With Gaelic football being played in London for well over 100 years, there’s plenty of options for anyone looking for a new team to play for or support.
Don’t read too much into the name, because Fulham Irish have a hurling team who train in Earlsfield, while their women’s football train on Clapham Common and their men’s team train at Wormwood Scrubs, near Hammersmith. The club was formed in 2006 by John Doyle, Liam Barry and Mike rice (men from Carlow, Limerick and Kerry, respectively), starting with out with two men’s teams in 2006 and growing to four teams in 2013, with a ladies team and a hurling team in competition since 2011.
Based in Peckham, South London, Dulwich Harps have a number of teams (male and female) across junior and senior levels in the London County Board League. The club has a proven track record of going deep in cup competitions and fighting it out for titles at the junior level. While the majority of GAA teams in London are based in the north-west, this offers a fantastic option for those on the other side on the town.
As one of the oldest GAA clubs in London, Cú Chulainns are firmly established and have a history of success over their 85 year history. They started out as a hurling club in 1932, adding a football side two years later. The club has been home to players from all over Ireland, as well as Londoners, with a few going on to represent the London GAA at board level. Last year their football side were intermediate champions.
Eire Og GAA
Based in Haringey, north London, Eire Og (which means “Young Ireland”) have their own pitch and clubhouse, with a wide catchment of players. Run by volunteers, the club is a key part of Irish culture in the local community, not just sports. The club started out with people playing casually in Finsbury Park, forming officially in 2011, but has since grown and found its home in Downhills Park.
Formed in 1937, the club was only active for two years before the Second World War forced it to close. It reformed in 1948 and has been around ever since, currently playing in London’s top division. The club has five London Senior Football Championship titles to its name, winning their last title in 1998.
Based at the Stonebridge Recreation Ground in Hillside, the club was established in 1990. The club immediately competed at the top of the Junior Championship, eventually establishing itself at intermediate level and winning the Intermediate Championship in 2005.
Founded by two student nurses in 1993, Holloway Gaels are one of the best ladies teams in London and since 2011 have been affiliated with the North London men’s team Eire Og (mentioned above). In 2009, the Gaels progressed to the Senior ranks, winning the London and British Provincial Junior Championship in 2012 and the London Intermediate Championship in 2014.
Kingdom Kerry Gaels
London’s most successful Gaelic football team with 12 London Senior Football Championship titles (Tír Chonaill Gaels have 15, but their Middlesex postcode keeps them off this list). The club was first formed in 1959 as Kingdom GAA, and combined with Kerry Gaels (who were formed in the 1980s) in 1999 when both clubs lost players who headed home. The club has represented London at the All Ireland.
Starting off in the junior ranks in 1989 after being founded by members from all over Ireland and England, Neasden Gaels progressed very quickly, winning the Intermediate Championship in 1996 and then the Senior Championship in 1999. The club is always on the lookout for new members, whether that be playing, supporting or helping out.
North London Shamrocks
One of the best Gaelic football teams in London at the moment, this Tottenham based club has a number of teams. It has some of the best facilities of any London team and in the summer training sessions are held at their home ground, not far from Wood Green tube station. Perfect for players looking to play at a high standard.
Formed in 1951, Parnells is an established club that has football and hurling teams for men, women and children – in total the club has over 500 members (just think of the socials). Parnells is a brilliant club for developing young players, with teams that go from U6s right up to U18s and annual trips to play in Ireland.
The oldest GAA club in London still in existence, established in 1920, Brothers Pearse has hurling and football sides, as well as being affiliated with the camogie club by the same name. Head to King Edward Park in Willesden on a Wednesday to take part in weekly training sessions.
St. Kieran’s GAA
With a focus on providing opportunities for young players during the summer, it started out in 1984 with one U12s team. Today, St. Kieran’s under 8s, 10s, 12s, 14s, 16s and 18s, as well as two adult teams, have gone on to play at the Intercontinental Youth Games in the USA.
Thomas McCurtains GAA Club
With men’s and women’s teams, in football, hurling and camogie, Thomas McCurtains offers spaces for a variety of abilities and experience. Can’t commit fully? Then you can join their development team and have a more recreational approach. One of the few GAA teams in east London.
There are a number of other clubs in the home counties and surrounding areas of London – such as Tír Chonaill Gaels, mentioned above – so for those a little further out of town there is still plenty of Gaelic football options. They still compete in London competitions, with, unsurprisingly, many based in the north west, in the likes of Middlesex and Hertfordshire.