Nursery Coordinators:

Laura Kelly Carey       086 392 0313

Mandy Griffin             086 727 6660

Neil O Dwyer             086 156 6384

Head Coach: Piaras Delaney

Head Coach: Liadan O’Neill

Other Useful Contacts:

Club Chairpersons 2023: Frank Gallogly 086 8686729

Brian Hartigan (LGFA) 087 2327073

Child Safety Officer: Ger Reid 087 6575890


Registering Your Child with our Nursery Programme

Which children can attend nursery this year?

For the 2023 season, we are accepting children who are four on or before the 31st of march 2023.

  •  Children born after these years are too young for Nursery at this point.
  •  Children born before these years will join older teams. You can contact Club Registrar Teresa Ennis (087 6996829) for details on which team to join your older child onto.


How do I register my child with Nursery?

  • Before you proceed to register your child with the club, please first double check the following:
  •  Your child is born in the correct years set out above
  •  You are living within the parish of Dunshaughlin under the “Parish Rule”. You can find details of the catchment area for this rule on the club registration page. If you are unsure and live near the boundary of the parish, you can contact Teresa Ennis or Jim Gilligan (086 8291816).
  • Once everything is in order, now proceed to register your child on the Club Registration Page as follows:
    • Register the child here
    • When registering your child/family, carefully read and follow the steps in the INSTRUCTION DOCUMENT on the registration page
    • Following registration, make contact (by call or message) with your Point of Contact below. Ask to be added to the Nursery Parents Whatsapp group. Any other queries can be discussed with Laura Kelly Carey.
    • If you experience problems with the registration process, please contact the club registrars Teresa Ennis (087 6996829) and Ger Reid (087 6575890).


Please note the Nursery Coordinator does not deal with registration of new members.

For general nursery queries, please contact:

Nursery Coordinator: Laura Kelly Carey 086 392 0313, Mandy Griffin, Neil O Dwyer. 

However, we ask that you please first read through the Frequently Asked Questions below carefully, as this covers most common questions.

Coaching & Helping out with Nursery

We have a very large Nursery to run and this requires lots of hands on deck to help it run smoothly and for the maximum benefit of the kids.

Please consider helping out in some way. There are many ways in which you can help:

  •  Coach as part of the Nursery team. This is a fun and rewarding experience for everyone, requires no previous experience, or even football experience! It’s about having fun and being patient with the kids. All our coaches look forward to their Friday night training with the kids and have a good laugh together too.

If you are interested in coaching, please contact our Nursery Coordinator:

  •  Help with the weekly running of the Nursery:
  •  Help take attendance
  •  Help patrol the gates to pitches for children’s safety
  •  Help organise kids into their pods, bibs and name tags outside the pitches
  •  Be part of a roster system for parking management on nights of Nursery. This is a really important part of delivering Nursery safely each week. It only requires about 10 minutes supervision and there will be a roster.
  •  Sponsor our Nursery Programme in some way, so we can have special events or activities for the kids during the year, sufficient equipment and more.

If you would like to help Nursery in some other way, please contact the Nursery Coordinator.



  1. What is Nursery all about?

Our Aim

The aim of Dunshaughlin & Royal Gaels is to give your child his/her first taste of Gaelic Games in a fun, action packed and safe environment. Your child will learn the fundamental

movement skills of agility, balance and co-ordination …known as the “ABCs”. They will learn and develop the skills through fun games and fun play.

Our Ethos

The emphasis is on participation and enjoyment – learning through fun. Our approach is to build confidence through encouragement while making the games as enjoyable as possible, following approved GAA coaching methods. The ethos of the primary section of our club is “having FUN, making new FRIENDS and learning new SKILLS”.


  1. What are the benefits of Nursery?

The benefits for you and your child are endless!

Having fun, making new friends, keeping fit, learning new skills

Inclusiveness – everyone is welcome

A positive playing experience and environment


  1. Why Dunshaughlin & Royal Gaels GAA?

The benefits range from being a part of a vibrant community to having an identity with an extended family. The community spirit at Dunshaughlin & Royal Gaels GAA is second to none!


  1. Who is Nursery for?

The Dunshaughlin & Royal Gaels Nursery Pathway

Nursery is for boys and girls aged 4, 5 and 6 years. Please note children must be four on or before the 31st of march 2023.

After completing Nursery, boys will move to a boys Under 7 team in the GAA club and the girls will move to an U7 girls team in our Ladies section(LGFA). Boys and girls play on separate teams from U7 onwards.

Nursery is a 2 year programme and for this reason children stay 2 years with Nursery.


  1. What time do we train?

Nursery Training takes place every Friday between 6pm – 7pm.


  1. What months of the year do Nursery train?

Training commences after the clocks change in Spring and generally continues until early September of that same year. This completes the season.

Nursery generally runs all summer too, although the mentors may plan a small break in mid-summer when many people and mentors are away. You will be notified in that event.


