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Sydney Showground to host first fully-sanctioned Irish Hurling match held outside Ireland

Posted on : 22 November 2017

Sydney Showground at Sydney Olympic Park is very pleased to announce that it has secured the rights to host the Sydney Irish Festival in November 2018, including a competitive hurling match between two of the biggest clubs in Ireland.

The Sydney Irish Festival will be held across two days (November 10 and 11) in 2018 and will be a mix of art, culture, music, dance, food, drink and sport.

The 2018 Wild Geese Trophy will be contested at Spotless Stadium inside Sydney Showground by the reigning All Ireland Hurling champions Galway and the winner of the 2018 National Hurling League.

 It will be the first time a full format Hurling match will have been played outside Ireland.

The Wild Geese Trophy has been named in honour of 6 Irish fenians who successfully escaped the British ruled penal colony in Western Australia in 1876, an act of defiance that would later become known as the Catalpa Rescue.

Hurling is a fast-paced (considered the fastest game on grass) physical contact sport dating back to the 7th century and is one of the national sports of Ireland.

Played in two thirty-five minute halves by teams of 15 per side, hurling is set to excite curious Sydneysiders and Irish expats keen to get a taste of their homeland across one weekend in November. 

The family focused Sydney Irish Festival will also include a Guinness World Record attempt to make the world’s biggest Irish stew.

General Manager, Sydney Showground, Peter Thorpe says the choice of Sydney Showground as host of the inaugural Sydney Irish Festival is testament to the diversity that Sydney Showground is well known for; hosting big events. 

“We don’t do things by halves, we are always looking for new, innovative and exciting events to host at our venue,” he said.

”We have been working solidly for over 12months with our client PSEvents, GAA

(Hurling’s governing body) and of course Sydney Olympic Park Authority to make this never seen before wonderful family day out Festival.     

“Each year our Sydney Royal Easter Show hosts upwards of 850,000 visitors, so we have a reputation for hosting big events in a seamless manner.

“We are very excited about hosting the Sydney Irish Festival, in particular the Wild Geese Trophy Hurling match as we know Australia has a very deep connection with Ireland and the Irish dating back more than two centuries,” Mr Thorpe said.

Tickets are now on sale for the Sydney Irish Festival and can be purchased via; | 136 100

Further details of the Sydney Irish Festival can be found at;


Sydney Showground

  • Is a not-for-profit with all revenue going directly back into supporting agriculture and rural communities in NSW (Sydney Showground is part of the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW, RAS)

  • Is located right in the heart of the Sydney Metro area – almost ½ of Sydney’s population lives within 30 minutes of Sydney Showground

  • Olympic Park Station is right on the doorstep - trains arrive and depart every 10 minutes 7 days a week

  • Is serviced by four regular bus routes – buses run all day every day of the week

  • Is serviced by regular ferries to and from Sydney and Parramatta

  • Has parking for 10,000 cars

  • Is located within walking distance to over 800 hotel rooms

  • Has award winning food & beverage staff as well as award winning catering

  • Is adjacent to over 30 restaurants and numerous amenities

  • Is home to AFL’s GWS Giants, Football’s Western Sydney Wanderers and the Big Bash League’s Sydney Thunder


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