This is the first year that North London’s Holloway Gaels have fielded two teams, entering an Intermediate and Junior side for the 2021 League and Championship. Anne Marie Dargan, a member of the Holloway Junior Management team stated, “traditionally we struggled at times to even have enough numbers to have one full team.” She went on to say “when the young Irish started moving into places like Fulham, that was a real game changer.” Holloway Gaels are not relying on established gaelic players but also making use of players from other disciplines such as soccer and trying to pull in a diverse pool of players rather than just Irish or London Irish. Holloway have a rule of welcoming newcomers and have also started nurturing young players, such as those from North London Shamrocks, by volunteering to coach younger players. The results can be seen in a club that now boasts over 70 playing members, as well as a strong feeling of togetherness. For many, when nothing else has been open the past year, sports and the clubs that surround them have been a lifeline for interaction and the sustenance of people's mental health. A player that has a sense of belonging to a club and feels supported is likely to do better in other attributes as well.
Holloway Junior’s have made history by existing but are also on course to creating some magic, securing a second win in the 2021 Championship in their first year of existence. A win on Saturday against Tara’s in Cayton Road, was the perfect follow up to a strong performance by the Intermediates against Thomas McCurtains. Holloway Juniors held firm after some second half pressure to win on a score line of Holloway Gaels 5-9 to Tara’s 3-13. However, like many a match there were highlights and lowlights along the way.
The highlights of the day were the performances of this new team, who are getting stronger and more in sync with every match. Holloways chose to take the ball through the middle of the field, in what were trying conditions at times, as the rain made for a slippy ball on the pitch. Some notable performances came from Kat Bradshaw, with her stunning ability to carry a ball through the midfield and forward lines. Kate O Brien is another name that popped up throughout the match, even after a first-half injury led to her having her fingers strapped, but valiantly played on. Yvonne Tevlin, Mary-Ellen Cannon and Rachel O'Donnell all featured in driving up the scoreboard that led to a 13-point lead at half time. However, the midfielders and forwards were by no means the only shining lights of the day, the defenders were fiercely determined with Emily De Caires, a co-captain showing magnificent leadership in the backline alongside Sarah Morrissey, with some borrowed gloves, who stopped many Tara attacks with her superb reading of the game and positioning. Mairead O Donnell in goals showed focus and ability in her many saves and most vitally her accurate, long driving kickouts down the field began many Holloway attacks. A nerve biting end to the game was in store but Holloway held strong to win the game by 2 points.
While the score-line, membership numbers, and creation of a team is a success this is not the only win. The win is the creation of a cohesive team with social capital where players are learning new skills, alongside learning about themselves and others. Irish Londoners have arguably been unique in mixing with other nationalities in groups to create an inclusive way of living throughout history, in a way that championed diversity before it was the cool buzzword it is today. The creation of two teams and enviable score lines are not the only win for Holloway Gaels ladies. It is the creation and acceptance of new ways, new thinking, and new people and them embracing this that is their strength and could quite possibly be the beginnings of one of the strongest squads a ladies gaelic club has ever created. Players with a sense of belonging and connection will play for the person beside them and with them, rather than for just the win itself. A place of standing may be the key to their ongoing success both on and off the pitch.
North London Shamrocks (Youth) Gaelic Football Club, in association with Holloway Gaels Ladies Gaelic Football Club, are delighted to announce details of an exciting new programme called Gaelic4Girls that will be commencing on Saturday 5th June. Gaelic4Girls is an 8 week programme aimed at increasing participation in gaelic football. The programme is for girls aged between 8-12 years who are not currently registered with a Ladies Gaelic Football Club.
Gaelic4Girls is focused on fun and participation, allowing girls to get an introduction to gaelic football in a non-competitive environment. It will be held in Tottenhall Recreation Ground N13 6LH every Saturday from 12.30 - 1.30, commencing on the 5th June. On completion of the programme, participants are presented with certificates and jersey for their participation. Following the 8 weeks, the girls will be encouraged to register with North London Shamrocks, and those that do will be integrated into the existing teams. Gaelic4Girls has run successfully in the area on two previous occasions. All girls from Haringey and the surrounding areas are encouraged to attend and learn the basic skills of Ladies Gaelic Football. This is a great way to make new friends and learn a new sport! The cost for the entire programme is only £10.
For more information contact Ciara Holland email@example.com
Our very own Ciara Holland gives a fantastic interview about Gaelic4Girls retuning to Britain.
Check out page 50 to read further.
The club are delighted to welcome Sligo Staffing Ltd on board as our Junior team sponsor for 2021.
They are a family-owned construction solutions company specialising in the supply of high-quality Trades & Labour, Waste Management & Payroll Service provider.
We look forward to a long and successful partnership.
For more information on Sligo Staffing Ltd you can visit their website: https://www.sligostaffing.com
As we enter the final day of our challenge we are absolutely delighted to share that we have only gone and DONE IT!!!
