Friday 10 February 2023

In this edition:

Club calendar

View all upcoming events and club activities in our club calendar.

New Zealand Championships

We're 43 days out to the New Zealand Championships and preparations are now in full flow. We returned to training after a summer break on Monday 30 January, and we'll continue full tilt on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays 'til the end of March. The championships takes place at Hamilton Marist RFC in Hamilton on the weekend of 25/26 March. Naomh Críostóir will host the tournament for the first time, and we know our friends in the Waikato are excited to welcome teams from across the motu.

On the housekeeping/logistics side of things, if you haven't done so already, now's a good time to look into your travel plans to Hamilton. Accommodation wise, the hosts have given us some helpful info:
  • Check out Airbnb options in Hamilton.
  • Hamilton City Holiday Park is a five-minute walk from the pitch.
  • Hotels such as Ventura Inn, Novotel, Ibis, Park View Motor Lodge, Quantum Lodge, Quest Apartments and Distinction Hotel are worth a look.
  • East Hamilton has several motels and accommodation options that are near the pitch.
  • Accommodation in the Hillcrest area is an option; It's a five-minute drive from the pitch and 10 minutes to town.
  • Avoid any accommodation on Ulster Street.
New Zealand Championships Facebook event

Social Gaelic games

 Angus Howden (left) shoots for a point, under pressure from Phillip Bryne at the 2021 finals day. Photo credit: Paulo Pics.

In the blink of an eye, another socials season is drawing to a close. Congratulations to Kāpiti Coast Keas on topping the football regular season table. In second place were Mayo4Sam who just missed out on the top spot on points difference. In the hurlogie, The Offaly Good Duggout and Byrne's Steak 'n' Chips were evenly matched in their weekly bouts.

That said, the post-Christmas socials silverware is still up for grabs at tomorrow's finals day. We'll start at 9am at Ian Galloway Park with the delayed Morning Star Cup hurling decider, followed by the socials finals. 

From 7.30pm, we'll head to our 2022/23 sponsors', The Featherston, for some grub and our prizegiving. And yes, due to popular demand, the foosball table will be back in action. See you all tomorrow to cap off another brilliant season of social Gaelic games in the capital.
Finals day fixtures

Golf tournament

Dust down the clubs, our annual golf tournament is back at Manor Park Golf Sanctuary on Saturday 4 March from 12.30pm. Tournament details and registration information can be found through the link below.

Prizegiving will be back at the Hutt Valley Irish Society from around 5pm. There'll be a raffle, some food and, of course, great craic.
Tournament details and registration info

World Games beckon

Huge congratulations to Andrea O'Reilly, Tiaré Verenitani, and Heather Williamson who have been selected to play for Australasia at the GAA World Games in July this year.

Andrea, whose scintillating performances in our 2022 Australasian State Games triumph earned her an All-Star and Best Player award, has been selected for the Irish-born Australasia team. While state games All-Stars Tia and Heather have been selected for the non-Irish-born Australasia team.

The five-day tournament will feature matches over four days in the Derry Centre of Excellence in Owenbeg from 24-27 July this year, with a day of finals taking place in Croke Park on 28 July. 
GAA World Games

32 counties in Queenstown

The 32 counties of Ireland were represented at a sun-soaked Recreation Grounds in Queenstown on Saturday 28 January. Seven of our players represented their respective counties at the gathering which was held in aid of St John Ambulance Wakatipu, and The Tara Trust which supports Irish arts, culture and the welfare of the Irish diaspora in New Zealand.

Our representatives at the gathering were: Keith Cleere, Wexford; Kate Coyle, Roscommon; Dan Doyle, Carlow; Peter Hayes, Tipperary; John McCabe, Cavan; and Ivan Ward, Cork; with Hamiltonian Mike Lawson along for the hurling and the craic. 

Following the gathering, the Ian Flanagan Memorial Cup hurling game was contested between Queenstown Band of Brothers and Canterbury, with our players lining out across both teams. The Cantabs claimed the victory in this annual tie. Bualadh bos to the organisers and all who travelled to take part. 

You can view more information, and some great photos from the day, through the link below. And there's also video and a write-up from the Otago Daily Times through the link below.

Peter Hayes (left) lining out for Queenstown Band of Brothers in the Ian Flanagan Memorial Cup hurling game at the Recreation Ground, Queenstown on Saturday 28 January. Photo credit: James Allan Photography.
32 counties info and photos
Otago Daily Times video and write-up

Compromise rules game

The same day our hurlers were enjoying the sun south in Queenstown, our women's footballers took to a wet and windy Ian Galloway Park to combine with Wellington AFL for a compromise rules games. It was the first game in two years and the inclement weather only added to the drama that unfolded. Both the O'Neill's football and the Sherrin oval featured during the game which the AFL side won by 23 points to 14. Well done to all players and management for organising, and a shout out to Frank Grieve who braved the weather to adjudicate the game. We're looking forward to the next one already.

Wellington/Hutt Valley and Wellngton AFL women's teams following January's compromise rules game.

Darkness into Light Wellington

Following a successful Darkness into Light event run through the club in 2022, we are delighted to have Wellington back on the map as an official DIL venue for 2023. With that comes an official committee shared across our community groups to coordinate and assist in running yet another successful event. If you would like to be part of the DIL committee, we'd love to hear from you to discuss the various roles. Please get in touch with club secretary Tiaré Verenitani at for details.

Kids Gaelic games

Kids Gaelic games return to the Kāpiti Coast and Lower Hutt after a Christmas break. Up the coast, Donal Kavanagh is leading the charge and sessions will be on Mondays. More details can be found on the Kāpiti Kids Gaelic Football Facebook page.

Lower Hutt-based sessions will start at Trafalgar Park from Sunday 19 February and will run for four weeks until Sunday 12 March. Keep an eye on the Kids GAA Wellington Facebook page for updates. 

Plans are also afoot to have all kids represented at the Wellington St Patrick's Day parade (details to come).

Kids Gaelic games in schools

If you' re interested in showcasing Gaelic games in your child's primary school and would like our club to assist, contact us at We'd be more than keen to organise this. In 2022, we demonstrated Gaelic games in Eastern Hutt Primary school and it was very well received by the kids and teaching staff.

Provincial glory for Patrick Dempsey and Bruff

"Wellington Hurling Academy" or "Wellington Hurling Centre of Excellence" are names currently being mooted for our hurling team after a couple of our recently departed hurlers struck county and provincial championship success back home.

Having left NZ mid-2022, Emmet Whelan and his club St Joseph's Doora-Barefield won the Clare junior championship in October last. The following month, another 2022 departee, Patrick Dempsey, and his club Bruff overcame Doon 3-16 to 3-9 to claim the Limerick junior B county hurling title.

And Patrick and Bruff haven't stopped there. On 28 January, the Morning Star-siders defeated Thurles Sarsfields 0-10 to 1-6 to win the Munster final. Tomorrow, Bruff continue their ascent to the summit with an All-Ireland semi-final against St Martin's of Kilkenny. 

After defecting from Christchurch McKenna's in 2015, and with a soujourn to Queenstown in between, Patrick spearheaded our hurling team as player-coach for several years, winning New Zealand Championships and sevens tournaments for fun along the way. We wish Patrick and Bruff the very best and hope he can add a Celtic cross to his glut of New Zealand medals.
Read the Munster final match report

Irish community

Check out the links below for the latest news from the region's Irish community:


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