#SPAR5s National Finals will reach sensational conclusion on Wednesday


Stage set for SPAR5s National Finals in the Aviva


Saturday, May 26, 2018


As the Republic of Ireland Senior teams gear up for their respective outings shortly, so too, do our future generation of young stars, as the countdown to the SPAR FAI Primary School 5s National Finals takes centre stage.  Aviva Stadium, Dublin will host the event on Wednesday, May 30 with six National titles up for grabs.


Six sections will see the schools divided in Provincial representatives in small, medium and large schools divisions. The girls are encouraged to play with the boys in the SPAR ‘A’ Cup, SPAR ‘B’ Cup and SPAR ‘C’ Cup sections but there is a separate competition for girls only; SPAR ‘A’ Girls Cup for small schools, SPAR ‘B’ Girls Cup for medium schools and the SPAR ‘C’ Girls Cup for large schools.


The event will see 192 children from 24 schools participate in the final stages of the competition following four months of fun filled nationwide activity. The qualifying schools have come through their local County events, Regional and/or Provincial qualifiers to reach this stage of the competition with excitement mounting around the local areas.


This year the programme featured 1,528 schools with a total of 31,728 children participating which is a new record for the 5s programme which has been in existence since the mid-1990s. 


Colin Donnelly, SPAR Sales Director said, “As a community-based retailer, SPAR encourages a healthy and active lifestyle and is proud to be a supporter of primary schools’ soccer in association with the FAI. SPAR local retailers throughout the Country have been supporting the programme for four years, which encourages children to enjoy the benefits of exercise in a fun, safe and inclusive environment.”


13 counties will be represented in the Aviva with Donegal leading the charge with 5 representatives. The Donegal army hail from Buncrana (2), Dungloe, Cockhill and Glenmakee. The rebel County, Cork have an impressive 4 schools qualified. While the Capital, Dublin have 3 schools in action. Galway and Mayo will see two schools each selected. Meanwhile, Carlow, Clare, Monaghan, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo, Tipperary and Wexford will each have one representative. The action will commence at 11.30am with the small schools section in boys and girls kicking us off.


It will be an extra special outing for Scoil Íosagáin, Buncrana who have both their girls and boys competing in the large schools division next week. The Inishowen sides are in the unique position of potentially capturing double Cup success in the Aviva. The only school to complete this famous landmark achievement was Bohola NS, Mayo when the boys captured the ‘A’ Cup and the girls snatched the Girls ‘A’ Cup in 2006, making it a day to remember for the Claremorris contingency.  Can Maria Doherty & Conor Delap’s teams equal this historic milestone?


Another unique feature will see three sets of twins performing on the day as Ardkeeran’s Matthew and Ryan Parke, Fionn and Robert Carney of Clonlisk NS will all contest the SPAR ‘A’ Cup while Ciara and Aoife Kelly from Rathoe NS will compete together in the SPAR Girls ‘B’ Cup. The family affair continues with sister’s Keri and Jodie Loughrey of Buncrana lining out alongside mom, Mary who coaches the side as well as cousin’s Sarah Kiernan and Lucy Cogan who play for St. Teresa’s NS.  Crusheen NS will see sisters Caoilfhionn and Síomha Perill in action in the SPAR Girls ‘A’ Cup.


The SPAR ‘A’ Cup has Ardkeeran NS, Riverstown, Sligo (Connacht), Clonlisk NS, Offaly (Leinster), Trafrask NS, Beara, Cork (Munster) and Latnamard NS, Monaghan (Ulster) all in the driving seat for National honours. All four are newcomers to this stage of proceedings so the excitement among the traveling parties will be at fever pitch come match day. Who will be crowned the new SPAR ‘A’ Cup Champions for 2018? It should make for some very interesting viewing. Ardkeeran will be without the services of Lee Flanagan through injury as Darragh McKeon is drafted in as a late replacement. Youngster Owen Elding will be hoping to replicate his Dad Anthony’s Cup success which saw him score the winner in the Aviva back in 2013 with Sligo Rovers in the FAI Cup Final.  Whatever the outcome, it will be a memorable outing for all involved.


