The finals of the Ulster Bank Fitzgibbon Cup third-level colleges senior hurling championship will be hosted by NUI Galway from 5-6 March, and was officially launched at the University. The semi-finals of the competition will be held in Dangan, the NUI Galway Sports Grounds, along with the semi-finals of the Ryan Cup and the Fergal Maher Cups.
The annual Ulster Bank Fitzgibbon Cup dinner will take place on Friday, 5 March, in the Ardilaun Hotel, Galway, following the semi-final matches, with many local and national GAA personalities expected to attend.
The final of the Ulster Bank Fitzgibbon Cup, which will be broadcast live on TG4, takes place on Saturday, 6 March, in Pearse Stadium. The Puc Fada finals will be held at half time, with each college in the country invited to send a participant.
In the history of the Ulster Bank Fitzgibbon Cup, NUI Galway has won the title nine times, the last being 30 years ago in 1980. In the 2009 championship, University College Cork was crowned title holders after defeating the University of Limerick. Mary Immaculate Limerick beat Jordanstown in the Ryan Cup, and St. Mary’s of Belfast clinched the Fergal Maher Cup from Napier of Scotland.
Commenting on the upcoming championship, Michael O’Connor, NUI Galway Gaelic Games Officer, said: “NUI Galway is delighted to be entrusted with the honour of hosting the blue riband of third-level hurling. Like other years it should provide GAA supporters with some of the hurling moments of the year. The closeness in exchanges in the group games will ensure that all sides will be in with strong chances of ultimate success in their competition. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the University for its co-operation in making the hosting of this tournament an expected success”.
Brendan McDermott, Ulster Bank West Regional Director, commented: “Ulster Bank is delighted to be involved as sponsors of GAA Higher Education Gaelic Games, especially the blue riband event of college hurling, the Ulster Bank Fitzgibbon Cup. This is the fourth year of our association with Gaelic Games as sponsors of the Ulster Bank Fitzgibbon Cup, the Ulster Bank Ryan Cup and the Ulster Bank Fergal Maher Cup. Congratulations to the NUI Galway team for all their work in the build up to the finals weekend”.
Retired Head of Sport at NUI Galway, Tony Regan, is still heavily involved with sport at the University and is currently Chairperson of the NUI Galway Hurling Club. Tony has had much success on the Gaelic fields leading NUI Galway to win five Ulster Bank Sigerson Cups, two Ulster Bank Fitzgibbon Cup, Ashbourne Cup and countless games during his time at NUI Galway. Speaking in advance of the finals, Tony said: “As Chairman of the hurling club I would like to wish all semi finalists in their respective competitions the very best of luck and also thank all involved in the running of the weekend, sponsors, college staff and most of all the hurlers of the future”.
Friday, 5 March Fixtures
11am and 1pm: Ryan Cup Semi-Finals, Dangan Sports Ground
11am and 1pm: Fergal Maher Cups Semi-Final, Venue tbc
12pm and 2pm: Fitzgibbon Semi-Finals, Dangan Sports Ground
Saturday, 6 March Fixtures
11am: Fergal Maher Cups Final, Dangan Sports Ground
Puc Fada Heats, Dangan Sports Grounds
12.45pm: Ryan Cup Final, Pearse Stadium
2.45pm: Fitzgibbon Cup Final, Pearse Stadium
(Puc Fada finals will be held at half time)