GAA Manifesto brought to life by Gaels of Gloucestershire
By John Harrington
GAA club members across Gloucestershire have come together to record a Welsh language version of the GAA manifesto, ‘Where We All Belong’.
With the help of staff from St Joseph’s Primary School in Swansea, the video is the brainchild of Páraic Maddock, one of the driving forces behind the St. Joseph’s juvenile GAA club that draws its players from the same school.
He brought together Gaels from the 11 clubs that make up Gloucestershire GAA to record a fantastic video that beautifully illustrates how GAA members all belong to the same community regardless where they are in the world.
“As with every nation, language in Wales is intrinsic to the expression of culture,” Maddock told GAA.ie.
“Be it in stories, songs, or poetry, it communicates shared values and fosters feelings of belonging. So it seemed the natural step to produce the GAA manifesto ‘Where We All Belong’ with a Welsh accent.
“The version is not a word for word literal Welsh translation of the GAA manifesto. With the help of staff from St Joseph’s Primary, Swansea, we created a version that uses simple Welsh patterns to make it easier for young and old, fluent speakers and absolute beginners.
“Each participant received the Welsh words with a clip modelling the sounds. It was great to see the uptake from so many non-welsh speakers from all corners of the county.
“The unity and solidarity displayed in just having a go was greatly appreciated and respected by all Welsh speakers in the county.
“Clips came in from the wilds of snowy Carmarthenshire to the south coast sunshine of Dorset.
“There is a real mix of people involved in Gloucestershire from the original diaspora that founded the clubs, the following generations that built on those foundations and the home-grown boys and girls that have competed at Feile’s and represent the future."
Maddock’s own club, St. Joseph’s, are a great example of how Gaelic Games are thriving outside of Ireland wherever you have people committed to sharing their love of gaelic football and hurling with the local population.
Gaelic Football has been coached in the local primary school in Clydach just outside Swansea for the past ten years with great success. So much so, that a school survey placed it as the most popular ball game in the school ahead of rugby and soccer.
Gaelic Games is now very much a way of life for the youth of the area, with St. Joseph’s children enjoying some great trips over the years to London for the All Britain Championships, and to Ireland for Féile.
They also had the once in a lifetime experience of playing an exhibition match in Croke Park at half-time of the 2017 All-Ireland Quarter-Final between Tyrone and Armagh.
St. Joseph’s are a microcosm of the general good health of Gaelic Games in Gloucestershire where the numbers participating have steadily increased in recent years.
“Gloucestershire GAA county incorporates 11 clubs spread over 12 counties and two countries,” says Maddock.
“Late 2019 saw the formation of De Cymru hurling and camogie club, Carmarthenshire GAA club, and the rebirth of Pride of Erin, Newport.
“These joined the existing clubs, St Colmcille’s, Cardiff, Western Gaels and St Nicholas’s, Bristol, St Piran’s of Cornwall, St, Jude’s covering Portsmouth, Southampton and Bournemouth, and the Gaels of Crawley and Brighton, with Juvenile clubs Swansea, St Joseph’s and St Patrick’s of Gloucester.
“One of the main objectives of our new dynamic County Executive, led by Kieran Doyle, is improved communication and rediscovering county identity.
“Gloucestershire adopted the motto, "Ní neart go cur le chéile", there is no strength without unity, which features on our new county training tops.
“A new county newsletter has been successful in enabling each club to tell their story, highlight the great work in each community and celebrate club stalwarts past and present. The idea for the video seemed to fit well with this new county outlook.”
Regardless of whether you’re from Gloucestershire or Galway, the GAA is Where We All Belong.
Or, as they say in Wales, Rydym I Gyd Yn Perthyn.