Paul Gannon came to talk to our class about Gaelic Football (something that we all knew about, but were still very confused as to how to play it). He taught us the history of the game, as well as the rules. In all honesty, I zoned out for a long time, until Paul said to us “well it’s not much use just talking about how the game works, why don’t we play a game instead?” So we went out to the pitch behind the cottages and he taught us how to play. I think at first we were expecting just to be taught basic rules with some visual demonstrations, but…no. Paul Gannon had brought water bottles, cones, and a bag of equipment. We started off the day by stretching and running laps (everyone participating were not happy). Then, Paul taught us some basic drills (how to pick up the ball, how to kick it, and how to pass it.) He then goes “alright, let’s play!” He was met with some looks of horror and confusion, and replied “If I tell you all the rules now, it’s not going to sink in. I will stop the game when someone has broken a rule and we will go from there.”
After at least one hundred whistle blows within the first five minutes, paired with some cursing and grass stained knees, we slowly started to get a grasp of the game. And it was SO fun! Everybody dove straight in with no hesitations and we didn’t want to stop playing. Paul Gannon was so pleased that he announced we could have an Aquinas game during Mussel Festival, complete with jerseys and trophies. He was met with a resounding “YES!” and we happily winced our way back up the hill to the Sammon’s to stuff our faces with full Irish breakfasts.