St. John’s Avalon Harps GAA had its inception in a meeting in Erin’s Pub (Water Street, St. John’s, Newfoundland) on July 21st, 2009.
Following that meeting, the hurlers that came together were to play their first match a little over 2 months later on September 26th, at Bay Bulls, as part of the Festival Of The Sea which commemmorates the links between S.E. Ireland (counties Kilkenny, Waterford and Wexford principally) and Newfoundland.
This was thought to be the first match in Newfoundland in roughly 125 years, since the game was banned by the church in the 1880s. New evidence suggests the last hurling matches were played near St. John’s in the 1950s into the ’60s and that the last few of those hurlers are still walking about today. The game had apparently survived underground in the guise of ‘field hockey’. Irish immigrants had been hurling in Newfoundland ever since they started arriving in the 1500s and 1600s, and it is said that their game evolved into the Canadian game of ice hockey.
The club formed officially on April 25th, 2010.
12 people were present at the club’s formation:
Chad Michael Harnett,
Joshua Darragh Lalor,
Sheri-Lyn O’ Dea,
2 others, Blair Long and Paul Bursey, arrived late and were fully briefed, and added their suggestions.