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GIFT – Ireland

The 2012 Global Ireland Football Tournament was declared an unprecedented success as more than 13,000 spectators flocked to three venues to enjoy the spectacle of high school and college American football teams, bands, cheerleaders and dancers in action in a special Dublin Friday Night Lights event organized by Global Football.

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In 2014, Global Football returned to Ireland with a second event under the GIFT banner, as Penn Manor and Cedar Cliff high schools from Pennsylvania traveled opened their football season beneath Dublin Friday Night Lights at the University College Dublin. Two former NFL stars – GIFT honorary chairman and former Patriots, Jaguars and Jets tight end Kyle Brady and special guest Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson – watched as Penn Manor won 27-20 in front of an appreciative crowd.

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If you are a high school or NCAA D-III college athletic director, coach or administrator, and wish to travel to participate in the 2016 high school event associated with the Aer Lingus College Football Classic, please visit the event information page for all you need to know about this wonderful event.


Read the comments of those who enjoyed a spectacular visit to Ireland with Global Football: GIFT testimonials



TCD Pep Rally 1aThe Global Ireland Football Tournament was about much more than six regular season American football games played on August 31.

Travelers enjoyed a Parade through Dublin City Centre, a Pep Rally at Trinity College, Educational tours of various Dublin and County Meath sites, practices at University College Dublin and venues throughout the region, the GAA semi-finals at Croke Park, interaction with local sports teams, and friendships made that will last a lifetime. They attended the sell-out Emerald Isle Classic between Navy and the University of Notre Dame at the Aviva Stadium.

John Carroll University v St Norbert College - Global Ireland Football Tournament 2012“The entire event required an amazing team effort on the part of hundreds of dedicated people, but it all started – and ended – with the visionary commitment of each of the schools’ leaders,” said Global Football President and GIFT organizer Patrick Steenberge.

“The head coaches, athletic directors, principals, headmasters and administrators took on a huge challenge more than a year ago, in order to provide their student-athletes and communities with this most special educational experience. These are the ones who made it possible, and are very special, dedicated educators. They each dared to dream and work on behalf of their youngsters and schools, and should be praised far and wide for their efforts and commitment.”

Are you considering traveling with Global Football for a future GIFT event? Take a look at the itinerary from one of our high school teams in 2012 and see what awaits your players, coaches, families and friends: Jesuit Football Final Itinerary…. and enjoy our GIFT 2012 Final Recap