  1. Where does the Nursery take place?

Training takes place at the Dunshaughlin & Royal Gaels grounds, Drumree Road, Cooklands, Dunshaughlin, Co. Meath.

We train on both the Astro Turf pitch and the grass pitch to the left of the clubhouse. You will be notified where to go on arrival at the grounds with your child, through the parents whatsapp group, in the weeks before Nursery training commences.


  1. How is the Nursery training structured?

The 60 minute session generally includes 10 minutes of fun, warm-up games, followed by 5 x 8 minute fun stations. Stations focus on particular skills e.g. kicking, hand-passing, striking the ball, and fundamental movements such as running, skipping, jumping.

As the season progresses, we move towards a 10 minute match per session, in particular for children in their second year of nursery!

NOTE: Children are grouped between pitches by age and not by skill level.


  1. If the weather is bad, how will I know if training is on, and how will the club communicate with me every week?

Through the parents whatsapp group, you will be notified every Friday morning whether training is taking place that day. You will be asked to confirm your childs attendance at that days training session using the Foireann GAA system. You will have set yourself up on this Foireann system through the club registration process.

We generally proceed with the training sessions in wet weather, unless a thunder storm is forecast for the area, pitches are water logged, or there is a planned break.


  1. What should my child wear to training?

For football children can wear shorts or tracksuits, runners if on the Astro turf pitch, football boots or runners when training on grass. They do not need to buy any new gear to join Nursery. What you have at home will be fine.


  1. Do children in Nursery get to play matches against teams from other clubs?

No, we do not play outside clubs. However, we may organise an internal blitz in the summer as an event for the children.


  1. When should my child move to an older team out of Nursery?

Children in Nursery are grouped based on their age and not ability. This is the club policy for older Go Games teams also.

Children move onto the next team based on their year of birth ONLY and not ability. Children born in the same year move together onto their next team in all circumstances.

If you feel your child’s skill level is too advanced for Nursery, speak to the Head Coaches/Nursery Coordinator. Our aim is to provide enough challenge and skill improvement for all kids within the nursery programme. No matter how advanced children appear to be, we can adapt training for them within the Nursery programme to keep them challenged and improve their skill level even more. In our experience, there is never a reason to move children early from Nursery into u7 teams.

Children are not encouraged to move to u7 teams early, where Go Games (matches) against other clubs take place, due to their young age, physical as well as emotional immaturity.


  1. When does the club move children on from Nursery to U7 teams?

The natural progression in Nursery is as follows: 

  •  Children start Nursery aged 4 years and turn 5 during that first year at some stage. They complete their first year of the Nursery Programme, and generally (numbers dependent) will train on the Astro Turf Pitch.
  •  Children then move into their second year, now aged 5 years, and they will turn 6 in that second year at some stage. They will continue to develop on their first year skills. They will train on the grass pitch.
  • During the summer of your child’s second year of Nursery they will split into boys and girls teams in order to prepare them for moving to U7’s teams the following season this will hopefully be done with the coaching teams that will move on with them.


  1. What if my child has special needs or circumstances to be considered?

We ask all parents to inform the Nursery Coordinator, before the Nursery season starts, of any special considerations for your child. We will make our very best efforts to accommodate and welcome every single child and have done so successfully in the past. Please help us to make Nursery the best possible experience for your child by keeping us informed and letting us know how to best accommodate your child.


  1. What does the Club expect from parents of Nursery children?

For children in Nursery, the club policy requires:

  • The parent/adult who is responsible for the child to remain at the pitch at all times.
  • The parent/responsible adult to retain absolute responsibility for the care needs of their child during. Nursery training- toilet break, comfort if upset, shoelaces untied etc. Mentors are only there to coach Gaelic Games and nothing more. Please make yourself available to meet your child if they need to leave the pitch for any reason (toilet, get water bottle etc). Your child will be handed over to you at the pitch gate to deal with these matters.
  • If your child is having difficulty with attention, following instruction, or is upset in any way, we would appreciate you taking your child aside to comfort them and deal with what is going on for them. They are still very young and it is very natural for them to take time to get used to the nursery set up, and what is expected of them. You can play your part in settling them in too. Just speak to the coordinator and then take some time to chat to your child or help your child on their station with the activity. Children generally settle in within a few weeks.
  • One adult can be responsible for more than one child at a time, once they have parental approval. Grandparents, relatives, or child minders can also collect kids, once parental approval is given. Please inform us if someone different from a parent/guardian will collect your child.
  • Parents should bring a water bottle, labelled with their name, for their child to all sessions.
  • In cold weather hats, gloves, warm top etc. are recommended, and sunscreen, hats, extra water etc for hot weather.
  • It is essential that we have all relevant information relating to every child who plays with Dunshaughlin & Royal Gaels GAA –
  • Parent/guardian contact details
  • Details of any relevant medical conditions that might impact on how a child is managed at training, in particular, response requirements in the case of a medical emergency, inhalers requirements etc.


