ireland GAA Final 2008 - Beautiful Day
Summer's sporting showcase sees Gaelic football fans across the country preparing to shout themselves hoarse at the All Ireland Championships Finals.

The big event takes place at the mighty Croke Park stadium where one victorious team is proclaimed All Ireland Senior Football Champion. For those of you unfamiliar with this hugely popular sporting tournament, here's a beginner's guide to Ireland's beautiful game.

Having won through the inter-Provincial section of the tournament, winning counties from each of the four Provinces play in 70min matches to reach the Province final, such as the Leinster final. The winner of these matches then goes forward to the All-Ireland Semi-Finals.

In the 1990s, however, a new system was introduced and the defeated finalists in the Leinster and Munster Championships were allowed to re-enter at the All-Ireland Quarter-Final stages where six teams are reduced to four.

Gaelic Footballers compete for the Sam McGuire Cup, and in hurling it’s the Liam McCarthy Cup (both named after former players who gave outstanding services to the GAA in the UK). The first county to win the Sam was Kildare in 1928, and its most successful county is Kerry (with 35 wins). The first county to win the McCarthy Cup was Limerick in 1921, and the most successful county is Kilkenny.

The All-Ireland finals take place every Sunday in September in Croke Park. The big one is the men's senior football title (over 18s) but there are also matches for the men's minor football title (under 18s), women's senior football title, women's minor football title, men's hurling football title, men's minor hurling title, women's minor camogie title and women's senior camogie title. Guests who attend include Uachtarán na hÉireann (President of Ireland), An Taoiseach (Ireland's Prime Minister) and other leading dignitaries.


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