The All-Ireland Poc Fada finals in hurling and camogie will be held on the Cooley Mountains on Saturday August 5. The competition was first held in 1960 and except for a ten-year period in the 1970s and early 80s when it didn’t take place the event has been a hugely popular event attracting people from near and far each August.
The unique GAA contest promises to be a great day of sport and will see Clare’s James McInerney try to retain the crown he won last year while Aoife Murray from Cork will do likewise as she tries to defend the senior camogie title she won for the first time in 2016.
Former Tipperary goalkeeper Brendan Cummins is a nine-time winner of the event and he too will be returning looking to reclaim his crown having lost last year for the first time since 2010. Gerard Smyth will represent Louth in the Men’s senior event and given that he has taken part in the competition before he will be hoping his experience can lead him to the podium.
Apart from the finals the day promises to be an interesting one. Traditional Irish music will be provided by 20 young musicians accompanied by their teacher the well-known and famous traditional music teacher Noirin McManus from Dromiskin. With her pupils participating at an open air All Ireland Final at Annaverna no doubt the Hills will be alive to the Sound of Music. Tim Mullen will also be in attendance with his re-enactment of the Táin march featuring Cuchulainn, Ferdia and Queen Medb.
The event is sponsored by Martin Donnelly and there will be a café onsite and in the event of poor weather there will be marquees available for shelter from the elements. Ample car parking will be available at the base at Annaverna and four courtesy 4×4 vehicles will ferry passengers up from the carpark to the Start area.
Pat Harnett, Chairman of the Louth-Armagh Committee who make the arrangements for the Finals urges spectators to arrive early and use the car parks. The last section of the road is suitable for 4×4 wheel drive vehicles only and car parks will be supervised on the day.