Tuesday 1 November 2022

In this edition:

Wellington Sevens round-up

An action-packed weekend of football, hurling and camogie was had at Awakairangi Park, Upper Hutt on Labour weekend. It was a successful weekend on and off the field. Our teams picked up silverware across the four codes, including our all-conquering women's footballers. Organisationally, all ran smoothly thanks to excellent tournament organisers, and we were also blessed with some smashing weather over the two days. You can read a full round-up of the weekend through the link below. 

A huge thanks to the 17 teams who played their part, especially to the clubs who travelled from afar to the capital: St Pat's Emerald City and Marist Rangers from Auckland; Christchurch McKenna's; and Queenstown Gaels.

Big thanks also to our tournament sponsors: the Irish Trust for the marquees; Pelorus for the tournament equipment; Proactive for their great physio treatment; Fidel's Cafe for the PA system; and to everyone else who helped make the weekend a success.

We're also grateful to Paulo Pics for his superb photographs of the games over the weekend. You can view the tournament photos here.

Action across the four codes from the 2022 Wellington Sevens tournament played at Awakairangi Park, Upper Hutt. Photo credit: Paulo Pics.
Tournament round-up

2022/23 socials season starts

Our social Gaelic football and hurlogie season commences on Wednesday 9 November at Ian Galloway Park. Last week, the first of our two beginner sessions took place at IGP, and it was exciting to see so many new faces in attendance. We're back for our second beginner session at IGP tomorrow Wednesday evening from 6.30pm.

If you're playing socials this year, and haven't already registered for full club or socials membership, remember to do so be by Friday 4 November so we can assign players to teams. You can register through the registration form on our website.

For any queries about the beginners session or socials, contact our Social Games Officer Ronan O'Malley at You can also join the Wellington Social Gaelic Football group on Facebook for updates.

Eilís demonstrating how to hold the camán to our fledgling camógs/hurlers.


We are delighted to announce The Featherston and Whistling Sisters as our joint sponsors of social Gaelic games for the 2022/23 season. The sponsorship is a huge boost to the club and it goes a long way in enabling us to host this tournament. Thanks also to the GAADFA Global Development Fund for their support in establishing hurlogie. 

As part of the sponsorship, members can avail of:
  • up to 20% discount on selected drinks at The Featherston
  • free reservation of area at The Featherston
  • free reservation of upstairs room at Whistling Sisters
  • food and drink discounts as agreed for events held at Whistling Sisters or The Featherston.
If you have registered and paid for this year's membership, you will receive your membership card to avail of the discounts. These personalised membership cards will be handed out at beginner sessions and socials.

Also, if you're interested in booking a venue for any social events or parties, email Laura at to arrange a free booking of an area at The Featherston or Whistling Sisters.

Membership registration

Thank you to those who have registered and paid their membership. Again, for all other players and prospective members, it's important that you register and pay your fees as soon as possible, especially as we approach the beginning of the socials season.

Instructions on renewing/registering your membership are available through the link below. Past members should've received an email on renewing membership.
Register now

State games success on the airwaves

The club hit the airwaves in Wellington recently as Davey Rynne and Tiaré Verenitani spoke to Edel Sweeney of Capital Irish about our women's footballers' success at the Australasian State Games. Great stuff, Davey and Tia. You can listen to the interview through the link below. 

Club President and coach Davey Rynne, club secretary and player Tiaré Verenitani, and radio host (and also long-serving Wellington/Hutt Valley player) Edel Sweeney speaking on Capital Irish recently. Photo credit: Capital Irish.
Listen to the interview

Morning Star Cup

The three-part Morning Star Cup hurling series is back at Ian Galloway Park this month. Fresh from their Wellington Sevens win, our hurlers will be split into two teams to face off in a best-out-of-three series.

Enda Costello (green) trailed by Emmet Whelan and Chris McKibbin during the 2021 Morning Star Cup series played at Ian Galloway Park. Photo credit: Sam Bircham. 

The intra-club tournament has served up some cracking, high-scoring games over the last couple of seasons. Last year, Kāpiti Kōwhai defeated Wellington Kākāriki 2-1 in the series with a total scoreline of 18-38 to 10-44.

The games are scheduled for Friday 11, Friday 18, and Friday 25 November. The selectors are currently making their final team selections, and match-day panels are to be released on the week of game one.

Kids Gaelic games

Kids Gaelic games commenced at the Wellington Sevens competition at Awakairangi Park on Sunday 23 October. It was great to see the next generation play alongside the adults. Hopefully some of these young'uns in attendance will be lining out at national tournaments for the club in the not-too-distant future.

Unfortunately, we had to take a raincheck for the Sunday 30 October session, but we hope to be back to the usual venue of Trafalgar Park, Lower Hutt this and each Sunday until 4 December when we take a break until the new year. 

