The official launch of the Thurles Sarsfields International Hurling Festival will take place this Friday evening(May 30th) at Sarsfields Social Centre at 6pm.
This year’s festival, for which Tipp FM are media partners is a much enlarged event and will run for the week from July5th to July12th leading up to Munster senior hurling final day, July13th.
The festival will include a sixteen team inter club hurling tournament, camogie(8 teams), ladies football( 8 teams), Caman Abu(24 teams), road bowling, rounders, target ball.
There will be a Ceili Mor on Saturday July 12th and on the previous Saturday, July 5th Tipp FM will be hosting a Garth Brooks Tribute Concert to mark the beginning of the festival.
Since its inception three years ago, the festival has gone from strength to strength and competition for the Tom Semple Cup will be keener than ever this year with the inclusion of some of the top clubs from Galway(Turloughmore), Cork(Youghal), Offaly(Clara), Limerick(Ballybrown), Dublin(Ballyboden),Waterford(Passage) and of course Tipperary.
Last year’s winners, Causeway of Kerry will defend their title and teams from Mayo(Toureen), and Donegal(Setanta), Monin(Louth), Dunboyne(Meath), will again be participating with the winners of the B and C sections playing for the Carew and Culhane Cups.
New ground will be broken this year with the introduction of Rounders to the festival. The National Rounders Association is fully behind the venture and are hoping that their involvement will help promote the game in Tipperary.
Another new initiative will be the staging of an inter-club tournament in road bowling. It is expected there will be great local interest in how locals take to the bowls. This is being run in conjunction with the main road bowling tournament.
The Caman Abu tournament last year was a great success with sixteen teams representing local organisations and businesses taking part in what is deemed “recreational hurling” with teams made up of both men and women. Building on that success there will be a bigger tournament this year and games will be played over three evenings, with the final on Friday July 11th.
Sarsfields camogie section have arrangements at an advanced stage for the camogie tournament featuring teams from several counties and for which the winners will receive the Helen O Mara cup, while the club’s Ladies Football section is staging the ladies football tournament. Durlas Og are also hosting a juvenile hurling tournament for what should be a bumper week of GAA activity in Thurles in the build up to the Munster hurling final.
John Enright, and John Lanigan are joint chairmen of the organising committee. John Enright welcomed the partnership with Tipp FM for this year’s festival and said that Sarsfields were delighted to have the local radio station on board.
” It has always been our aim to engage with other local groups in promoting Thurles through the hurling festival. Having such a prestigious organisation as Tipp FM with us is a very positive step in the right direction, which can only be beneficial for both the festival, and the organisation”, he added.
An impressive array of dignitaries is expected for the official launch which will be featured Tipp FM’s Friday night sports programme.