EirGrid launches the 2024 GAA Football U20 All-Ireland Championship:

EirGrid, the developer and operator of Ireland’s electricity grid, today officially launched the 2024 EirGrid GAA Football U20 All-Ireland Championship marking a decade of sponsorship of the competition.

Five-time All-Ireland winner and Kerry U20 manager, Tomás Ó Sé, and newly appointed Dublin U20 manager, Ciaran Farrelly attended the launch along with Niall Dolan, Kildare U20 captain and 2023 Under 20 All Ireland winner.

The country’s most promising male footballers will battle it out over the coming weeks across the four provinces competing for a place in the All-Ireland Final on May 18th/19th.

EirGrid’s sponsorship of the competition along with EirGrid’s official timing partnership with the GAA is part of the company’s wider commitment to supporting local communities across Ireland. EirGrid is responsible for a safe, secure and reliable supply of electricity, and is leading the transition to a low carbon electricity future to create a greener and more sustainable future for the next generation.

In partnership with the Gaelic Writers Association (GWA), EirGrid will recognise the best player of each province as well as standout player of the competition with the EirGrid U20 Player of the Year award. Former winners of the award include Mayo’s Diarmuid O’Connor (2016), Jack Glynn of Galway (2020), Offaly’s Jack Bryant (2021), Tyrone’s Ruairí Canavan (2022) and last year’s winner James McGrath of Kildare.

The competitive nature of this competition can be seen over the past decade, where there have been seven separate winners each year of the tournament, Kildare (2023,2018) Tyrone (2022, 2015), Offaly (2021), Galway (2020), Cork (2019), Dublin (2017) Mayo (2016).

Speaking at the event, EirGrid chief executive Mark Foley said: “At EirGrid we are extremely proud to be entering into our 10th year as sponsors the GAA. As we work towards creating a better and sustainable future for the next generation, it is important to recognise the remarkable level of energy, time, and commitment that goes into making this competition, and indeed the wider GAA, such a rich and important part of society. On behalf of EirGrid I would like to extend our very best wishes to all players, managers and backroom teams, as well as their parents and families, for the Championship ahead.”

Speaking on behalf of the GAA, Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael, Jarlath Burns said: “These Championships occupy a special place in the history of the GAA, having proven instrumental in signposting so many senior stars of the future. Traditionally, these are some of the most exciting games of the season, full of fantastic football and I am sure we can look forward to another memorable campaign in the battle for provincial and All-Ireland honours. I also want to acknowledge the decade-long support we have received from EirGrid for the promotion of these great competitions and thank them for their backing.”

The EirGrid Leinster U20 Championship is split into three competitive groups with the opening game scheduled for the 26th of March. Group 1 contains 2023 All Ireland winners Kildare, Longford, Louth, Offaly. Group 2 features Carlow, Laois, Wexford, Wicklow. Group 3 contains Ciaran Farrelly’s Dublin, Meath, and Westmeath. The opening round will see a number of exciting matches, with the current champions Kildare taking on Longford, Louth facing 2021 winners Offaly, Laois taking on Carlow, Wicklow facing rivals Wexford, and 2023 U20 Leinster finalists Dublin playing Westmeath.

This year’s EirGrid Munster U20 Championship sees a new system in place where last year’s Munster finalists Cork and Kerry are straight into the second phase of the competition. Waterford, Clare, Tipperary and Limerick will battle it out in phase 1 for the chance to take on both Cork and Kerry in phase 2. The 2 teams that finish at the bottom of the table in phase 1 will compete in the B final. Phase 1 of the competition got off to an exciting start on Friday as Tipperary and Limerick drew 2-6 to 0-12. On Saturday, Clare defeated Waterford by 0-13 to 0-6.

In Ulster, this year’s Championship is organised in a round-robin format with a group of five and a group of four, with teams playing the other teams in their group once. Section A includes Antrim, Derry, Down, Monaghan, Tyrone, while section B contains Armagh, Cavan, Donegal, and Fermanagh. The EirGrid U20 Ulster Championship threw in on March 9th with 2023 U20 All Ireland winners Tyrone defeating Antrim 8-16 to 0-7. Derry defeated 2023 U20 Ulster Champions Down by 2-14 to 1-9, while Armagh defeated Fermanagh by 1-10 to 0-7. On March 13th Donegal defeated Cavan by 2-15 to 0-16.

The EirGrid U20 Connacht Championship takes place in a round-robin format over five rounds with the final taking place on Saturday, May 4th. The action gets underway this evening, March 20th as Roscommon take on Mayo and Galway face Leitrim. 2023 All Ireland finalists, Sligo, are in action on Wednesday 27th of March as they play Roscommon while Mayo face rivals