Together we have now travelled a combined distance of 40,911.28 kms 👏🏼👏🏽👏🏾👏🏿
To put that into context that is approximately:
🏐 87,792 laps around Croke Park pitch
👀 131,972 x the height of The Shard
👟 969 marathons
🚴🏾♂️ 11.78 Tour de France circuits
This really was an epic challenge and we have been overwhelmed by the support from our club members (past and present) and their family and friends. We really couldn’t have done it without you all so thank you!
The challenge was aimed at encouraging people to get out in the fresh air and get active. We as a club, along with so many others, came to appreciate the importance of being physically active in a difficult year which is why we chose to fundraise for @sportinmind - a charity dedicated to helping improve adult mental health through the power of physical activity.
So far we have raised over £3000! The proceeds will be split 50/50 between Sport In Mind and our club.
Our GoFundMe page will remain open for a few more days so if you haven’t had a chance to donate there is still time. Any donation, no matter how big or small is greatly appreciated!
Thank you from all at Holloway Gaels for your support ❤️🖤🌍
Starting on the 15th March 2021 Holloway Gaels are taking on a huge challenge to try and cover the 40,075km distance Around the World in just 4 weeks!
We will be raising money for Sport in Mind, a charity which works to improve the lives of people experiencing mental health problems through sports and physical activity. The proceeds will be split 50/50 between Sport In Mind and Holloway Gaels. Donations are greatly received via our GoFundMe page.
40,075km is a long way! So, in addition to our playing members we are asking all Holloway friends, family members and supporters to RUN, WALK OR CYCLE to help us reach this epic target!
Participants can log their distances with us either through the Strava App or submitting a google form. Simply click on the logos below to get started.
All participants and donators will be entered to win some prizes! Please just make sure to leave your name so we can contact you.
We would love to see how you are all getting on throughout the four week challenge so please make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and tag us using
Thank you all in advance for your support! ❤️🖤
We recently saw an article written by Mr Declan Rooney where Aisling Clifford is interviewed about the way in which Covid-19 seems to have brought people together in a way that has not been seen for some time. The natural connection between a sport club with strong cultural overtones and familial connection being immediately made. Many Irish people talk about their families a lot and as a non- Irish member, it has been incumbent upon me to notice that this is an overwhelming feature of Irish culture and identity.
It is difficult to relate, at points, for someone who is not close to their immediate family. I myself have had a very chequered connection with my parents and was quite literally saved from having very few familial connections by a Grandmother who was as near enough to an angel on earth as you could find, having decided to raise me with my grandfather after my own parents did not get off to a good start. However, this begs the question- How do those who are not close to their families cope in times of crises? Who do they naturally turn to? Like many others I am in my early 30s and have not started a family of my own, but neither am I close to those who many people are i.e. parents and siblings. Out of experience this can make normal life difficult, let alone in a pandemic.
Social Cohesive Gold
A US study found that this is not a large group of people only around 17% of the population. The difficulties that led to family estrangement can make these people less likely to trust others, not more. However, trust at some point they must, as well as seek connection and meaning. Social cohesion and social efficacy have meant that these people will seek out other groups. At times this can lead to nefarious friend and relationship choices or an underworld of organised criminal groups whom youngsters can be particularly vulnerable to if there is lack of healthy familial connection. On the other hand, they may also find belonging in organisations such as charitable works, music groups and bands, cultural groups, the military and sport.
Gaelic football is like many a mix, but I believe unique its blend of culture, language and sport. It is difficult being a natural outsider to work out which is more important within a club. But what all of these groups bring, is a piece of social cohesive gold- the ability to form the social bonds for those who are away from their families or who naturally will never be alive to the ones living.
No Longer a Game
Clubs such as Holloway Gaels provide informal networks through which people can connect and feel part of something that is positive and serve to provide a plethora of outlets. Socially, these places can offer a whole new way to connect with likeminded people and for others to learn about a new culture and sport. Fitness wise, they serve as a way to work out other than the gym. Last but certainly not least, these organisations in austerity Britain can almost be groups of social development and safety nets. From mental health hotlines to funds to help people to get back home to see loved ones to simply interacting outside of your home, gaelic football and Holloway Gaels is no longer simply a game.
These places have now become the invisible social thread that starts when formal threads end. The pandemic has possibly opened many people’s eyes up to what these places have become, or in the case of Holloway Gaels what they have always been, but we now see them more clearly for what they are. Without the horrors of Covid-19 we, and especially new members to the Gaels, may not have ever truly realised this. The pandemic has made us consider what Holloway Gaels and their ilk could mean to people. Rather than taking this for granted it behoves us all to see what further possibilities could arise.
Written by: Jasmine Morgan
Holloway Gaels are a thriving club with a significant number of playing members and a successful, well established senior team. We are an ambitious club and are based at our own grounds in Downhills Park, North London.
We intend to enter a Junior team in the London league in 2021 to cater for the high volume of registered players and high level of interest from new members.
We invite interest from people who are interested in managing our Junior team or becoming part of the coaching group.
If you are interested and wish to discuss the role and the club in more detail, please contact our Club Chairperson, Aisling Clifford.
Click the link below to read the full article published on RTE Sport News!
If you have any enquiries, please use the form below:
The Holloway training grounds are at Downhills Park, Haringey, N17 6NY.