In 1989 – some 24 years ago, the idea of creating a unique Gaelic Football concept, in a magical part of Ireland was realised when the first Paidi O Se Gaelic Football Tournament was held in the West Kerry Gaeltacht. The competition was a simple one, run off in one day and involving just 4 teams from the local area. The two visiting clubs in addition to Dingle and an Gaelteacht were Bishopstown, Cork and Carraroe, Connemara. The teams competed for the John A Woods trophy. Over the following years the tournament grew in size and got a significant enhancement with the participation of the first two ladies teams in an inter county exhibition game in 1992, which was a feature until 2007, when a full ladies competition was inaugurated.

Today the tournament is run over 2 days, involving more than 50 teams both male and female, drawn from clubs all over Ireland. The tournament presents a unique opportunity for Gaelic football enthusiasts to enjoy top quality competition coupled with the unrivalled hospitality of the Dingle peninsula. This year in February more than 2000 people in West Kerry and treated to a feast of fun and football.

Next year, to coincide with The Gathering, it is intended to elevate the competition to international status. On the 22/23/24 February 2013, over 50 Gaelic football club teams, representing the 32 counties of Ireland, the UK, 8 major European cities, Dubai, Singapore and China will meet to do battle on the football fields of West Kerry. Given the added momentum created by the Gathering, it is expected the social experience which will go hand in hand with the competition, will be one to create special friendships and lifelong memories.

It is my earnest hope that the 2013 Festival will bring a global dimension to this unique concept and that it will afford the members of the Irish global community who attend, an opportunity to create true friendships and togetherness through the medium of Gaelic Football.

Le Meas

Paidi O Se