AIB launches All-Ireland Senior Football Championship
AIB, proud sponsors of both Club and County, today celebrated the return of the GAA All-Ireland Senior Football Championship this summer, with footballers Ryan O’Donoghue (Belmullet and Mayo), Pádraig Faulkner (Kingscourt Stars and Cavan), Conor Sweeney (Ballyporeen and Tipperary), Daniel Flynn (Johnstownbridge and Kildare) and Paul Donaghy (Dungannon Thomas Clarkes and Tyrone) all on hand for the launch.
Following a rollercoaster 2020 winter Championship, now, the summer is officially back on, as the GAA All-Ireland Senior Football Championship returns to its traditional place in the calendar. Playtime is well and truly over and old rivalries are set to reignite once more as teams across the country prepare for battle. Fans and players alike have been eagerly anticipating the return of some of #TheToughest games of the year and, with the ultimate knock-out season ahead - with no back door or second chances - there is no doubt that there will be thrills, spills and upsets galore in store in what is set to be yet another dramatic season of on-the-pitch action.
Since 1991, AIB has seen what it takes to compete in #TheToughest games in the GAA, whether at club or county level and recognises the unique ability of the GAA All-Ireland Senior Football Championship to spark the innate desires of competitiveness and rivalry in all fans. Whether live in stadium or watching at home, as long as fans see their counties take to the field, rivalries will never stop! This summer’s fixtures are no different, with many eye-watering treats in store, as some of the big giants and archrivals of GAA prepare to go head-to-head in the coming weeks.
For Mayo star, Ryan O’Donoghue, he will be hoping that his side will be able to retain the Connacht title and drive on to reach another All-Ireland final in 2021 and finally banish the demons of old. Daniel Flynn and the Lilywhites, under the management of Kerryman Jack O’Connor, meanwhile will be aiming to build on positive early season performances as they look to progress past Offaly in the quarter-final stages. Dark horses of 2020, Cavan, will have Pádraig Faulkner to the fore as they begin the defence of their Ulster crown on July 10th against rivals Tyrone, who will be looking to Paul Donaghy to point the way as they look to get their hands on the cup. Meanwhile, following on from their historic 2020 Munster Championship win last year, Conor Sweeney and his Tipp’ teammates will be hoping to overcome the challenge of Kerry on July 10th.
Speaking at today’s launch, CEO at AIB, Colin Hunt, emphasised the importance of this year’s GAA All-Ireland Senior Football Championship: “We have always been extremely proud of our partnership with the GAA and are delighted to be launching another GAA All-Ireland Senior Football Championship today. We are looking forward to the return of these games that raised morale for so many during the depths of the pandemic. After that period of darkness, this Championship will be particularly special. 2021 marks seven years of AIB sponsoring the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship and 31 years of backing the Club Championships. We are honoured to have worked hand-in-hand with the GAA for the last three decades. Over those years, we have seen the immeasurable support of fans, the relentless strength of the players, and the unwavering sense of togetherness that exists within the GAA. Last year, this was brought to life for fans through ‘The Toughest Season’ photobook and hopefully this year, fans will be able to experience the thrill of all the action in stadia once more as summer 2021 officially kicks off. Like the GAA, AIB is intent on playing our part in supporting communities the length and breadth of the country. We are delighted to celebrate the return of the summer Championship this year – as well as the renewal of some age-old rivalries!”
Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael, Larry McCarthy said: “As one of the GAA’s longest continuous sponsorship partners, AIB has demonstrated significant commitment and support for Gaelic Games. Through their sponsorship of the GAA All-Ireland Senior Football Championship, AIB has brought to life the bond between the GAA and the wider community. The launch of their seventh year as sponsors signifies the start of what we hope will be an exciting season of football. With championship matches taking place in the summer months there is a sense that a return to normality is upon us. This season will also see a return of the knockout format for the Championship, which will no doubt enhance many of the rivalries of old. Older fans may recognize a knockout summer championship, but for younger fans, this will be a great taste of this nail-biting format. We look forward to seeing pulsating matches, skillful football, and raw desire on display as counties battle it out to lift the Sam Maguire. We are sure AIB will bring the 2021 GAA All-Ireland Senior Football Championship to the forefront, celebrating the rivalries, the summer and, of course, the importance of Gaelic Games to Irish community life around the globe. We are very excited to see what’s in store for the 2021 season!”
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