The SPAR ‘A’ Girls Cup will also feature all debutants this season with St. Teresa’s NS, Corrigeenroe, Roscommon (Connacht), St. Fintan’s NS, Mayglass, Wexford (Leinster), Crusheen NS, Clare (Munster) and St. Brigid’s NS, Glenmakee, Inishowen, Donegal (Ulster) in the melting pot for the small girls schools section. All four teams will provide a scintillating assortment of skills to the contest as all provincial winners were exceptional this season with some stand out performances particularly in their County qualifiers. This group will definitely be worth viewing. 


The SPAR ‘B’ Cup will see a broad geographic remit covered as Scoil Naisiúnta Mhuire, Bawnmore, Galway (Connacht), Gaelscoil Chluain Dolcáin, Baile Átha Cliath (Leinster), Scoil Íosagáin, Aghada, Cork (Munster) and St. Oran’s NS, Cockhill, Inishowen, Donegal (Ulster) try to make a top of the table finish. The Munster Champions will be in familiar territory as their girls were runners up in the Girls ‘A’ Cup back in 2006 while the boys came fourth in the ‘B’ Cup five years ago. Mentors Jerome Sheahan and Lar Collins will relish a return to the top flight with their young guns. Another School that has a strong affinity with the competition is Ulster kingpins, St. Oran’s. The boys will fly the flag on Wednesday but their girls have reached this stage numerous times. They first appeared in 2000 and this was followed up in 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005 and more recently in 2016 finishing fourth. The boys starred in 2008 picking up a runners up medal. The impressive Clondalkin select have some notable pedigree in their ranks with former Underage International Thomas Morgan’s son Tomás Ó Muireagáin featuring. Thomas who is a Development Officer with the FAI, Captained the Under 20s to a third place finish in the 1997 World Cup under the tutelage of Manager Brian Kerr. Tomás will wear the Captain’s armband on Wednesday as he has impressed during the SPAR5s campaign to date, notching up 36 goals in the three outings and his favourite is the little chip from distance. The youngster’s godfather is Irish legend Wes Hoolahan so we can keep a watchful eye on the next super star in the family. 


Belcarra NS, Mayo (Connacht), Rathoe NS, Carlow (Leinster), Clogheen/Kerry-Pike NS, Cork (Munster) and Scoil Chróine, Dungloe, Donegal (Ulster) make the cut for the medium schools in the SPAR ‘B’ Girls Cup which should serve up some delightful football if the Provincial Finals were anything to go by. There is however an injury doubt for the Carlow charges as Aoife Kelly sustained a shoulder injury during the week which rules her out but twin sister Ciara will be in action between the posts for Ronan Browne’s side.  Mia Ní Dhónaill will be the youngest player competing in the series as Scoil Chróine go in search of glory! A first time appearance for the Dungloe natives alongside Belcarra NS who could be the surprise package of this group! Clogheen/Pike-Kerry were in action back in 2002 so it’s lovely to see the Cork School make a return to this level following such a long hiatus. 


An array of talent will be on display in the SPAR ‘C’ Cup for large schools. All four teams will be at full strength for the final showdown. Scoil Iósaif Naofa, Oranmore, Galway (Connacht), Scoil Assaim, Raheny, Dublin (Leinster), Glasheen BNS, Cork (Munster), Scoil Íosagain, Buncrana, Inishowen, Donegal (Ulster) will take to the field. The most experienced contenders in this year’s competition will be the Buncrana side who will be guided by teacher Maria Doherty and Coach Jonathon Adair.  Scoil Íosagain have appeared in no less than 8 National Finals dating back to 2004. The school collected bronze medals on each occasion, either being placed third or fourth with appearances in the ‘C’ Cup in 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015. The girls select even made it all the way in 2006 in the Girls ‘B’ Cup as they were placed third that afternoon. A lively encounter will ensue with some top quality pairings in store in that division.


