Calling all the Irish in town

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A Queenstown-based Irishwoman is organising an Irish sports day in the hope of starting a local Gaelic Athletics Association. 

1876 bar worker Dee Keating (right), 24, is planning an afternoon of Gaelic football matches and a longest hurling competition at the downtown Recreation Ground. 

Keating, from Limerick, says one of the things she misses most about Ireland is the social atmosphere ahead of a big hurling match. For the uninitiated, hurling involves using hockey-like sticks to get a ball into a soccer-type net or the posts above it. 

Keating says she hopes the day – scheduled for February 19 – will also result in the formation of a Gaelic Athletics Association which exists in both Auckland and Christchurch. 

“It’s something Queenstown is missing, especially when there’s so many Irish here.” 

Those taking part will be asked for a $2 donation on the day, and are encouraged to arrive by 12.30pm to organise teams. 

It’ll finish by 5pm when 1876 bar will host the after-party, including a live Irish music duo and a video replay of the football. 

1876 co-owner Craig Eccles says: “The whole thing is about having a bit of fun, exercise and coming back and having music and drinks and nibbles.”