|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2009)|
|Nickname(s):||The Maple Leaf County|
|County colours:||Light Blue, White|
|Ground(s):||Shamrock Field, Newfoundland|
|Dominant sport:||Gaelic football|
The Canadian GAA is responsible for Gaelic games all across Canada. It has the same status as one of the county boards of Ireland and is one of over thirty regional GAA executive boards throughout the world. The board is responsible for Gaelic football, hurling, camogie and ladies' Gaelic football teams in Canada.
Gaelic games have been played in Canada since the foundation of the GAA. The Canadian County Board of the GAA has overall control of GAA activities in Canada and is reported to by
Since 1959 up until the mid-1980s, Canadian GAA clubs had participated in the North American County Board Championships with the Montreal Shamrocks being the first Canadian club to win the 1961 Senior Hurling Championships.
There have been teams from Ottawa, Toronto, Hamilton, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver which were affiliated with the NACB in the past. The complexity of border crossings were always viewed as a significant obstacle over the years to sustain an ongoing and equitable relationship between Canadian and American GAA clubs.
The founding of the Canadian County Board took place on Sunday, November 15, 1987. The meeting was chaired by GAA President Dr. Mick Loftus of Crossmolina, County Mayo. Among those in attendance were Toronto’s Cormac O’Muiri, Ottawa’s Pat Kelly, Montreal’s Paul Moran and Paddy Dunne (R.I.P.). The first elections of officers were Toronto’s Paul Kennedy as Chairman, Vancouver’s John O’Flynn as Secretary and Ottawa’s Michael Connolly as Treasurer.
Twenty years later, the 2007 County Board consists of President Brian Farmer (Toronto), Vice-President Jarlath Connaughton (Ottawa), Treasurer Eddie Mangan (Toronto) and Secretary John O’Flynn (Vancouver) with over 525 registered players from four Provinces within Canada - British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia
The CCB is a democratic organization composed of the following units: (a) Clubs, (b) Divisional Boards, (c) Eastern Minor Board and (d) County Committee.
Toronto Divisional Board: Toronto, Brampton, Durham, Ottawa and Montreal.
Western Canada Divisional Board: Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton.
In eight cities across Canada are twelve affiliated clubs: Vancouver Harps, Calgary Chieftains, Edmonton Wolfe Tones, Toronto’s St. Pat’s Canadians, St. Vincent’s, Gaels, St. Michaels, Durham - Robert Emmets, Brampton Roger Casements, Michael Cusacks, Ottawa Gaels Montreal Shamrocks, and Halifax Gaels. The majority of clubs have both men’s and women’s teams while the Eastern Minor Board is based in Ottawa. A few clubs have flourishing children’s programmes that have been recently developing and competing at the CYC youth tournaments since 2002.
There are two developing men’s teams that are not presently affiliated but have demonstrated a desire to make application for full membership with their local divisional boards. Red Deer’s Éire Ogs located in Red Deer, Alberta and Les Patriotes de Quebec located in Quebec City, Quebec are the clubs involved.
Hurling in Toronto
For many years, hurling in Toronto was strong, and the Toronto hurling championship was a hard fought affair. Back then, it included St. Michaels, Garryowen, Clan Na Gael, St. Vincent's and Sean South's. Such was the standard in the city that Toronto teams have brought back North American Senior Hurling championship trophies 3 times in 9 years in the 70's.
Many of Toronto GAA's greats hurled in the city in the 60's, 70's and 80's, including Armagh's Brian Farmer, Offaly natives Kevin Loughnane and Danny Kinahan, and Galway man Joe Carty.
The last sanctioned hurling competition held in Toronto was in the early 1980's, and since then the game of hurling had basically vanished from the GAA scene in the city.
Forming the Toronto Hurling Club
Dublin native Colm Sharkey, alongwith Kilkenny's Patrick Morrissey and Frank O'Hagan of Limerick, three men who came to the city for work, decided to rejuvenate the ancient game in Toronto, and start up a hurling club.
2010 saw a collection of hurlers play friendly games in house, primarily at a school grounds at Coxwell and Cosburn, under the watchful eye of Dubliner Ger Power and Castlecromer, Kilkenny native Dan O'Brien, one of the few men who has carried a NACB senior hurling trophy across the border into Toronto.
There was also a challenge match played against the Montreal Shamrocks hurling team in Montreal GAA's grounds, the Montreal Irish rugby club. This game and budding relationship was beneficial for both clubs, as hurling in Montreal was also going through a similar process of rejuvenation.
The Toronto Hurling Club held its first official AGM, in the winter of 2011, on a cold snow covered Saturday in what was then McCarthy's Bar on Gerrard St East. Nearly 30 attended the meeting, which proved to be a perfect springboard for the club. Official colours and a crest had already been registered with Croke Park, and the club was gathering pace.
The club's first competition was the annual 7-a-side tournament in Cleveland, Ohio. The tournament proved very successful for the club, coming back to Toronto with the trophy (the club had also entered two teams on the day).
Montreal traveled to Toronto in June 2011, to play the return fixture against the hurling club. A fast flowing and tough encounter proved that progress was being made in bounds in both cities. Kevin Loughnane remarked after it that it was the first competitive game he had seen in the city in over 25 years.
Hurling has returned to Toronto.
|This section requires expansion. (June 2008)|
|This section requires expansion. (June 2008)|
Ladies' Gaelic football
International Shield Winners 2005
|1||Australasia 1-13 (16)
Canada 1-3 (6)
|4||Canada 3-5 (14)
Britain 1-5 (8)
|2||New York 1-10 (13)
Canada 1-3 (6)
|5||Canada 2-7 (13)
North American Board 2-6 (12)
|3||London 3-12 (21)
Canada 0-2 (2)
|6||Canada 4-12 (24)
Europe 2-5 (11)
|4-18 (30)||3-08 (17)|