Battle of the Islands: A Truly Unique GAA Encounter

The Battle of the Island's Banner.

Every so often a story comes along that epitomises the passion and dedication involved in competing in the AIB GAA Club Championships.

In 2014, no story was more fitting of this description than the epic clash of the Aran Islands and Achill Island in the AIB GAA Connacht Junior Football Club Championship Final. Both remote island communities off the West Coast of Ireland are famous for their heritage, remoteness and beauty and you really couldn’t have written a better one than this if you tried.

During the build-up, this clash was described by many as one of the most unique GAA provincial club finals in history. Travelling over 200km,braving choppy seas and heavy fog, both players and supporters made #TheToughest Journey to the final in Tuam, Co. Galway.

This level of dedication to these clubs is nothing new though. The sheer commitment required for both sets of players to even play for their teams is testament to their respect and love for their communities, clubs and the sport of Football itself. Many players face a journey as long as four and a half hours to return home to train with their team. Driven by a brotherhood and comradely, the collective effort they make enables them to keep going even when it means other commitments have to be foregone.

While the Aran Islands emerged victorious on the day, the real winner here was the AIB GAA Club Championships and the spirit of the sport. You can watch the inspirational video of this story below:

For more information including match updates, interviews and videos celebrating #TheToughest tournaments in football, hurling and camogie, connect with AIB GAA on Facebook and Twitter.