In Focus.....Fulham Irish

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In Focus.....Fulham Irish

Post  bald eagle on Tue Nov 01, 2011 12:23 pm

John Doyle, the PRO of newly crowned London SFC Champions, Fulham Irish kindly agreed to be the first participant in our new In Focus.... section. Questions were posed by the posters of Global GAA and here is the result of our Q&A with Fulham Irish.

Fulham Irish were formed in 2006, was there any opposition within London from the traditional powers in the London game to the formation of your club? (Bald Eagle)

On the initial application for affiliation, there was a mountain of opposition as the founders of Fulham Irish, John Doyle, Liam Barry and Michael Rice had been prominent members of Garryowen GFC who had broken away to follow a very different vision of how a club should be run in modern times. The established clubs in London were supportive of Garryowen, thereby placing as many obstacles as was possible in the way of formation. We took on and over came all these setbacks.

Were there any restrictions placed upon Fulham Irish after your initial formation in terms of the recruitment of players, were players from other clubs able to simply transfer to you or did you have to source a player base of people new to London? Where there any restrictions put in place when the club formed both the Ladies and Hurling teams? (Bald-Eagle)

During the affiliation process, the board resolved that no player who had played football in London in 2005 could not play for Fulham Irish in the 2006 season, this after granting us Intermediate status for our first year. There were 12 players from Garryowen and 2 from Tara who did not play football in 2006 and became known as the Fulham 14 as the spent the year chasing the County board looking for the decision to be reversed.

For the Ladies and hurling teams, there were no restrictions. When the hurling team started, a number of players who played football for Fulham Irish and hurling for other clubs reverted to being Fulham Irish hurlers, so needed transfers if they wanted to stay playing with existing hurling club and are not eligible to play football with Fulham Irish anymore

Have any Londoners, not of Irish heritage, ever expressed an interest in learning to play, or even playing Gaelic Games? (LoyaltotheRoyal)

You see quite a few Australians looking to play the game. These guys play AFL in London with an array of GAA players and come along to try their hand at Gaelic.

Would many, if any, Londoners (again people with no Irish blood in them) come to watch Fulham Irish play? (LoyaltotheRoyal)

What kind of promotion do Fulham Irish do with the wider community - ie outside the Irish Diaspora, and what the levels of involvement are among people with no Irish background. (Parouisa)

What measures do Fulham Irish have in place for GAA development at youth level? (Bald Eagle)


Fulham Irish have a large non Irish following. This came about mainly through the City of London connections of the Fulham Irish players, the majority of whom work in diverse cultural environments. A lady from the Dominican Republic, Carolina Marte, is one of the clubs biggest fans and was awarded Club personality of the year in 2009. Fulham Irish fully supports diversity and wants to see all types of people coming together, supporting the teams and partying together afterwards.

On youth development, Fulham Irish provide coaching in Fulham. The club was picked recently to showcase the development effort going on in the UK to Eamon Gilmore, Taniste and Minister for Foreign Affairs on a visit to London.


In the PRO's opinion, will Gaelic Football and Hurling ever become sports for the world to play, not just exclusive to Ireland as they currently are today? (LoyaltotheRoyal)

GAA sports are already sports for the whole world to participate in. In London, some of the teams are now fielding teams with youngsters of different culltural backgrounds who have come through the underage coaching

There have been calls for teams to be reduced to 13 players, do you think this would only benefit county teams or would it be beneficial at club level especially for teams who have difficulty in fielding a full squad of players in the UK? (GAAFan)

I wouldn't like to see move away from 15 a side but in circumstances where a team are struggling, I would like to see a matching rule where the other team are obliged to play the same number, maybe down to 11. The overall concept is detrimental to involving as many players as possible.

Is there a need for more GAA Clubs in the UK to improve the British championship's competitiveness? (GAAFan)

No need for more clubs in UK

What is your opinion regarding the standard of refereeing in the UK, given the shambolic nature of what passes for it at home (Boxtyeater)

The standard of the top referees is better than you'd get anywhere. Unfortunately, there are only a handful of top referees throughout the UK and the standard of the rest is poor enough. Not knowing the rules, having issues with clubs, letting serious incidents go that cause a bigger problem are all at the core of the ineffectiveness.

Have the Provincial Council of Britain or the London County Board any competitions, or restrictions in place at Senior level to encourage the development of Non-Irish players like that put in place by the UKAFL in their competitions*? (Bald-Eagle)

In London for 2011, clubs well established at under age were permitted to run a team of English born players in the Junior competitions. Only Tir Chonaill Gaels took this option up as the other clubs with plenty of English born players rely heavily on them to play in the first team.

You recently made the breakthrough by winning the London SFC Championship, would this win have been considered an upset to anyone from outside the club when you consider that the club appeared to struggle in their last 2 Championship campaigns? (Bald-Eagle)

The 2011 London Senior Championship campaign was run exclusively under the radar for Fulham Irish. Fulham Irish were playing mediocre teams in an unbeaten run to the top of Division 2 in the league, hammered a very poor Moindearg side in the opening Championship game, beat St Kiernans when there talisman was suspended. The last group game with Neasden Gaels became knockout, an intense game that we always had a hold on.

