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FAI Schools Primary 5s National Finals

Stage set for FAI Schools Primary 5s National Finals in the Aviva


Monday, May 27, 2024


As the Republic of Ireland Senior squads gear up for their respective outings shortly, so too, do our future generation of young starlets, as the countdown to the FAI Schools Primary 5s National Finals takes centre stage. 


Aviva Stadium, Dublin will host the event on Wednesday, May 29 with six National titles up for grabs with the mainstream schools and one National title for the Football for All category.


The varies sections will see the schools divided into provincial representatives in small, medium and large schools’ divisions. The girls are encouraged to play with the boys in the ‘A’ Cup, ‘B’ Cup and ‘C’ Cup sections but there is a separate competition for girls only; ‘A’ Girls Cup for small schools, ‘B’ Girls Cup for medium schools and the ‘C’ Girls Cup for large schools.


The event will see 224 children from 27 schools participate in the final stages of the competition following four months of fun filled nationwide activity. The qualifying schools have come through their local County events, Regional and/or Provincial qualifiers to reach this stage of the competition with excitement mounting around the local areas.


This year the programme featured 2,025 schools with a total of 42,064 children participating which is a new record for the 5s programme which has been in existence since the mid-1990s. 


11 counties will be represented in the Aviva with Donegal leading the charge with 6 representatives. The Donegal army hail from Buncrana, Cavnagarve, Craigtown, Illistrin, Raphoe and Stranorlar.  The rebel County, Cork have an impressive 4 schools qualified who hail from Ballincollig, Blackrock, Crossbarry and Mallow. While the Capital, Dublin, Galway and Mayo have 3 teams in action. Limerick, Cavan and Meath will see two schools each selected. Meanwhile, Kilkenny, Cork and Wexford will each have one representative. The action will commence at 11.30am with the Football for All and Girls Sections kicking us off. This will be followed up by the boys or mixed team section at 3pm.


It will be an extra special outing for Scoil Phádraig who have both their girls and boys competing in the medium schools’ division this week. The Westport sides are in the unique position of potentially capturing double Cup success in the Aviva and retaining the ‘B’ Girls Cup. The only school to complete this famous landmark achievement was Bohola NS, Mayo when the boys captured the ‘A’ Cup and the girls snatched the Girls ‘A’ Cup in 2006, making it a day to remember for the Claremorris contingency.  Can Gerard Murphy’s teams equal this historic milestone?


Also defending their 2023 titles will be Scoil Eoin, Crumlin in the Football for All Cup well as St. Eunan’s NS, Raphoe in the ‘B’ Cup. 


Fan favourites Scoil Íoságain, Buncrana will make a welcome return in the Football for All category as they grabbed runners up spot last season. While Scoil Naomh Colmcille, Dún na nGall will be hoping for a little better this year as they collected a fourth place finish twelve months previous in the ‘A’ Cup.


Let’s take a closer look at the twenty seven schools that will be competing on Wednesday…


The Football for All Cup always generates great interest, now in its third outing in the Dublin 4 venue. Defending Champions Scoil Eoin have half the squad returning this year as Tommy Tobin, Killian Flanagan, Carl McNamara and Lennon O’Brien will line out for the Crumlin outfit. They’ll be joined by newcomers Catherine McAuley School from Limerick who are flying the flag for Munster. While Ulster winners Scoil Íosagáin, Buncrana and Ulster runner’s up St. Anne’s NS, Bailieborough make up the quartet. The Buncrana side also have five of the eight players from last season making a comeback as Eoin Hirrell, Nuh Norris, Danny Bradley, Cillian Doherty and Niall Doherty all feature. The Donegal stars grabbed runners up spot twelve months ago so it will be an interesting test against Scoil Eoin to see who prevails.


The ‘A’ Cup has Windfield NS, Galway (Connacht), Scoil Moibhi, Skerries, Dublin (Leinster), Martinstown NS, Limerick (Munster) and Gaelscoil Cois Feabhail, Inishowen, Donegal (Ulster) all in the driving seat for National honours. All four are newcomers to this stage of proceedings so the excitement among the traveling parties will be at fever pitch come match day. Who will be crowned the new ‘A’ Cup Champions for 2024? Whatever the outcome, it will be a memorable outing for all involved with plenty of skilful players eager to impress.  


The ‘A’ Girls Cup will feature two debutants this season with Tierneevin NS, Galway (Connacht), St. Leonard’s NS, Dunnamaggin, Kilkenny (Leinster), Gurrane NS, Cork (Munster) and Scoil Mhuire, Lacken, Cavan (Ulster) in the melting pot for the small schools’ girls’ section. St. Leonard’s appeared twice before with a fourth place finish in the ‘A’ Cup in 2010 and a silver medal in 2015 in the same division. While the Cavan contingency from Scoil Mhuire came fourth in the Girls ‘A’ Cup in 2016. All four teams will provide a scintillating assortment of skills to the contest as all provincial winners were exceptional this season with some stand out performances particularly in their County qualifiers. This group will definitely be worth viewing. 


The ‘B’ Cup will see a broad geographic remit covered as Scoil Phádraig, Westport, Mayo (Connacht), Kentstown NS, Meath (Leinster), Gaelscoil Chionn tSáile, Cork (Munster) and St. Eunan’s NS, Raphoe, Donegal (Ulster) try to make a top of the table finish. The Connacht Champions will be in familiar territory as their girls were National Cup winners last season and Gerard Murphy will have a busy time coaching both the boys and girls teams this time out. A large Kentstown cohort will be travelling to the Aviva so they’ll add to the atmosphere when they take to the field. But all eyes will be on defending Champions St. Eunan’s NS. They’ve double trouble returning with Riley McBride and Lewis Hamilton back in contention. Can George Simmons’ side do the impossible with back to back title wins or will we have some shock results in the group with this new Cork crew?