St. John’s NS, Breaffy, Castlebar, Mayo (Connacht), Our Lady of Good Counsel GNS, Johnstown, Dublin (Leinster), St. John the Baptist GNS, Cashel, Tipperary (Munster) and Scoil Íosagáin, Buncrana, Inishowen, Donegal (Ulster) are in the final select for the girls large schools division, the SPAR ‘C’ Girls Cup. We welcome back some familiar faces to the Aviva, namely; St. John’s NS, defending Champions Our Lady of Good Counsel and Scoil Íosagáin. The boys from Breaffy have a wonderful track record in this competition with the School collecting gold in 2003 with Mayo star Aidan O’Shea on the team that day. The School made a comeback in 2009 with the boys runners up in the ‘B’ division that season while the girls featured in 2015 with a third place finish. John Moran and Kevin Duggan will no doubt have their team well prepared for the final contest of the season. Liadh Burns, Ella Moriarty and Lillymae Coyne will all make a welcome return for the Johnstown starlets as they go in search of back to back title wins with the deadly duo of David O’Connor and Mark Barry at the helm. There is rumours of an injury doubt to the match day line-up which could hamper their ambitions of retaining the title. Newbies St. John the Baptist from Cashel will fear no one as they do battle on Wednesday. The girls are looking forward to the challenge as their County and Provincial campaign has been immensely successful so they’ll be hoping for more of the same come match-day. Conor Delap’s side are delighted to make the cut having fought hard in their provincial showcase to progress to this stage. The School were merited with a third place finish two seasons ago at Nationals so Delap will have the girls well drilled ahead of their encounter. 


The day promises to be fun filled and action packed as the future starlets entertain the crowds in the Aviva as the final curtain comes down on the SPAR FAI Primary School 5s programme for 2018. The event will be a family fun day focusing on providing participants and spectators alike with huge excitement and entertainment, making it a day to remember for all involved.


All 192 players will receive a medal, the six winning teams will be crowned SPAR Champions for 2018 as well as a SPAR Player of the Tournament accolade in each division to be awarded. Ambassador’s Megan Campbell and Keith Andrews will be on hand to distribute the silverware on the day.


Students will also be in with a chance of securing an epic prize in the Future Sports Journalist competition which is open to all participating schools as well as a great prize for the Best Supported School.


Cheer on the Schools from your classroom or office chair if you can’t make the trip to Dublin and follow the progress on the FAI Schools Facebook and Twitter pages (@faischools) #SPAR5s




SPAR ‘A’ Cup (small schools)                     

Connacht                                             Ardkeeran NS, Riverstown, Sligo                            

Leinster                                        Clonlisk NS, Offaly                                              

Munster                                       Trafrask NS, Beara, Cork                                               

Ulster                                                    Latnamard NS, Monaghan                      


SPAR ‘A’ Girls Cup (small schools)           

Connacht                                             St. Teresa’s NS, Corrigeenroe, Roscommon       

Leinster                                                St. Fintan’s NS, Mayglass, Wexford             

Munster                                               Crusheen NS, Clare                                           

Ulster                                                    St. Brigid’s NS, Glenmakee, Inishowen, Donegal 


SPAR ‘B’ Cup (medium schools)

Connacht                                             Scoil Náisiúnta Mhuire, Bawnmore, Galway                     

Leinster                                                Gaelscoil Chluain Dolcáin, Baile Átha Cliath                    

Munster                                               Scoil Íosagáin, Aghada, Cork                                      

Ulster                                                    St. Oran’s NS, Cockhill, Inishowen, Donegal       


SPAR ‘B’ Girls Cup (medium schools)     

Connacht                                             Belcarra NS, Castlebar, Mayo                                      

Leinster                                                Rathoe NS, Carlow                       

Munster                                               Clogheen/Kerry-Pike NS, Cork                         

Ulster                                                    Scoil Chróine, Dungloe, Donegal               


SPAR ‘C’ Cup (large schools)                      

Connacht                                             Scoil Iósaif Naofa, Oranmore, Galway                        

Leinster                                                Scoil Assaim, Raheny, Dublin                            

Munster                                              Glasheen BNS, Cork                                            

Ulster                                                           Scoil Íosagáin, Buncrana, Inishowen, Donegal  


SPAR ‘C’ Girls Cup (large schools)            

Connacht                                                     St. John’s NS, Breaffy, Castlebar, Mayo

Leinster                                                Our Lady of Good Counsel GNS, Johnstown, Dublin

