All - Ireland Ladies Football Final Brunch
DCU celebrated the remarkable achievements of over 23 graduates and current students representing Down, Kildare, Kerry and Dublin in All - Ireland Finals
An audience filled with graduates and friends of the university, family of players, and DCU staff and current students were welcomed to DCU by Alumni Relations Operations manager Mary Larkin. Parents of players from both teams spoke of the nerves within their household, but also the pride seeing their daughters go from underage football to a senior intercounty final in Croke Park.
DCU GAA Education and Development Officer Louise Byrne expressed her personal pride at the number of graduates and students who were representing their counties in an All - Ireland Final, having worked with so many of them, as DCU GAA teams travel to the four corners of Ireland representing DCU with pride. In 2023, DCU won an incredible fifth O’Connor cup.
The live pre - match panel discussion was hosted by DCU School of Communications graduate & RTE Reporter/Presenter Barry Lenihan. Barry, who hails from County Kerry, felt somewhat outnumbered as he was joined by All - Ireland winners with Dublin Fiona Hudson and Sinéad Finnegan. DCU Ladies football manager Stephen Duff also joined our panel.
The panel’s view was that Dublin were slight favourites in the Senior Final, and that was something which appeared to bear out as the game unfolded. Moreover the panel wanted to communicate the positivity and sense of growth which surrounds Gaelic Football at the moment. In March 2021, the Irish Times Malachy Clerkin wrote a piece for the Irish Times entitled “The story behind the amazing growth of Women’s Gaelic Football”. Over two decades the average number of ladies football clubs in each county has gone from 20 to 43. Ladies football is regarded as one of the fastest growing female sports in the world. The panel has witnessed that remarkable growth on a first hand basis.
Also joining the audience was Prof Anne Looney, Executive Dean of DCU’s Institute of Education. Anne is the first ever presidential appointee to the GAA’s management committee.
We would like to extend our thanks from the DCU Alumni Relations office to the hundreds who have attended our All - Ireland brunches over the last few weeks and we hope everybody enjoyed the matches!