In November 1884 the Gaelic Athletic Association was founded in Ireland. A country that was at that time still part of the United Kingdom. Its main focuses were on Irish sports, but music, dance and language are also high up on the list. The sports they champion are Gaelic Football, Hurling and Camogie.
All the sports are played on a strictly amateur level, although the better players can get some advertisement money and/or sponsorships. Other than that: no pay! However, some of the football players do cross over to rugby, where they can go professional.
Last Saturday I went to a football game in Newry. We could have seen both the games on that evening, but we left after the first one, which featured the under 20's. It was still great fun to watch though. If you are ever at a game where you don't understand a lot, ask the person in front, chances are they do! So, that's what I did. I asked the man in front of me, about the scoring, about the teams and about several other things.
Now, the term football is quite a strange term for the sport we watched: the only time the ball ever touched the feet was when they were doing a keepie-uppie while running and when they tried to get the ball either in the goal or through the posts over the goal. Other than that: it was carried in their hands!
The names on the scoreboard were in Gaelic, which got me a bit confused as well (like it confused Yamini). Aontroim is indeed Co Antrim, but An Dun is not an island off the coast of Ireland, but a county called Down, both in the province of Ulster (which contains all of Northern Ireland and some counties in the Republic).
Anyway, the game was great fun to watch and even the scoring was quite easy: between the goal posts over the goal: 1 point. In the goal: 3 points. However, instead of adding them all up immediately, they went for how many times they scored a certain way of scoring. At the end of the match, the points are totalled and a winner declared. In this case it was County Down who got a total of 29 points (they had 5 goals and 14 points, photo was taken a bit earlier), whereas County Antrim got a total of 22 points (3 goals and 13 points).