The 5 leagues of Europe: The Benelux

Part 1 – The Benelux

The following is an interview with Ciaran Martin, Secretary and founding member of Nijmegen CLG, Secretary of the Benelux, and the Regional Representative on the County Committee.


Can you tell us a bit about the Benelux?

The Benelux League/ Championship is a range of tournaments hosted at various different clubs within the Benelux in which teams compete against each other in blitz-like games. Usually, teams play around four games (20 min each) in a tournament, and a team is awarded the winner of the day, but points are carried across all dates of the tournaments. For example, Amsterdam may win the tournament on the day but Luxembourg may win the league overall on the tournament dates. We play all the teams in the Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg) and a few from Germany. You can see a list of clubs in the Benelux on the new Benelux website

How did you get involved with GAA in Europe?

My first involvement with GAA Europe was co-founding Nijmegen GFC in the Netherlands, in 2021.

Were you involved with any club in Ireland before migrating to the Netherlands?

Yes of course but only as a player. I come from Donaghmoyne in Co Monaghan in which I was lucky to win a couple of medals throughout my life from u10s to senior level and also the Ulster Championship with Monaghan Minors in 2013.

Tell us a bit about Nijmegen, the club, and the City. 

Nijmegen is in the middle east of the Netherlands which is a great trick I use to get people to remember where it is. It is the perfect mix between a small city where it is not too busy and it is cozy but it is also big enough for there to be plenty of things to do and see. Myself and my wife co-founded Nijmegen GFC back in August of 2021 and haven’t looked back since. We have a great mix of expats and students coming from the large University. Every year we see amazing growth within the club and we hope this continues for the foreseeable future. For such a young club we also have some noticeable achievements ranging from our Ladies team winning the Benelux Shield in 2023 to our men’s team winning the Pan Euros in 2023.

What are you most looking forward to this season in the Benelux?

The introduction of the 15s league and Autumn tournaments.

What are the biggest challenges facing the Benelux in 2024?

There are many issues for all clubs within the Benelux. You have issues with gaining facilities, sustainability of clubs, and traveling to locations (sometimes to different countries). All something our clubs handle well but still have to overcome.

What has been your best memory with Nijmegen so far?

Winning our first tournament in Leuven in 2022


Ciaran’s club Nijmegen GFC is the newest member of the Benelux community, but despite its formative status, they have seen immense success, most recently facing some of Europe’s juggernauts in the first-ever GAA 15-a-side league in Europe!

This 15-a-side league is a huge milestone for Europe. Every year, GGE runs a GAA & LGFA 15-a-side championship, and the winners go forth to participate in the Leinster Junior Championship. The Clubs representing Europe have always performed valiantly. The experience gained from the leagues should help our clubs sharpen their tools for the 2024 championship!


The first round of the 11-a-side Benelux championship takes place on the 23rd of March in Amsterdam. Follow the Benelux social media pages for results and updates.


The 15 Benelux Clubs

Amsterdam CLG

Belgium GAA

Cologne Celtics

Darmstadt GAA

Dusseldorf GFC

Earls of Leuven

Eindhoven Shamrocks

European Communities Brussels

Eintracht Frankfurt GAA

Groningen Gaels

Hamburg GAA

Den Haag GAA


Maastricht Gaels 



If you would like to sponsor the Benelux leagues or a Benelux event, please get in touch with


By Alan Fitzgerald Mon 11th Mar