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Thurles International Hurling Festival 2012 Expands

Last July Thurles Sarsfields hosted the first ever International Hurling Festival, its prize the Tom Semple Cup.

This inaugural competition saw eight teams taking part on Munster Final weekend 2011: The Wild Geese from the USA; Robert Emmets and Kilburn Gaels from London; Na Magha from Derry; Keady from Armagh; Naomh Moinne from Louth; Dunboyne from Meath and Naas from Co. Kildare.

(Click on Pic Image, courtesy of J.O’Loughlin, for larger resolution.)

The Tom Semple Cup was presented to the captain of Kilburn Gaels, after an exciting final against Dunboyne, by Anne Semple daughter of the great Tom Semple.

This initiative by Thurles Sarsfields, to promote both tourism and hurling Internationally, has to be commended and supported by all who have an interest in promoting Tipperary as a venue for National and International tourism.

The success of the competition can be gauged by the fact that all teams have agreed to come back in 2012 and all publicly have expressed their enjoyment and appreciation of the event. The festival gave a much needed boost to the local economy last year and was very much appreciated by local business and all tourist interests in the area. The Tom Semple Cup is now recognised by both Croke Park and Shannon Development and is a permanent fixture on the GAA calendar.

This year, Thurles, proudly waving the  banner “European Town of Sport,” for 2012, will see an even more exciting Festival, with the competition expanded to 12 teams, with the European County Finals in Hurling and Camogie also taking place in conjunction with the Tom Semple Cup.  The first every official Hurl Ball competition will be established and Road Bowling teams from Cork and Northern Ireland have promised to join in and entertain.

This event has the potential to attract very large crowds of people on July 13th and 14th 2012 and the fact that it is run on Munster Final weekend is very much an added attraction. This competition will now grow and grow. Word has already started to spread about the Tom Semple Cup, and 4 teams from the USA have expressed an interest in taking part in 2013.

It is envisage that not only Thurles and Tipperary people abroad will come home but also the new hurlers in the developing hurling clubs in America and elsewhere will come to Thurles to see what hurling is all about. To all our friends abroad, Thurles says “Come home for the hurling.”

Thurles Sarsfields would like to thank all those who supported last year’s event, which they are eager to point out, could not have taken place without the generous support of the local sponsors named hereunder:-
Lisheen Mines, Ryan’s Waste Management, Jim Ryan Financial Services, Des Hanafin, Ely Centra Food Market, McKevitt Costcutters, Gary Loughnane Barber, Stakelum’s Office Supplies, Naoimi’s Café Friar Street, Anner Hotel Thurles, Templemore Arms Hotel, Brian Farrell Catering, Walsh Printing, Thurles Credit Union, Moran’s Menswear, Hanafin’s Furniture, Mitchel House Restaurant, Thurles Co-op, Murphy Office Systems, John Enright and Josephine Lowry Event Management.

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