THE Lidl All-Ireland Post Primary Schools finals were launched at Croke Park, with members of the Irish Defence Forces present to join in the fun.
The six finals, three senior and three junior, are down for decision over the next two weekends.
The senior A final takes centre stage next Saturday, April 14, and it’s an all-Loreto affair.
Loreto from Clonmel were senior B runners-up last year and have progressed to the senior A decider at Coralstown/Kinnegad, where they’ll face Loreto from Cavan (3pm).
At the same venue, Coláiste Bhaile Chláir from Claregalway in Galway take on Scoil Mhuire from Trim (Meath) for the senior C title (1pm), in the first game of an attractive double-header.
There’s also a double-bill next Sunday, April 15, this time at Duggan Park in Ballinsaloe.
It’s Tipperary v Galway in the senior B final, as Glenamaddy (Galway), who were senior B winners in 2014, pit their wits against Presentation, Thurles (1pm).
And the junior C final (3pm) see St Mary’s High School, Midleton (Cork) up against St Clare’s Comprehensive, Manorhamilton, (Leitrim).
After next weekend’s four games, there are two finals down for decision on Friday, April 20, and Saturday, April 21.
The Lidl junior A decider on Friday week sees ISK Killorglin (Kerry), who were junior B winners in 2016, up against Loreto (Cavan), who will be hoping to achieve a school ‘double’ as they also contest the senior A decider.
That game is fixed for St Rynagh’s in Banagher, county Offaly, at 1pm, as Mick Neville Park in Rathkeale, Limerick, prepares to host the junior B decider on Saturday, April 21.
That’s the meeting of St Brigid’s SS, Killarney (Kerry), and Coláiste Bhaile Chláir, Claregalway (Galway), who are also represented in the senior C decider.
Ladies Gaelic Football Association President Marie Hickey commented: “For all of these players, this is the culmination of a long journey to Lidl Post Primary Schools All-Ireland final day.
“To line out in an All-Ireland final is a privilege that many players have never experienced and for those who have made it here, it’s the chance to grasp this opportunity with both hands.
“Some of the most entertaining games that we witness throughout our season are played at Post Primary Schools level and for the spectators travelling to the various finals, it’s their chance to watch some of our future stars who will go on, I’m sure, to enjoy many more great moments and occasions as players.
“As always, we owe a debt of gratitude to the school management of all teams involved in our very successful Lidl Post Primary Schools competitions.
“Parents, teachers, mentors and school-mates have been involved with these children since the very beginning of their footballing careers, helping to shape and mould the brilliant young stars who will take to the fields of play.
“I would also like to thank our retail partners and title sponsors of these competitions, Lidl, for their continued #SeriousSupport.”