Today Mayor Ed Murray welcomed event organizers of the 2016 U.S. Gaelic Athletic Association Finals, which is coming to Seattle on Labor Day weekend at Magnuson Park. The finals is the annual championship for the sports of Gaelic football, hurling, and camogie in North America.
“Seattle is proud to host this year’s Gaelic Games North American championships at Magnuson Park,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “We look forward a great competition in September featuring teams from across the continent, as well as introducing traditional Irish sports to new audiences and participants.”
The finals have been occurring for over 60 years, primarily hosted on the East Coast and Midwest. 2016 marks the first time the games will be hosted in the Pacific Northwest. More than 100 teams and 2,000 amateur athletes from the United States and Canada compete for titles in various divisions within each sport. Mayor Murray and Chief O’Toole will serve as honorary co-chairs of the finals event committee.
“My family and I have very fond memories of the many Gaelic Game matches we’ve attended on both sides of the Atlantic,” said Chief Kathleen O’Toole. “The finals in Seattle will provide a wonderful opportunity to showcase the Gaelic Athletic Association and its strong commitment to community.”
Seattle has been home to the Seattle Gaels since 1979, which promotes social and recreational Gaelic sports throughout the Pacific Northwest. The club maintains a Gaelic football club and hurling programs for both men and women. The Seattle Gaels are closely associated with the Irish Heritage Club of Seattle, which organizes major Irish community events throughout Western Washington.
“The Seattle Gaels and the Irish Heritage Club are very proud to be bringing this exciting event to the Pacific Northwest for the first time in its sixty year history,” said Brian White, chair of the Seattle Gaels. “Gaelic games have been played in our region for over one hundred years, and are now among the fastest growing alternative sports in the world. This is a wonderful opportunity to introduce these sports to the Seattle community, and to introduce all of the remarkable things our great city has to offer to thousands of visitors from all corners of North America.”
Additional information on game rules and details on the upcoming finals at Magnuson Park over Labor Day Weekend can be found here.