Tipperary hurlers travel to Belfast for festival to honour Fr. Alec Reid

Eamonn Wynne

Reporter:

Eamonn Wynne

Email:

ewynne@nationalist.ie

Tipperary hurlers travel to Belfast for festival to honour Fr. Alec Reid

Manager Michael Ryan will take the Tipperary hurling team to Belfast this weekend for a festival of hurling, during which they'll play Antrim in a challenge.

With the start of the National Hurling League only a fortnight away, Tipperary will step up their preparations for the new season with a trip to Belfast this weekend.

Antrim GAA are set to welcome the All-Ireland champions for 'A Festival of Hurling'.

The Liam McCarthy Cup holders will take part in a special weekend of events in honour of the late Fr. Alec Reid, a native of Nenagh and adopted son of West Belfast who dedicated his life to building peace in Northern Ireland.

On Saturday Michael Ryan's squad will undergo an intense training session at the Woodlands Playing Fields, where a special Cumann na mBunscol Belfast versus North Antrim Primary 7 game of hurling will take place afterwards for the perpetual Father Alec Reid trophy, while the Tipp players will meet and greet young Gaels.

The highlight of the weekend will see Tipp take on Antrim at Corrigan Park in a challenge on Sunday, at Naomh Eoin's Whiterock Road grounds where the throw-in is scheduled for 12.30pm.

This visit to Antrim was promised in 2013 following the death of Fr. Reid, who won an All-Ireland Minor Hurling medal with Tipperary in 1949.

He was the joint recipient of the 1995 Tipperary International Peace Award (along with Martin Mansergh and Rev. Roy Magee) and was also awarded the Tipperary Person of the Year award by the Tipperary Association Dublin in April 2006.

At 9.30am Mass in Clonard Monastery in Belfast on Sunday morning, three commemorative plaques will be presented in memory of Fr. Reid. 

One plaque will be donated to Clonard Monastery, one will be placed in the redeveloped Casement Park and one will be brought back to Tipperary.

Meanwhile, Tipp begin their National League campaign with a trip to Croke Park to take on Dublin at 5pm on Saturday evening February 11th.

On the following Sunday, February 19th, they play Waterford in Walsh Park.

 An experimental Tipp team played Dublin and Leinster champions Cuala in a challenge in Portlaoise last weekend, a game that Cuala won by a point.