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2012 Press Releases

Education In Ireland to Sponsor Global American Schools’ Football Tournament in Ireland


Education in Ireland, Enterprise Ireland’s initiative to promote Irish higher education overseas,  today (12th March 2012) announced a new strategic partnership with the Global Ireland Football Tournament (GIFT 2012) to support their high school and college American Football games around Dublin in August this year.

Ruairí Quinn T.D., Minister of Education & Skills

Ruairí Quinn T.D., Minister of Education & Skills

The event is expected to attract more than 2,500 American school and college participants from the United States to Ireland in August this year.  The event has been organised to coincide with the Notre Dame-Navy game, which will be played in the Aviva Stadium on the 1st of September which itself is expected to attract an estimated 20,000 predominantly American visitors. 

The 10 high schools and two colleges participating in GIFT2012 are among the very best academic learning facilities in the U.S. and are located in many of the target states for Education in Ireland’s programme in the U.S.  Each school will travel with an average of 60 football student athletes, along with cheer groups, marching bands, key campus administrators, family members and alumni.

Announcing the partnership, Marina Donohoe, Head of Education with Enterprise Ireland said:

“GIFT 2012 will be the first time that such a large group of American schools and student-athletes have travelled overseas to compete in an American football event.  It is a fantastic opportunity for us market Ireland’s world class third level education opportunities to a large number of American students while they are here experiencing Ireland first hand.  The message about Studying in Ireland will also be carried to a much broader audience through the vast media attention the games will attract.”

Global Football President Patrick Steenberge added:  “I am impressed with the high quality of education being provided by Irish universities and colleges, and happy to work with many of these top schools in and around our GIFT 2012 event.  The Education In Ireland mission fits very well with that of Global Football, and their inclusive style will be appreciated by our students, administrators and parents who visit.  They are a wonderful partner."

Three American football showcases featuring a 12 teams from Arizona, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin will be played at Parnell Park in Dublin, Páirc Tailteann in Navan, and at a third venue still to be announced as part of GIFT 2012.  The games will be played on August 31 at 4pm and 7.30pm, on the eve of the Emerald Isle Classic at the AVIVA Stadium between Notre Dame and Navy. Education in Ireland will have a strong presence at all the GIFT events, full details of which will be released over the next few weeks.


For further information contact:

Envelop iconCiara Concannon, Press Officer, Enterprise Ireland
Tel: +353 1 7272284

About Education in Ireland – World Class Standards, Warmest of Welcomes

Education in Ireland is the Government initiative to market Irish third level education to overseas students.  The initiative is led by Enterprise Ireland and aims to double the number of international students studying in Irish colleges by 2015.  The brand is supported by a planned programme of international marketing and promotional events in key target markets including China, India, Saudi Arabia, Brazil and the USA.  The programme aims to highlight the strengths of Ireland’s education offering such as:

  • Irelandis a friendly and safe country
  • We are English-speaking
  • We have internationally recognised qualifications and extensive choice of courses
  • There is a supportive learning environment in Ireland for international students
  • We have an innovative and creative culture

About Global Football: Under the guidance of President Patrick Steenberge, a former Notre Dame quarterback and high school All-American at Erie Cathedral Prep, Global Football has produced football games in 19 nations during the past 16 years.  Working partners include American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), Pop Warner, NFL, Super Bowl Host Committees, USA Football, Notre Dame, Penn State, CONADEIP Mexico, Tanzania Sports Council and dozens of NCAA Division III colleges as well as National Football Federations worldwide.