Scoil Phádraig, Westport, Mayo (Connacht), Marshalstown NS, Wexford (Leinster), Burnfort NS, Cork (Munster) and Scoil Naomh Colmchille, Craigtown, Donegal (Ulster) make the cut for the medium schools in the ‘B’ Girls Cup which should serve up some delightful football if the Provincial Finals were anything to go by. A first time appearance for the Burnfort crew alongside the Wexford students, who could be the surprise package of this group! But we can’t overlook the defending Champions Scoil Phádraig who boost a return of half their squad as Francesca Caruana, May Duckett, Saoirse Reynolds and Robyn Tarmey all get another run out at a title defence. Will experience be enough or can the new kids on the block upset the odds!


An array of talent will be on show in the ‘C’ Cup for large schools. All four teams will be at full strength for the final showdown. St. Joseph’s PS, Ballinrobe, Mayo (Connacht), St. Declan’s NS, Ashbourne, Meath (Leinster), Beaumont BNS, Cork (Munster), and Illistrin NS, Donegal (Ulster) will take to the field. The biggest crowd that will flood the turnstiles hail from Ashbourne so they’re sure to make the Aviva roar when the team is announced. The Ballinrobe school were involved in National Finals previously having competed as far back as 2001 as well as a fourth place finish in 2005. It’s great to welcome them back after such a long hiatus. Illistrin were also involved before when the girls picked up a bronze medal for a fourth place finish in the ‘B’ Girls Cup in 2015.


Scoil Mhuire, Moycullen, Galway (Connacht), Our Lady’s Grove PS, Dublin (Leinster), Gaelscoil Uí Ríordáin, Baile an Chollaigh, Co. Chorcaí (Munster) and Scoil Mhuire B&C, Stranorlar, Donegal (Ulster) are in the final select for the large schools’ girls’ division, the ‘C’ Girls Cup. Moycullen were involved at the elite stages in 2004 when they captured the ‘B’ Girls Cup that season. While the archives also tell us that Scoil Mhuire B&C came fourth in the ‘B’ Girls Cup in 2008. It’s wonderful to have some new faces join us this year with Our Lady’s Grove and Gaelscoil Uí Ríordáin enjoying debut appearances at the conclusion of the competition. 


Everyone is a winner on the day as all 224 players will receive a medal, the seven winning teams will be crowned FAI Schools Cup Champions in their respective sections as well as a FAI Schools Player of the Tournament accolade in each division to be awarded.


International stars Jamie Finn and Killian Philips will be ambassadors for the event and will be on hand to meet and greet the teams and distribute the silverware on the day.


Cheer on the Schools from your classroom or office chair if you can’t make the trip to Dublin as you follow the progress on the FAI Schools Facebook and Twitter pages (@faischools) or the FAIConnect app #Primary5s




Football for All Cup

Leinster                                             Scoil Eoin, Crumlin, Dublin

Munster                                            Catherine McAuley School, Limerick

Ulster                                                 Scoil Íosagáin, Buncrana, Inishowen, Donegal

Ulster                                                 St. Anne’s NS, Bailieborough, Cavan


‘A’ Cup (small schools)                     

Connacht                                             Windfield NS, Galway

Leinster                                                Scoil Moibhi, Skerries, Dublin

Munster                                               Martinstown NS, Limerick

Ulster                                                    Gaelscoil Cois Feabhail, Inishowen, Donegal


‘A’ Girls Cup (small schools)           

Connacht                                             Tierneevin NS, Galway

Leinster                                                 St. Leonard’s NS, Dunnamaggin, Kilkenny

Munster                                               Gurrane NS, Cork

Ulster                                                    Scoil Mhuire, Lacken, Cavan


‘B’ Cup (medium schools)

Connacht                                             Scoil Phádraig, Westport, Mayo

Leinster                                                Kentstown NS, Meath

Munster                                               Gaelscoil Choinn tSáile, Cork

Ulster                                                    St. Eunan’s NS, Raphoe, Donegal


‘B’ Girls Cup (medium schools)     

Connacht                                             Scoil Phádraig, Westport, Mayo               

Leinster                                                Marshalstown NS, Wexford       

Munster                                               Burnfort NS, Cork

Ulster                                                    Scoil Naomh Colmchille, Craigtown, Donegal


‘C’ Cup (large schools)                      

Connacht                                            St. Joseph’s PS, Ballinrobe, Mayo                     

Leinster                                               St. Declan’s NS, Ashbourne, Meath         

Munster                                              Beaumont Boys School, Blackrock, Cork

Ulster                                                   Illistrin NS, Letterkenny, Donegal


‘C’ Girls Cup (large schools)            

Connacht                                            Scoil Mhuire, Moycullen, Galway  

Leinster                                              Our Lady’s Grove PS, Dublin

Munster                                              Gaelscoil Uí Ríordáin, Ballincollig, Cork

Ulster                                                   Scoil Mhuire B&C, Stranorlar, Donegal


For more information:
Diane Fay, FAI Schools            / 086 0404 952


Images of all participating schools available upon request