Munster                                               St. John the Baptist GNS, Cashel, Tipperary 

Ulster                                                            Scoil Íosagáin, Buncrana, Inishowen, Donegal 




SPAR ‘A’ Cup (Small schools, mixed/boys)

Ardkeeran NS, Riverstown, Sligo | Brian Dwyer, Oisin Conlon, Matthew Parke, Jack Tuohy, Ryan Parke, Niall Kenny, Owen Elding, Darragh McKeon (Lee Flanagan absent due to injury)

Teachers/Coaches | Edel Dwyer &Anthony Elding


Clonlisk NS, Offaly | Josh McMahon, James Liffey, Fionn Carney, Eoin Bailey O’Brien, Robert Carney, Liam O’Riordan, Robert Murray, James Sampson

Teachers/Coaches | Marion Crean & David Carney


Trafrask NS, Beara, Cork | Liam Crowley, Mark Downing, Tom O’Connor, Ben O’Sullivan, Tommy O’Sullivan, Jack Crowley, Jack Harrington, Seán O’Shea

Teachers/Coaches | Paula O’Sullivan & Aidan Cremlin


Latnamard NS, Monaghan | Thomas Brady, Cian Greenan, Connor Leonard, Alex Humphreys, Éanna Owen Carolan, James Cusack, Stephen Quinn, Cian McMahon

Teachers/Coaches | Martina McElroy &Dermot Brady    


SPAR ‘A’ Girls Cup (Small schools, girls only)

St. Teresa’s NS, Corrigeenroe, Roscommon | Sarah Kiernan, Lucy Cogan, Daisy Attwood, Alice Lillie, Molly Mulhern, Ava Bloor, Brianna Lennon, Ava Doherty

Teachers/Coaches | Louise Lavin & Ciarán O’Dwyer


St. Fintan’s NS, Mayglass, Wexford | Jenna Ryan, Caithlyn Kelly, Tara Cullen, Clara Kelly, Ciara Murphy, Gemma Whelan, Arwyn Thompson, Aoibheann Rankin

Teachers/Coaches | Suzanne Foley & David Day


Crusheen NS, Clare | Aimee Colleran, Caoilfhionn Perill, Grace Gleeson, Sarah O’Donnell, Síomha Perill, Lily Copley, Caoimhe Clancy, Hannah Gleeson

Teachers/Coaches | Tríona McGrath & Ciaran Collins


St. Brigid’s NS, Glenmakee, Inishowen, Donegal | Samantha McLaughlin, Imogen Diver, Aoife Kelly, Erin Grant, Seaneen Crumlish, Ailish Doherty, Ellie Long

Teachers/Coaches | Shaun Ferry & Barry Grant


SPAR ‘B’ Cup (Medium schools, mixed/boys)

Scoil Naisiúnta Mhuire, Bawnmore, Galway | Seán O’Flynn, Jamie Faherty, Éanna Monaghan, Shane O’hEochagáin, Ryan Flaherty, Seán Duggan, Jack Lonergan, Brian Connaughton      

Teachers/Coaches | Aisling McGrath & Jonathan Beirne                  


Gaelscoil Chluain Dolcáin, Baile Atha Cliath | Rían Ó Hogáin, Reece Ó Murchú, Tadhg Ó Catháin, Seán Ó Conghaile, Tomás Ó Muireagáin (Captain), Dónal Ó Dúáin, Lúc Ó Catháin, Aaron Ó Teimhneáin

Teachers/Coaches | Cárthaigh Ó Cuill & Seán Mac Cárthaigh


Scoil Íosagáin, Aghada, Cork | John Walsh, Seán O’Callaghan, Eric Cunningham, Jack Broderick Flynn, Ben Cashman, Aaron Kearns, Evan Crowley, Oscar Slye

Teachers/Coaches | Jerome Sheahan & Lar Collins


St. Oran’s NS, Cockhill, Inishowen, Donegal | Kevin O’Rourke, Conor McDaid, Kai Bardini, PJ Doherty, Cahir McDaid, Dylan McDaid, Shina Anafi, Luke O’Donnell

Teachers/Coaches | Shaun McLaughlin & Kathryn Doherty


SPAR ‘B’ Girls Cup (Medium schools, girls only)

