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The beginners guide to the all-Ireland
Around the Academy:

Victorious Tyrone captain Peter Canavan in 2003
Peter Canavan gets his hands on Sam Maguire

The all-Ireland Gaelic Football Championship is what dominates the entire summer of GAA action.

Winning the Sam Maguire Cup means party time in the victorious county, parties that last a while!

The Championship is played on a county basis, 31 of the 32 counties - Kilkenny don't compete - within Ireland break up into their four provinces for the opening stages.

They are also joined by teams from London and New York made up mainly of Irish exiles which are slotted into provincial competitions.

The impressive 80,000 seater Croke Park
Final venue Croke Park

The winners from Ulster, Munster, Leinster and Connacht make up four of the quarter-finalists.

The remaining counties are then put into an open draw and they battle it out for the four remaining quarter-final places.

The four provincial champions then each face a county who made it through the qualifiers for the right to a semi-final place.

The semi-finals take place on the last two Sunday's of August with the all-Ireland Gaelic football final - the biggest day in the GAA calendar - being played in September.

Tyrone players celebrate their 2003 Ulster triumph
Tyrone are Ulster Champions

Interestingly the calendar could be stretched out beyond the set dates as in Gaelic football and hurling there is no way of deciding drawn games.

Extra time is played at the end of games that end in a tie, but if they remain deadlocked then a replay is required.

Unlike football's penalty shoot-out there is no way to separate teams at the end of extra-time, so it is possible that further replays could be needed.


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All-Ireland role of honour
1. Kerry 52 - 32 senior, 9 under-21 and 11 minor (under-18)
2. Dublin 32 - 22 senior, 10 minor
3. Cork 25 - 6 senior, 9 under-21, 10 minor
4. Galway 16 - 9 senior, 2 under-21, 5 minor
3. Mayo 12 - 3 senior, 3 under-21, 6 minor



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