About the Chieftains
Since 1977, the Calgary Chieftains have been Calgary’s GAA club. We are a sports and social club that promotes the traditional Irish sports of Gaelic Football and Hurling. We are fully affiliated to the GAA, through the Western Canada Divisional Board and are a registered Albertan Society (Calgary Chieftains: Gaelic Athletic Association Club).
The club’s playing season runs from May to September, depending on pitch availability after the winter. Throughout these months the club trains, and competes in tournaments in Alberta, Western Canada and the USA.
The Chieftains also provide a great social scene throughout the year, and especially over the long winter months. The club always has something on, from quiz nights to trips to see the Calgary Flames or from Talent Nights to Ski Days. We pride ourselves on helping ‘new Calgarians’ settle into their surroundings, or just help people make some new friends.
The Calgary Chieftains are now represented in all four codes. There are two mens football teams (The Calgary Chieftains and the Calgary Slashers), a ladies football team, a mens Hurling team and a Camogie team. Our youth division, Chieftains Óg, are a recent addition to the club and are going from strength to strength.
The Calgary Chieftains is the only Adult Gaelic Football club based in Calgary, Canada. They play at the Calgary Canadian Irish Athletic Club grounds and are members of Western Divisional Board of the Canadian County Board of the Gaelic Athletic Association.
In 1977, Mike Quirke of Foilmore, Co. Kerry helped start the Calgary Chieftains. Paddy McCallion, brother of Tyrone hurling star Damien McCallion, who used to play for the Chieftains, of Tyrone descent, carried the torch into the nineties, having joined the Chieftains from their rivals in Edmonton. Noel Tuohy, from Dundalk, Louth, has been a stalwart player and spiritual leader for the club in the late nineties and has been largely involved in training/management since. Also the efforts of Liam Mailey, Adrian Lagan, Kim Tulloch & Amanda Stewart have been crucial for the club. In recent years, young members including John Treacy, Eamonn McSweeney, Ivan Hearty, Lydia Nutbrown, Julia Rigaux, Richie Pinfield and Suzanne McKeon have kept the club running. The Chieftains compete every year in the Western Canadian Championships in both men's & ladies Gaelic football - in fact, the men’s team won the inaugural tournament in 2004.
In 2012, the Calgary Slashers (Calgary ‘B’ team) were formed as part of the Calgary Chieftains and have taken part in the Calgary and Red Deer tournaments in the past two years. This team was formed due to the large interest in men’s football in Calgary.
In 2013, the Calgary Chieftains fielded their first hurling team in their history and held the inaugural Alberta Hurling Cup tournament in August 2013.
History of Canada GAA
The Canadian Gaelic Athletic Association (CGAA) is the incorporated and officially recognized national governing body for the Country of Canada for the three Gaelic games and Cultural Organizations namely the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), the Ladies Gaelic Football Association (LGFA) and the Camogie Association (CA) whose headquarters are all based in Dublin, Ireland. The CGAA is the Final Authority on all matters within its Jurisdiction.
In eight provinces (five time zones and 9,306 km of extreme width distance) of the “Maple Leaf” County are 14 communities of affiliated GAA clubs with over 1,000 playing participants.
The Western Divisional Board, WGAA (2004) consisting of British Columbia’s Vancouver Irish Sporting and Social Club and Fraser Valley Gaels; Alberta’s Calgary Chieftains, Red Deer Eire Ogs (Mens), Edmonton Wolfe Tones; and Saskatchewan’s Regina Gaels (Mens).
The Toronto Divisional Board, TGAA (1947) consisting of Ontario’s Toronto Na Piarsaigh CLG, Clann nanGael Hurling, St. Mikes, St. Pats, St. Vincents (Mens), Gaels (Mens), Camogie Club, Roger Casements (Ladies); Durham Robert Emmets.
The Eastern Divisional Board, ECGAA (2014) consisting of Ontario’s Ottawa Gaels and Eire Og Hurling Club; Quebec’s Montreal Shamrocks and University of Concordia Warriors; Quebec City Les Patriotes and Hurling Quebec; Nova Scotia’ s Halifax Gaels, Prince Edward Island Celts and Newfoundland and Labrador’s St. John’s Avalon Harps.
The founding of the CGAA took place in Toronto, Ontario on Sunday, November 15th 1987. Ireland’s GAA President Dr. Mick Loftus of Crossmolina, County Mayo, chaired the meeting.
WESTERN CANADIAN CHAMPIONSHIPS
Football, Hurling and Camogie teams from British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan challenge each other every year (typically over the 1st weekend of August).
The Mens footballers compete for the Tom Butler Cup, and the ladies compete for the Tom Gibbons Cup, as well as the pride of being the best team in the West!
See here for information on training times and location.