In the early 90′s a number of Irish expatriates living in Paris were in the habit of getting together to play Hurling and Gaelic Football on a regular basis and organising matches with the Irish communities in Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Germany and France.
The success of their efforts generated in the Gaelic Athletic Association, Paris (France) being formally established in April 1995, under the 1901 Law. The club is in fact the first affiliated GAA club in mainland Europe and has approximately 100 active members at present playing hurling, camogie, ladies and mens football.
The club has been going from strength to strength since it’s creation and has had the honour of welcoming the former GAA President and Overseas chairman Mr. Joe McDonagh in April 1997.
In february 1998, the club were also honoured to welcome the Liam McCarthy Cup, when the club hosted a friendly with Glynnbarn Town( Wexford) football and hurling clubs, plus several players from intercounty status and players who travelled from Italy, Spain, Holland and Belgium.
Furthermore, Paris Gaels were also invited to their first ever Overseas Officers meeting in September 1997 which began discussions on how best to structure the GAA in Europe and how to better structure an organisation on the mainland. As a result of these discussions, Europe were officially invited to the 1998 Irish Holidays International Gaelic Football Competition , held in September at St.Vincent’s GAA Club, Dublin.
October 1999, Paris Gaels welcomed St. Margaret’s GAA club from the Fingal area to Paris. A friendly match of Hurling and Gaelic Football was played in a friendly manner (despite the reputation of St. Margarets) which was a great success for both clubs. These links with Irish based GAA clubs hope to be maintained in our future efforts to promote our national games abroad.
The Paris Gaels GAA camogie team have held the European Championship 3rd place spot in 2009, 2010 and 2011. In 2012, the team travel to Thurles to battle it out for their first Euoropean Championship title having won 2 rounds from 3 so far.
2012 represents a key year in the development of hurling in Paris as the Paris Gaels GAA Hurling team return to the heights of glory reaching the final in the first round of the 2012 European hurling championship and no doubt the team will show great skill and competitivity in Thurles.
The Paris Gaels GAA club would like to thank Grace Dunphy and Manni Kreur, our camogie and hurling officers and their teams for their hard work and committment throughout the year. The club is also extremely proud of our hurling teams captain Jake O’Sullivan who will represent Europe in the 2012 All Ireland Poc Fada Championships. We wish him the very best of luck and we’ll all be with him when he takes on the Cooley mountains on August 4th.
The present and future committees of Paris Gaels GAA hope to build on the work done to date and hope that Hurling & Camogie will have a bright and successful future both in Paris and in Europe as a whole.