Then, we got Kingdom/Kerry Gaels in the semi final, a team of super signings from Kerry but very little forward threat. Then, despite being unbeaten, Parnells were hot favourites for the final. Paddy Power were knocked over with Fulham Irish connections lumping the 7/4 to Ev in the build up to the game. In an exciting game, the power of the Fulham Irish bench would prove the difference as Parnells were overpowered in the final 5 minutes of the game.

Every other senior team in London Championship had lost 2 games, Fulham Irish remained unbeaten, incredible to think that the victory surprised so many.


Fulham Irish now embark into the unknown when they play the Connacht Champions in the All Ireland Club SFC, how well are the club prepared for the challenge that awaits them? (Bald-Eagle)

Fulham Irish are excited to be getting the chance to become the first senior club All Ireland Quarter final winner representing London. The game is due to be played in Ruislip on Dec 4th, an advantage of sorts as in recent years the match has been played in January. Training continues at full pelt for the next few weeks. The team went to play a challenge in Roscommon last weekend, winning 1-11 to 0-08. On Nov 20th, the team will play the London Development squad.


*The UKAFL have a restriction in place that limits the number of Australian born players being fielded in their top level London league as well as holding a competition called the “Brit Cup” where teams play in a 9-a side competition fielding players only from the UK & Ireland

Many thanks for taking the time to complete these questions on behalf of our posters. Everyone at the Global GAA Forum would like to wish Fulham Irish all the best for the future and good luck in your upcoming Club Championship match in Ruislip.


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Re: In Focus.....Fulham Irish

Post  bald eagle on Tue Nov 01, 2011 12:33 pm

I would like to say a personal thanks to John for completing the Q&A session firstly, never mind during his holidays. He could easily have turned down the chance to field questions from a GAA forum but didn't.

The Fulham Irish story has been one that i have kept an eye on from the begining, i was impressed by their meteoric rise to the top of the ranks in London and was gutted when they lost in their first London SFC Semi-final, the only game they lost all year. Subsequently i was delighted to see them win it this year, mainly due to the lack to respect that was being shown to them from other clubs and their members!

As someone who is looking on from the outside, they do appear to be the perfect model on how to run a club in the UK. I was particularly fasinated by the fact that there was so much opposition to the initial founding of the new London champs and saddened to read that 14 people were denied the chance to play Gaelic football in 2006 at all, this was a shameful call from the London CB, even moreso for the Provincial Council of Britain for not stepping in!

I don't live anywhere near London, but one thing for sure is that i'll be there on December 4th!

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Re: In Focus.....Fulham Irish

Post  GAA-Fan on Tue Nov 01, 2011 12:40 pm

Thank you John for completing the questionnaire.
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Re: In Focus.....Fulham Irish

Post  Parouisa on Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:02 pm

Excellent feature and very informative. Well done to all concerned.
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Re: In Focus.....Fulham Irish

Post  Loyal2TheRoyal on Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:23 pm

I liked Boxtyeater's question Laughing

All very good answers. Thank you to all concerned and hopefully this can become a regular feature.

Best of luck to Fulham Irish in the Club SFC. I hope to see them on March 17th.
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Re: In Focus.....Fulham Irish

Post  Thomas Clarke on Wed Nov 02, 2011 4:04 pm

I've just come across this thread, and didn't realise that an interview was being organised. Very interesting stuff, and well done to all those involved. I agree with Loyal that if interviews could be a regular feature it would add greatly to the forum.
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Re: In Focus.....Fulham Irish

Post  bald eagle on Thu Nov 03, 2011 3:03 pm

Cheers folks, trying to get another one lined up but it's proving pretty tough. Help would be greatly recieved if you have any contacts!!!

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Re: In Focus.....Fulham Irish

Post  dubaway on Sat Nov 05, 2011 11:51 pm

? for the pro will it be accepted

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Re: In Focus.....Fulham Irish

Post  bald eagle on Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:54 pm

Just heard the sad news that Brigid Doyle, wife of Fulham Irish PRO John Doyle, sadly passed away after a 2 year battle with cancer.

I would like to pass my condolences on to him and his young family and of course all their family and friends.

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Re: In Focus.....Fulham Irish

Post  Parouisa on Fri Jan 20, 2012 3:06 pm

I have never met the man but it was very good of him to take time out for this site and answer questions for the members. Sincere condolences to John and family.
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Re: In Focus.....Fulham Irish

Post  scoopmine on Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:21 pm

I am only after clicking into these part of the site and the interviews and answers have been class really enjoyed them. On twitter Ben Bosnan and Aaron Kernan always seem to take time answering qusetions maybe they are worth a shout?
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Re: In Focus.....Fulham Irish

Post  GAA-Fan on Fri Aug 24, 2012 3:14 pm

Fulham Irish take the Tipperary Cup making them London's #1 team

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