EirGrid, which manage and develop the country’s electricity grid, has officially launched the 2019 EirGrid GAA Football U20 All-Ireland Championship in Croke Park today. Padraic Joyce, Galway U20 manager, and Colm O’Neil, member of the Cork U20 management team, were both in attendance at the launch. Also present were Mayo’s Tommy Conroy, Tyrone’s Ruairi Gormley, Kildare’s Darragh Ryan and Cork’s Peter O’Driscoll, all captains of their county’s U20 teams.
Since 2015, the state-owned EirGrid has partnered with the GAA as sponsors ofwhat was once the GAA U21 Football All-Ireland Championship before it reformed to an U20 competition.
EirGrid has also announced a 5-year extension to its partnership with the GAA which will see them continue as title sponsor of the EirGrid GAA Football U20 All-Ireland Championship until the end of the 2024 season.
The EirGrid Leinster U20 Championship kickstarts on Saturday 22nd June and will see Kildare take on Laois, Carlow play Offaly and Wexford meet Wicklow, all in the hope of a place in the provincial quarter finals. Down and Antrim are the first to face off in Ulster on Sunday 23rd June in Clones. The EirGrid Connacht U20 Championship kicks off on 26th June when Leitrim face off against Roscommon in the quarter final of the competition. The Munster competition commences on 2nd July when Waterford and Clare go head to head as do Tipperary and Limerick.
Speaking on behalf of the GAA, Tom Ryan, Director General commented;
“I am pleased to welcome the extension of EirGrid’s support of our GAA Football U20 Championship for a further five years. This competition has always captured the imagination of football followers in its own right in addition to providing a springboard for so many players and counties to develop and shine. We look forward to working with EirGrid and our counties in showcasing everything that football at this grade has to offer.”
Speaking at the event, Mark Foley, EirGrid CEO, said;
“This is the fifth year of our partnership with the GAA as sponsors of the competition, and we enter this campaign with a renewed purpose, energy and appetite for the season to come.
I am delighted to formally announce a 5-year extension to our partnership with GAA as title sponsor of the U20’s Football Championship extending our commitment to the competition out to 2024.
GAA management teams around the country are responsible for the management and development of the current and future inter-county stars, a similar set of skills and expertise required in our business as we ensure the current and future electrical needs of our country. We will be drawing on these similarities to bring the partnership to life through the season and years.”