All children between the ages of 4-12 are welcome, and no experience is necessary. The aim is to give kids a fun and enjoyable introduction to Gaelic games. You can register your kids through the link below. If you're already registered, you just need to log into FriendlyManager to register your kids. If you have any questions, or would like more information, contact Siobhán at
Register for Kids Gaelic games

Referee and coaching course

We're running a referee refresher course on the evening of Friday 18 November with Australasia GFHA Secretary Gerard Roe. The day after, on Saturday 19 November, we'll be hosting a foundation coaching course with Gerard and coach Glenn Carpenter. Locations and times are TBC. Both courses will be in person with Gerard and Glenn making the trip from across the ditch. We've run both courses in recent years and they've been extremely popular with all participants. The courses are great opportunities for any budding referees or coaches among us. For more information in the meantime, contact Davey at

New Instagram

We thought it was about time we caught up with the cool kids so we set up a new Instagram account. Check us out @wellygaanz, give us a follow and spread the word.

The club is also the owner of an older account – @wellygaa – which we no longer have access to. The account was set up circa 2014 and has 26 posts from November of that year. Despite contacting every committee member since then, contacting Instagram, and saying several prayers to St Anthony, our sleuthing has amounted to naught and the login details remain as elusive as ever. If anyone has any clue as to how we might access the account, for the love of mercy, let us know. 

Former players thriving


Double county bliss for Emmet Whelan

"There's life in the old dog yet" – that was the common refrain in Doora-Barefield parish, Co. Clare, after Emmet Whelan guided his club St Joseph's to a junior A hurling county championship win in early October. Playing at full-forward, Emmet landed 1-2 and put in a fine performance in a 1-13 to 1-12 win over Éire Óg Ennis.

Later in the month, Emmet was on St Joseph's intermediate panel as they defeated Tulla 0-23 to 1-15 AET in the intermediate hurling county final. The win means the 1999 senior club hurling All-Ireland champions are back in the big time at senior after a four-year absence.

Emmet can add these two county medals to his individual and team medal haul from New Zealand. Maith an buachaill, Emmet.

Emmet Whelan jumps for joy following his first-half goal in the Clare county junior A hurling championship final for St Joseph's Doora/Barefield against Éire Óg Ennis. Photo credit: The Clare Champion.

Matt Lewis plays at Asian Gaelic Games

Former player Matt Lewis lined out at the Asian Gaelic Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in early October. Matt, who hails from Cleveland, Ohio, first played hurling and football here in Wellington where he blossomed into a fine player.

We're delighted to see Matt's grá of Gaelic games continue in Singapore with Singapore Gaelic Lions, and we can't wait 'til he returns to New Zealand.

Read Matt's player profile from our September 2019 newsletter.

Matt and his partner Renee who lined out for Singapore Gaelic Lions at the Asian Gaelic Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in October.

Eoinie Farrell's Family Fun Run

The passing of Eoinie Farrell at the age of 39 in July 2022 left a huge gap in many people's lives. Eoinie fought his illness with dignity and a quiet determination, and his final days were spent in South Westmeath Hospice in Athlone. The care Eoinie received from all the staff in the hospice was a source of relief in the toughest of times.

Eoinie’s friends and family will hold a 5km family fun run/walk on Saturday 12 November in Ardnagrath to raise funds for the hospice. The hospice relies on voluntary donations to provide their specialist services. If you wish to partake in the run/walk, you can register here.

Here in Wellington, we'll also hold a 5km fun run/walk on Saturday 12 in memory of Eoinie. The run will take place on the waterfront (Darkness into Light route), as Oriental Beach holds many fond memories for us with Eoinie. More details are available on the Facebook event (link below). And you can make a donation to the hospice here.

Maryland vs Wellington/Hutt Valley

Plans are afoot to arrange a meeting of the two great clubs of Eoinie's life, Maryland and Wellingotn/Hutt Valley over Christmas (around 28 December).

We haven't got all the details yet, but it's something we're looking to promote amongst the former Wellington/Hutt Valley community in Ireland.
Facebook event

32 counties in Queenstown

Saturday 28 January 2023 will see the 32 counties of Ireland represented at a hurling match in Queenstown. Dan Doyle (Carlow), John McCabe (Cavan), Kate Coyle (Roscommon), Peter Hayes (Tipperary), and Keith Cleere (Wexford) are among the Wellington/Hutt Valley players who'll be travelling south to represent their native counties. It looks to be a great event, so if you'll be the area at the end of January, mark it in your diaries now. 

Congratulations, Aisling and Brian

Congratulations to long-time player Aisling Doherty and her fiancé Brian Duffy on their recent engagement under the bright lights of Times Square in New York city. All at the club wish ye the very best.

Brian and Aisling following their engagement in Times Square, New York.

Irish community

Mo Big or Go Home

This month, several club members will be growing their moustaches as part of a fundraiser for the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust. The fundraiser is in memory of our friend Mike Fahy who unfortunately lost his life to suicide last year. 

The Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust help alleviate the financial hardship of bereaved families in repatriating loved ones who have died abroad in sudden or tragic circumstances back to Ireland.

Great work by all involved in organising this fundraiser. Any donations would be greatly appreciated.


Donate to KBRT

Ambassador Jane Connolly attends Wellington Sevens

We were delighted to welcome our new Ambassador, Jane Connolly, to the Wellington Sevens on Labour weekend. Ambassador Connolly spoke at the medal presentations, and presented cups and awards to the victorious captains and players of the finals. We look forward to working closely with Ambassador Connolly and the Embassy during her time here.
Check out the links below for the latest news from the region's Irish community:


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