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14th Mar 2024

College football star David Shanahan returns to Kerry ahead of the Aer Lingus College Football Classic

Sarah McKenna Barry

Brought to you by Kerry

The athlete returned to his roots.

It’s official. The countdown to the Aer Lingus College Football Classic has officially begun, and we’re kicking off the festivities with a generous dose of Kerry pride, thanks to one player’s glorious return to Irish shores. David Shanahan, Georgia Tech’s star punter, hails from Castleisland Co. Kerry. GAA fans may recognise him from the 2017 Kerry Minor Panel. To celebrate this Irish sports success story, Kerry, the proud partner of the Aer Lingus College Football Classic (and the longest serving inter county sponsor in Gaelic Games) captured his trip home via video.

The video anticipates David’s return to Ireland later this year, when, flanked by his Georgia Tech teammates, he will face off against Florida State in Dublin’s Aviva Stadium on Saturday August 24th. This is the third consecutive year that the game will be held in Ireland, and there’s a lot to look forward to. It’s estimated that over 25,000 international visitors will arrive on our shores for the game, while over 4 million US viewers will tune in to watch ESPN’s live broadcast from Dublin. This year, we’re particularly excited to see David bring Kerry Pride to the football field.

In the first video instalment from Kerry, titled Pride in Your Roots, David, who is the first Irishman to receive a full football scholarship to play football at a college level, brings his teammates on a trip of a lifetime as he makes a glorious return to Castleisland. Joined by Gavin Stewart, KJ Wallace, LaMiles Brooks and Billy Ward, David revisits his hometown, his family, his old club and the GAA pitch where it all began.

As David gives his teammates an extensive tour, we learn the punter’s incredible sports journey, from his beginnings in Gaelic football in Kerry to his glistening college football career. We also get to hear insights from his friends and family, who share their pride in him. Of course, the trip was also a bit of a culture-shock for his Georgia Tech teammates, who unwittingly found themselves being poached to play for the local GAA club. David was also more than happy to field their questions about the local lingo, after previously assuring them that yes, English is indeed his first language, and in Ireland, school is simply called school.

You can watch the full video below.

To buy tickets for the Aer Lingus College Football Classic, follow the link right here.