Cuala staged part of the National Hurling & Camogie Féile in Dalkey and Thomastown in July 2012 and the organization and running of the event was spectacular. Everything that needed to be done was completed to a very high standard, and nothing was left to chance. It resulted in the next generation of Cuala hurlers and Camogie players participating in a celebration of hurling they will remember for the rest of their lives. Everyone involved in the back-ground in preparation for this event in Cuala should take a bow. Well done to all of you!
After the first round of matches, we had a meal in the Hall, joined the Naomh Eoin team on the bus, and headed for Croke Park. The noise levels were intense as one panel tried to out-do the other with singing and chants. The two panels got on like ‘a house on fire’. The craic with the lads was hugely entertaining, but most attention from our Cuala U14s was directed towards the large contingent of camogie players assembling before the parade. There was great comradery, great banter and just good, clean fun. It’s what the GAA Community is all about!
We entered the Stadium and it was awe-inspiring to see the whole lower deck of the Hogan Stand full of the next generation of GAA hurlers from all over the country, all decked out in their own club colours. 10 marching bands were getting ready to lead us through the heart of Dublin. We filed out of Croker and the organization was top class as we moved up Fitzgibbon St. on to O’Connell St. with bemused tourists and commuters clapping and taking photos of this unusual event in the centre of Dublin. It was an honour to be part of the Parade that eventually went past the Viewing Stand outside the GPO with legend Micháel O’Muircheartaigh talking about the origins and history of your own club as you marched past. It was a joy to listen to the banter of the young guys as they mixed and exchanged jokes with their Belfast neighbours.
We found our bus in Gardiner St. and headed back towards Dalkey. Things were quieter as thoughts were now moving towards tomorrow and what that day might bring. If it’s even half as good as today, it will be better than most.
A wonderful day for Cuala, a wonderful day for the GAA!