Donegal gearing up for the Match for Michaela’

DETAILS have been announced of the upcoming charity event for the ‘Michaela Foundation’ between newly-crowned All-Ireland champions Donegal and Ulster in Belfast next month.

DETAILS have been announced of the upcoming charity event for the ‘Michaela Foundation’ between newly-crowned All-Ireland champions Donegal and Ulster in Belfast next month.

Jim McGuinness’s side will have their first run-out in the fixture arranged by Ulster GAA since they clinched Sam Maguire thanks to a 2-11 to 0-13 win over Mayo at Croke Park in September.

Armagh’s 2002 All-Ireland winning manager Joe Kernan, assisted by three-time winner Mickey Harte, will take charge of the Ulster team. The festival is expected to attract thousands of people. All money raised will go to the Michaela Foundation, in memory of Harte’s late daughter.

“This is going to be a real competitive match,” Kernan said. “Donegal are All Ireland Champions and every team in Ireland wants a chance at beating them.  I think this Ulster side will really put it up to Jimmy McGuinness’s team. 

 “I urge Gaels from across county Donegal to come out to this special event – to cheer on their victorious team and  to salute Jimmy McGuinness and Donegal for their fantastic All Ireland victory and of course to remember Michaela and to celebrate her life.”

 Former Ulster GAA President, Ballyshannon native Tom Daly, is urging Donegal Gaels to turn out in their thousands for this special one-off event. 

“The whole of Ulster will be at this game and we want to see the stands full of Donegal supporters cheering on our All Ireland Champions,” he said.  “I urge Gaels to buy their tickets early to avoid disappointment and to come kitted out in their Donegal colours – this is an opportunity for Donegal to show the rest of Ulster that we really have the best supporters!”

 Declan Walsh, who was part of Jim McGuinness’s All-Ireland winning panel, is looking forward to his side pitting their wits against the best the province has to offer.

“This is going to be some match,” he said. “We will go up against Ulster finest.  Donegal have shown the whole of Ireland what we can do, now it’s time to show the rest of Ulster just why we won the All Ireland.

 “It will be an honour to tog out for this match in the memory of Michaela McAreavey and I urge all our supporters to come with us for one last time this year to celebrate all that’s good in the GAA.”

The Festival with Football will also include a wide range of exciting thrills to keep the spectators entertained.  There really will be something for the whole family with performances from X-Factor star Janet Devlin, and the very lively More Power to your Elbow.   

Traditional Irish music will also feature with a specially commissioned ‘Railway Band’ performing made of singers and musicians from across Ulster’s nine counties.  Little Stars Academy in Armagh will also feature in a very special performance as well as music from the volunteers from the Michaela Girls Camp and the famous Artane Band.

 ‘Match for Michaela - a festival with football’ will take place on Saturday, November 3rd from 6pm to 10pm in the grounds of Casement Park, in Belfast. It will be compered by one of Ireland’s greatest DJs/Comics – Hector Ó hEochagáin.

Tickets are now on sale for this special one-off event from www.tickets.ie , from County Boards and GAA clubs and from participating Supervalu and Centra stores nationwide.  This is expected to be a sell-out festival and donations are also very welcome.  Tickets are priced at £10/€10 for adults and £5/€5 for children.