Thousands of visitors are expected to visit Ireland for a tournament of American Football this summer, which will take place alongside the high-profile Notre Dame v Navy college football game.
The Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Mr Leo Varadkar has announced that Fáilte Ireland is providing funding of 10,000 euro for the tournament, which will feature 12 high school and college championship football teams from the US and Canada at the end of August.
“This will be a massive occasion for Ireland, but also for American college football. We expect upwards of 2,000 people to visit Dublin for this tournament, and many more to attend for the Notre Dame v Navy game in the Aviva Stadium,” Minister Varadkar said.
The Global Ireland Football Tournament (GIFT) and other festivities will run from August 28th to September 2nd at a range of venues in and around Dublin. Around 2,500 official party travellers and fans from eight US states and two Canadian provinces are expected to travel.
Members of the public will be invited to the games, as well as to a range of other events, including:
• Team practise sessions at University College Dublin on Thursday, August 30th;
• American-style Parade and Pep Rally in Dublin city centre on Thursday, August 30th featuring marching bands and dance troupes, ending up at Trinity College;
• Trim is hosting a five-day ‘Feile Americana’ festival of both Irish and American music, arts and cuisine.
The 12 teams will play three doubleheader matches on Friday the 31st of August in Parnell Park and Donnybrook Stadium in Dublin, and Páirc Tailteann in Navan: Notre Dame Prep (Arizona) v Father Judge (Pennsylvania); Oak Park High School (Winnipeg) v Villanova College (Ontario); Notre Dame HS (California) v Hamilton HS (Arizona); Kent School (Connecticut) v Irish / UK All-Stars; John Carroll University (Ohio) v St Norbert College (Wisconsin); Loyola Academy, Chicago (Illinois) v Jesuit Prep Dallas (Texas).Former Dublin Gaelic Footballer Brian Mullins, the Director of Sport at UCD, will serve as Honorary Chairman for the games at Parnell Park. Former Notre Dame All-American and Green Bay Packers first round draft pick Mike McCoy will serve as an Honorary Chairman for the games at Páirc Tailteann.
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