AIB, proud long-standing sponsor of the GAA Club Championships, today teamed up with Killarney Legion and Kerry footballer James O’Donoghue, Thurles Sarsfield and Tipperary hurler Padraic Maher and Milford and Cork camogie player Ashling Thompson to launch the 2015/16 season. The three GAA stars have finished their inter-county season and are now back with their respective clubs as the battle of #TheToughest clubs commences.
As the newest sponsor of the GAA All-Ireland Football Championship, AIB is now proud to be backing both Club and County. Following a successful summer where the Dublin footballers reigned supreme, AIB is returning to its roots, where #TheToughest begins – the AIB GAA Club Championships.
As county champions are crowned, the winning clubs from around the country will prepare themselves for the tough upcoming Provincial round. There is no ‘back door’ from the provincial championships onwards and much of the competition will be played in challenging conditions over the winter months. But it’s these gruelling games that will ultimately see a deserving 18 clubs reach Croke Park next year in the hopes of winning the coveted Junior, Intermediate and Senior Club Championship titles.
“To win an AIB Club Championship would mean everything to me,"Killarney Legion and Kerry star, James O’Donoghue said. “It’s so difficult to win because games come thick and fast and you have to be mentally ready for a battle week in, week out. You also have to be physically and mentally tough to endure the difficult winter conditions. To win an All-Ireland with my club would definitely be one of the ultimate achievements for me.”
“We’ve come close in the past but just fell short”, stated Thurles Sarsfields and Tipperary man, Pádraic Maher. “All the hard work and sacrifices myself and my team mates whom I grew up with have to make. The chance to win an AIB All-Ireland Championship with your friends and family would definitely one of the most rewarding achievements for me”.
“I’ve been lucky enough to have won an All-Ireland with Milford, but I can’t wait to challenge again for it this year. It’s unique in that everything starts at the club and it’s so difficult to win an All-Ireland title. The sense of pride you feel is incredible”, Milford and Cork’s Ashling Thompson said.
AIB officially announced its sponsorship of the Senior Football Championship earlier this year when it also revealed that it was extending its partnership with the Club Championship until March 2018.
Denis O’Callaghan, Head of AIB Branch Banking, emphasised the importance of AIB’s partnership with the GAA. “Our sponsorship now includes Senior, Intermediate and Junior Championships across hurling, football and camogie and the new Senior Football Championship has been a great addition to this portfolio. We are proud to be backing Club and County for the first time ever this year, and especially pleased to extend our sponsorship of the Club Championships for a 24th consecutive year. The Club Championships is one of the most unique, competitive and toughest competitions to win in sport and we’re proud to be supporting #TheToughest all the way.”
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For further information:
AIB GAA Team @ Wilson Hartnell
Rachel Solon / David Treacy
01 6690156 / 087 6245326 / 087 6534575