  1. What does it cost for my child to participate in Nursery?

There is no weekly charge for Nursery.

We do ask that children are registered with the Club and pay the annual membership fee of €50. Membership runs

  1. From January to December of each year. Club membership can be paid online on the club website and a number of different options are available, including individual player/family membership etc.
  2. By registering as a Dushaughlin & Royal Gaels GAA member, you help to fund the purchase of equipment for the children, ensuring that we can provide facilities which enhance their enjoyment and improve their skill levels.
  3. In addition, your membership contributes to the running costs of the Club, including insurance costs.
  4. Only those who have paid their membership fees can be regarded as club members and have club insurance coverage.
  5. Only registered players can attend Nursery training.


  1. Who are the coaches involved with Nursery?

All coaches are parents of children playing at Dunshaughlin & Royal Gales GAA Club. We actively encourage new parents to become involved in coaching.

All Nursery coaches complete the compulsory courses in Child Protection and the Foundation Level One coaching course, as set down by the GAA and LGFA.

In addition, all coaches are Garda Vetted.

Coaching workshops are held at the Club to ensure that all coaches continuously upskill in the areas of football and fundamental movement.


  1. Where can I get club gear for my child?

We do not have a club shop however you can order club gear from O’Neills here.


  1. How can I assist my child with the skills of football outside of training times?

Kicking a ball with your child, passing to each other, or kicking against the wall with them, will all help your child develop their skills. In general, just messing around with them and a ball (without any focus on skills) will keep them interested and increase their enjoyment a lot.


  1. Does Nursery organise camps and mini-leagues?

We hope to organise a Nursery Summer camp this year. All information to follow.

Cul Camp runs in the summer for older kids, and the club may run another for older kids too.


  1. How will I know about any changes to training on a week-to-week basis?

All parents are included on the Nursery Parents Whatsapp group and receive a message every Friday morning with details for Nursery that day.


  1. Will my child appear in club photographs?

Photographs are taken at matches, training, fun events etc. and uploaded to the club Facebook page and occasionally used for promotional purposes such as posters. If you do not want your child to appear in any public images, please inform the club as part of the club registration process.


  1. What is expected of me as a parent /guardian when I am in the Club?

We expect that the club premises and equipment will be respected at all times.

Please note that football boots are not allowed to be worn in the club house.

We operate an I CARE values policy in our club. Please familiarise yourself with this while at the club grounds and engage in behaviour consistent with our I CARE values. Also encourage your child/children to respect the I CARE values also.

You will see posters and signs setting out the club I CARE values around the club grounds and the full club Mission Statement & Values is in the clubhouse Conference Room and on the club website. Everyone registering with the club acknowledges and consents to adhering to and following the club Mission Statement & Values and the I Care values.


  1. Can parents help/become involved?

Parents are encouraged to become involved. Formal GAA coaching courses are offered throughout the year. If you are interested in coaching, please make yourself

known to the Nursery Co-ordinator. We actively encourage parents to get involved with the coaching as it is great fun.

If you are not interested in coaching you can help in other ways. We need parents to help us gather up and store equipment, help get kids into pods, watch pitch gates etc.

You could help support administration tasks at the wider club level by joining one of the various club committees etc.

Also, we always need sponsorship in the club so any support in this area will be greatly appreciated.

The club is run entirely by volunteers and new support is always welcome.


  1. Can a coach hold on to medications such as inhalers/ epi pens for my child?

No, if your child uses any medication, such as an inhaler or epi-pen, you must be at all training sessions, matches or camps to administer this medication. Coaches cannot administer any medication to a child.


  1. Are there any specific Health & Safety criteria I should be aware of?

For our Nursery members there is a requirement for a parent, guardian or designated person to be in the GAA Club, beside the pitch on which your child is training, for the duration of their training session.

The Club car park can get very busy so please be mindful of the children in the carpark.

If your child is not happy at training, for whatever reason, please come and talk to one of the coaches and we will sort it out immediately. For example, it could be something very simple like ensuring your child is with their friends from school or given extra encouragement when they first start. It is our priority that your child has a positive and fun experience at Nursery.

We at Dunshaughlin & Royal Gaels GAA Club aim to promote the participation of children in our club by creating a safe environment in which to have fun. We operate on the basis of the following important principles:

  •  All children’s sport should be conducted in an atmosphere of fair play.
  •  Children have the right to be safe.

All coaches ensure that these fundamental principles take precedence over all other considerations. All Club members, through their actions reflect the principles and guidelines contained in the ‘Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children’s Sport in Ireland’.

The Child Welfare Officer for Dunshaughlin & Royal Gaels GAA Club is Ger Reid (087 6575890). Parents and guardians can contact Ger to voice any child welfare concerns they may have.