The story of Trinity Gaels is like that of all GAA clubs around Dublin and further afield.
Since its formation in 1975, the Donaghmede based club has grown exponentially to accommodate the ever-expanding community in the area. With 25 teams and 800 members, the GAA community were excitedly planning for the season ahead when a blanket ban was placed on all activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic in March of this year.
Trinity Gaels is the latest club to be featured in the AIG Dub Club Chronicles “Lockdown Lives” series.
Like all clubs, they kept the community spirit alive throughout this difficult year.
— Pundit Arena (@PunditArena) December 3, 2020
From training sessions to visitors at the club shop to a steady stream of airplanes crossing overhead, Trinity Gaels GAA grounds is usually a hive of noise and activity.
However, once the restrictions came into effect, the club fell eerily silent with no one but the groundskeeper visiting.
“All of our juvenile teams were preparing for like their GoGames starting, and then all of a sudden it was just, it was like someone just put a full-stop on it and that’s it, you can’t go any further,” explained Trinity Gaels PRO and senior footballer Craig Reilly.
“I mean, from a club point of view, I mean it was a complete meltdown”, added current groundskeeper and former chairman Jerome Barrett.
“The gates were closed, I had to close them after me when I’m coming in. I was down on my own. No planes, no noise, no anything. But it was worst of all for the kids.”
A surprise zoom visit for girls U10s. @DubGAAOfficial 3 In a row All Ireland Winning Forward @NiamhoMc The girls were delighted to ask loads of Q's. They got a great insight how much work and dedication is needed in training and more importantly outside of it#COYGIB#HonTheGaels pic.twitter.com/NfYmlsOF6o
— Trinity Gaels (@trinitygaels1) May 29, 2020
Despite having to keep apart, Trinity Gaels found away to keep their community spirit alive for both playing and non-playing members. The club organised a charity cycle to raise money for the local St Francis Hospice while they also hosted zoom classes and various competitions for their juvenile members.
Like many other GAA clubs around the country, they also took part in a community response programme, helping to bring groceries and other essential items to Donaghmede’s elderly contingent.
Throughout the tough times, the passion of Trinity Gaels members’ shone through and made the club’s reopening all the sweeter.
“Trinity Gaels as a club to me, it means, it means community. It means bringing people together.”
Watch their story below: