A welcome message from Irish Ambassador to Portugal, Orla Tunney
I am pleased and excited to support the creation of a GAA club in Lisbon, the first such club in Portugal.
It is something that we at the Embassy have been hoping and working for, particularly since the exciting demonstration match played by an enthusiastic group of men and women at the Torre de Belém on 19 March 2016. Many onlookers were inspired that day, and our small Irish community took an important step forward in sharing our national games with our Portuguese friends and others here in Lisbon. Now new community members have added their energy and experience, making dreams reality and organising training sessions which are open to all.
The sharing of Irish culture and heritage with the people of Portugal is an important way to build friendships and enhance understanding and respect for our country. Playing our Gaelic Games will add another dimension to this, and the establishment of a GAA club will extend to Portugal a dynamic network which already covers so much of the globe. With so many teams close by; in Andalucia, Galicia, Madrid and beyond, we hope that Lisbon will soon be sending teams all over the Iberian peninsula and further afield. Likewise I’m sure that Lisbon will prove a popular destination for other teams to come and be part of the growth of Gaelic Games here.
I encourage all those interested in our games to get involved, and I encourage those who do not yet know our games to join in so that they can learn to love them as we do. As well as being technically exciting sports, Gaelic Football and Hurling have a rich tradition of camaraderie and volunteerism which is quite unique. With the participation of existing and new players, male and female, young and old, I look forward to seeing this club go from strength to strength, and to working with you to share one of the treasures of our national culture.
Guím gach rath sonas agus oraibh. Desejo-lhes todo o sucesso e muita diversão!