A camogie game with a difference when the Kehoe sisters from Adamstown take on the Shannon sisters from Campile.

People might joke about how big families have the numbers to make up their very own football team, but some Wexford families are celebrating just that. 

Two unusual GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) tournaments are taking place in the village of Monaseed, located fourteen kilometres outside Gorey in north Wexford.  

The Kehoe sisters representing Adamstown are Mary, Josie, Greta, Bernadette, Anne, Kitty and ten year old Eileen who is the youngest member of the team. Sport clearly runs in the blood, as they all play GAA together at home, when they are able, with their two other sisters and nine brothers.

They will take on the Shannons from Aclare in Campile – sisters Mary, Margaret, Nancy, Helen, Teresa, Margie and their mother Mary in this unique camogie challenge. 

The hurling match which will take place later on in the day will see the Doherty Brothers from Cork line out against the Doyle brothers from Wexford. 

And if that is not unusual enough, another sporting family will participate today, the O’Neills from Ferns whose brother Ciarán O’Neill, the Leinster Provincial Secretary, will referee both games.

Before the match, reporter Seán Óg Ó Ceallacháin talks to the Kehoe sisters who have, in the main, experience on the pitch at both Junior and Senior levels. 

Anne, who plays with the local Adamstown team, is a member of the Wexford Senior County team who won the All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship last year. Josie admits that she hasn’t been out training this year so far, but opponents should nevertheless take note, as she was suspended last year for an incident during a match, which leads Seán Óg Ó Ceallacháin to remark, 

I thought they were all very nice girls here in Wexford.

At half time, the Keogh sisters are leading by four goals and a point to one goal and one point for the Shannon sisters. The Shannons are optimistic about the second half and according to goalkeeper Teresa, 

I won’t let any more of them in anyway.

Father Thomas O’Neill, curate in Monaseed parish, who is one of the organisers of the tournament. There has been an emphasis over the years on county games, he says, but the families in those clubs are just as important as the best players clubs produce, 

The family in the local club can enhance that club.

Father O’Neill would like to see the competition expand countrywide, as many GAA clubs have entire families who are members, and it was only after this competition was arranged that he learned of three sets of seven brothers within a twenty five mile radius of Monaseed. The GAA can only benefit from this, he maintains, as, 

It’s something that it needs, something unique, and I understand it has never been played before.

This episode of 'Gaelic Report’ was broadcast on 11 May 1970. The reporter is Seán Óg Ó Ceallacháin. 

'Gaelic Report' was a weekly RTÉ Television series on GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) affairs.