21 March 2023
By Tom Collins
In schools throughout Munster, boys and girls are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Munster hurling and football Championships for it also heralds the start of the Munster GAA Primary Game. Championship days in Munster, hurling or football, would not be complete without the exhibition games provided by boys and girls from the competing counties. Games will be played at half-time during each senior match in the Munster Championship.
This year’s Primary Game will see almost 500 boys and girls from all six counties of Munster line out in their county colours at FBD Semple Stadium, Páirc Uí Chaoimh and other venues throughout the province.
Played at half-time during Munster Championship games, The Munster GAA Primary Game gives sports-mad boys and girls the opportunity to wear their county jersey on Big Match Day, sharing the spotlight with their heroes on their “Field of Dreams” in front of huge crowds of ardent supporters.
Many children who made their inter-county bow in the Primary Game have gone on to greater things: Hurlers Nickie Quaid, Graeme Mulcahy, Declan Hannon and camogie stars Rebecca Delee and Orlaith Kelliher are among many Limerick players to have a Primary Game jersey stashed away carefully at home.
All-Star Kerry footballer Tadhg Morley made his inter-county bow in the Primary Game as did Killian Spillane and other members of Jack O’Connor’s squad.
Tipperary star Noel McGrath first wore the blue and gold of the Premier County in the Primary Game. Republic of Ireland international footballer David Meyler has often spoken of the thrill of wearing the Cork jersey as part of the Primary Game team as did Cathal Heffernan, now playing his trade with AC Milan.
“The emphasis in the Primary Game is on participation, enjoyment and making new friends,” says Ger Ryan, Chairman of the Munster Council.
Dave Collins, Chairman of Munster Cumann na mBunscol, emphasised the importance of the games: “This year’s Munster GAA Primary Game promise to be very exciting for all the children. Activities such as these are the lifeblood of our games.”
The launch of the 2023 Munster GAA Primary Game takes place at Áras Mumhan, Newcastle, Castletroy, Limerick, V94 NW83 on Monday March 27th at 5pm. Refreshments will be served afterwards.