Belcarra NS, Mayo | Lisa Nally, Anna Heaney, Ella Vahey, Maggie Hehir, Ava Cunningham, Lauryn Burke, Róisín O’Connor, Rachel O’Donovan

Teachers/Coaches | Tommy Langan & Siobhán Higgins


Rathoe NS, Carlow | Ciara Kelly, Genevieve Sherlock, Aoife Smithers, Aoife Kelly, Ella Meyler, Lorna O’Shea, Ciara Fleming

Teachers/Coaches | Ronan Browne & Gloria Udahjugele                 


Clogheen/Kerry-Pike NS, Cork | Lucy O’Connell, Alannah Walsh, Kelsey Cooper, Ellie O’Brien, Anna Kearney, Zara Babington, Megan O’Connor, Hannah O’Brien

Teachers/Coaches | Cruther O’Sullivan & Julie Lyons Murphy


Scoil Chróine, Dungloe, Donegal |Claire Ní Dhuibhir, Ellie Níc Gairbheith, Tara Ní Eochagáin, Mia Ní Dhónaill, Erin Ní Dhónaill, Leah Ní Dhubhtaigh, Leigha Ní Ghrianna, Ellie Nic a Bhaird

Teachers/Coaches | Cáit Ní Dhochartaigh & Anita Ní Mhaichain


SPAR ‘C’ Cup (Large schools, mixed/boys)

Scoil Iósaif Naofa, Oranmore, Galway | Galius Babonas, Cathal Sweeney, Colm Whelan, Cathal Penney, Harry Duffy, Gerry Carr, Darragh Clery, Colm Shivnan

Teachers/Coaches | Marc O’Boyle & Danny Gleeson


Scoil Assaim, Raheny, Dublin | Niall Cox, Evan O’Looney, Danny Jeal, James Byrne, James Wall, Hayden O’Neill, Liam O’Connor, Jack Melia

Teachers/Coaches | Liam O’Connor & Don Wycherley


Glasheen BNS, Cork | Gene Kareem O’Leary, Evan Morgan, Eamon Commins, Danny Harris, Bennett Mbowoua, Ryan O’Connell, Sam O’Connell, David Byrne

Teachers/Coaches | Damian Ryan & Dónal McCarthy                                           


Scoil Íosagáin, Buncrana, Inishowen, Donegal | Liam Duncan, Andrew Davison, Kieran McElroy (Captain), Daire McColgan, Danny McDaid, Aaron Cleary, Seán McLaughlin, Patrick Devlin

Teachers/Coaches | Maria Doherty & Jonathon Adair


SPAR ‘C’ Girls Cup (Large schools, girls only)

St. John’s NS, Breaffy, Castlebar, Mayo | Katie Johnston, Amy Golden, Jenna Mulroy, Sarah Heneghan, Sophie Keane, Mary Jo Maughan, Louise Conway, Eimear Hughes

Teachers/Coaches | John Moran &Kevin Duggan


Our Lady of Good Counsel GNS, Johnstown, Dublin | Erin Ivie,Ruby O’Connell Bell, Keela Murphy, Ella Moriarty, Liadh Burns, Anna Watson, Evie Dowling, Lillymae Coyne

Teachers/Coaches | David O’Connor &Mark Barry


St. John the Baptist GNS, Cashel, Tipperary | Carrie Anne Ryan (Captain), Ciara Moloney, Maria Lopez, Grace Flanagan, Ava Corbett, Aimee Quinn, Keeva O’Donoghue, Meghan Deed

Teachers/Coaches | Mary Andrews & Paul Flanagan 


Scoil Íosagáin, Buncrana, Inishowen, Donegal | Leah Clinton, Jodie Loughrey, Zoe Duffy, Keri Loughrey (Captain), Ciara McGee, Heidi Gill, Bria McGilloway, Orla Grant

Teachers/Coaches | Conor Delap & Mary Loughrey


For more information:
Diane Fay, FAI Schools                                   Diane.Fay@fai.ie / 086 0404 952
Kio Lopez, Teneo PSG                                     Kio.lopez@teneopsg.com / 086 014 4914


Images of all participating schools available upon request