Derry school launches transformative GAA project

ST Columb’s College Derry has launched a transformative five-year plan, in partnership with Braidwater, that not only seeks to promote participation and performance in Gaelic Games, but also aims to establish the Derry school as a key hub for GAA development in the city and the wider region.

The initiative includes the appointment of a GAA Promotion Officer, dedicated to facilitating the benefits of Gaelic Games – football and hurling – as well as a consultant to help the Parents and Friends Association secure essential grant funding for the school and PE Department.

Four local businesses – Braidwater, Vogue Competitions, City Cabs, and North 55 Contracts – have also signed up as sponsors for the College’s three GAA teams, with the new Belt Road Eurospar agreeing to sponsor matchday refreshments.

This strategic vision not only highlights the school’s commitment to sports and the local community, but also signifies the ever-expanding reach and importance of GAA in the region.

The ambitious project was officially launched at St Columb’s College recently, with the new GPO; sponsors; GPO’s from local clubs (Gary Cunningham – Steelstown; Brian O’Donnell – Sean Dolan’s; Eoghan Carlin Na Pairsigh and Mark McCloskey -Na Magha); local media and Ulster Schools, plus all the school’s GAA staff and pupils in attendance to celebrate the milestone.

“We are delighted to unveil our five-year plan, which reflects our dedication to the promotion and development of Gaelic Games. As a school deeply rooted in the Derry community, we fully recognise the popularity of the GAA and this initiative will allow us to make these games even more accessible to young people in the area,” said, Mr FJM Madden, the College’s Principal.

“This plan is not just about physical fitness; it’s also about creating an environment for holistic growth that includes mental well-being, teamwork and skill development. We are proud to be embarking on a journey that will not only positively change the lives of our students, but also contribute to the betterment of our community. It is a testament to the power of the GAA and the strength of our shared vision.”

Mr Madden added that the Board of Governors were delighted that St Columb’s was poised to become a beacon of development in the world of Gaelic Games.

He stated that the school’s commitment to this five-year plan aligned perfectly with the Board’s mission to provide the best possible opportunities for St Columb’s students. Mr Madden added that Governors would be looking forward to seeing the stories of success, teamwork, and community spirit that would undoubtedly emerge from this exciting project.

The city is also actively backing this initiative, with Cllr Patricia Logue, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, commenting: “This project is a game changer for Derry and the wider region.

“It exemplifies the true spirit of Gaelic Games, and we are proud to support St Columb’s College in this endeavour. The wide-reaching benefits of GAA are there for all to see, and this initiative promises to positively impact our community and our youth for years to come.”

The launch of this initiative marks a significant milestone in the school’s journey toward becoming a hub for GAA excellence. The vision and dedication of St Columb’s College, combined with the widespread support from the community, local authorities and feeder clubs, make it a promising venture that aims to shape the future of Gaelic Games for generations to come.

To find out more about this transformative project, contact St Columb’s College on or call +44 2871 285 000.

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