Primary 5s Programme

FAI Schools Primary 5s programme kicks-off


Thursday, February 8, 2024


The highly anticipated FAI Schools Primary 5s programme kicked off last week as Cork, Galway, Leitrim and Mayo were among the early performers in this season’s 5-a-side showcase.


The CORK qualifiers commenced last Thursday, February 1 in the impressive surrounds of Carrigaline United FC for the Girls Section ‘A’ qualifiers for small schools.  The various other qualifiers for the County take place in Blarney United, Bantry Blues GAA, Lakewood Athletic, Carrigtwohill, Mayfield United, with Musgrave Park hosting the County Finals in late April. Alan Bennett, Cork Development Officer has a staggering 41 days of action planned over the next few weeks which will highlight the talent among the primary schools’ network in the People’s Capital. A whooping 218 schools (61%) registered this year so there will be huge excitement in the local areas as the schools attempt to make the Finals Days in their respective sections.


LEITRIM kicked off on Wednesday, February 6 in Bee Park, Manorhamilton with 22 schools (60% capacity) participating in the blitz days. Abbey Rovers FC in Ballinamore will also host some of the other sections over the 4 days this week. The Finals are scheduled for April 10 so Damon Kearney will be interested to see who comes through in some very competitive sections.


The GALWAY COUNTY competitions are also taking place this week in Moyne Villa FC, Headford. Other venues to cater for the geographic spread of participants include Portumna FC, Shiven Rovers FC, Newbridge and Salthill Devon FC. 119schools (65%) will descend onto these splendid facilities over an intense 15 day schedule for John Morris Burke and Emer Flatley. The Galway City qualifiers will take place in early March.


Neighbouring MAYO have invaded Milebush Park, Castlebar this week with the Central qualifiers in full flow. Other venues kindly facilitating the programme are Westport United AFC, Kiltimagh/Knock United FC, Ballinrobe Town AFC and Ballina Town FC which will see 17 days of football culminating in 104 schools (65%) signed up. Scoil Phádraig, Westport got all the way to the Aviva for the 2023 FAI Schools Primary 5s National Finals and won gold in the Girls ‘B’ Cup for medium schools while Castlebar Primary School were runners up in the ‘C’ Cup for large schools.


Most County qualifiers will commence in late February, early March so there will be plenty of preparations taking place around the Country in anticipation of the Primary 5s programme.


Monaghan have 90% of primary schools registered as 56 of the 62 schools in the County will be kitted out in Gortakeegan in mid-April for the nine-day football bonanza.


Compared to last year, the programme has seen an increase of 203 schools sign up. Other Counties with 75%+ of participation rates are Cavan, Clare, Louth, Meath, Tipperary and Waterford, which is outstanding.  


The Football for All section for Special Schools is also expanding in 2024 with 30 schools entered. This is an impressive increase of 46% from last year.




The PRIMARY5s as its commonly known as, is a 5-a-side competition which is open to boys and girls from 4th, 5th and 6th class, and puts emphasis on fun and inclusivity. The blitz day format is co-ordinated at local level with the assistance of a network of FAI Development Officers and local primary school teachers. These personnel co-ordinate events at County level with qualifying schools progressing to Regional, Provincial and National Finals.


The programme will see 2,005 schools engaged in the competition with 41,680 students participating this season with a remarkable 45% of those participants female.


There are 6 divisions to suit all school sizes with small, medium and large schools all catered for. While the programme encourages boys and girls to play on the same team, there is also a separate competition for girls’ schools. A number of teams can represent one school depending on the size of their student body, giving more children the chance to develop their skills in a safe, child centered and exciting environment.




Please refer to pages 8 to 16 (of the attached) for a comprehensive breakdown of County events and details for each local co-ordinator.


Schedule of Events: #Primary5s


Dublin Finals:                   April 29 & 30, 2024 Belvedere FC, Dublin

South Leinster Finals:    May 1, 2024, Evergreen FC, Kilkenny

North Leinster Finals:    May 1, 2024, MDL Grounds, Trim Road, Navan, Meath

Mid Leinster Finals:        May 2, 2024, Killeshin FC, Laois


Munster Finals:                March 6 (Football for All), May 15 (Girls) & May 16 (Boys) 2024, Cahir Park AFC, Tipperary

Leinster Finals:                May 15, 2024, MDL Grounds, Trim Road, Navan, Meath

Ulster Finals:                    May 15, 2024, Bailieboro Celtic AFC, Cavan

Connacht Finals:              May 15, 2024 (Girls & FFA) & May 16 (Boys) 2024, Solar21 Park, Castlebar, Mayo


National Finals:                May 29, 2024, Aviva Stadium, Dublin