Games could ‘put Cavan on the world stage’

Cavan could be in line to host the prestigious GAA World Games next summer following the news that the county board’s application has been short-listed.

The GAA World Games is an international competition for men’s football, ladies football, hurling and camogie, which was inaugurated in 2015 and caters to teams from as far away as Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Australia among other places. The event did not take place for the last two years due to pandemic restrictions but the 2019 renewal attracted over 4,000 visitors to Waterford for a celebration of Gaelic sport and culture.

Nine counties expressed an interest in hosting the 2023 event. The GAA sent out a very detailed tender document and invited submissions and Cavan has made the final three, along with Waterford and Derry.

“Members of the management committee took it on ourselves, we didn’t set up a sub committee for it. A huge amount of work has gone into it, a lot of information gathering and detail,” stated Cavan county GAA board chairman, Kieran Callaghan.

“If you take Croke Park and Páirc Uí Chaoímh out of it, Kingspan Breffni is up there with the best stadiums in Ireland. I think it’s a great achievement even to be short-listed, the clubs of Cavan can be very proud of what they have built over the past 100 years.”

The 2023 event is scheduled for Monday, July 24 to Thursday, July 27, which is 100 years to the week since the stadium was first opened.

“The stadium is 100 years old next year and this would be a fitting tribute to those who had the vision to construct it 100 years ago,” said Callaghan, who believes that hosting an event of this magnitude could help propel tourism in the county.

“This would be really putting us on a world stage. With the sports campus coming online, with the partnership with the Royal School and Cavan County Council, Cavan has to set itself up as a sporting destination. I think that’s so important.”

The county board have employed an architect to compile drawings and have worked with the county council in identifying accommodation. The tender document is extremely detailed but Cavan is hopeful it will be successful, with site visits still to come.

“We will leave no stone unturned with this application. There’s nowhere in Ireland as good as Kingspan Breffni in my opinion, we will have our own campus in the county town, with four full-size pitches available for the World Games.

“Cavan has to put itself up there, we have to start promoting Cavan as a destination for sport, for business, for working remotely, we have it all here and we just have to push Cavan more and more,” stated Callaghan.

Meanwhile, the new museum at the stadium will be officially opened by GAA President Larry McCarthy on September 24.