WE ARE THE BRANCH.

Columbia Red Branch is an Irish athletic club devoted to preserving and promoting Gaelic games and culture in the Pacific Northwest.

WE ARE THE BRANCH.

Columbia Red Branch is an Irish athletic club devoted to preserving and promoting Gaelic games and culture in the Pacific Northwest.

Storied Beginnings

Columbia Red Branch was founded in 2001—but the story didn’t begin there.

In 1990, founding member Todd Brothers was working on his master’s thesis on medieval Irish history and kept coming across mentions of a game called Hurling in ancient Irish law. He was fascinated by it and knew he wanted to someday play the game. Fast forward eleven years, and Todd attended a class on the game at Pennsic War, a medieval reenactment in Pennsylvania.

When he got home he called up his buddies, and they set out to make their own equipment and play the game as best they could from Todd’s memory and research. The rest, as they say, is history.

The Club Today

Today, the club is more than just a small group of hurlers. We now have competitive and recreational hurling, Gaelic football, and camogie teams, with dozens of men and women from the area who have fallen in love with these incredible sports.

In 2017, our competitive hurling team brought home the Junior C National Championship win in San Francisco, and our footballers put up a great display against Denver.

Get Involved

There are many ways to support the club both on and off the field. For more info on opportunities to play, volunteer, or sponsor the club, send an email to info@columbiaredbranch.com

HON THE BRANCH!

The Ancient Warriors of the Red Branch

 The Red Branch, in ancient Irish mythology, referred to two of the three royal houses of the king of Ulster, Conchobar mac Nessa.

In the service of the king was a mighty band of warriors called the Red Branch Knights. These men were among the most celebrated fighters in Irish mythology, and among them the most revered was Cu Chulainn.

Cu Chulainn was once a young boy named Setanta, who dreamed of being a Red Branch Knight. Time and time again Setanta was told he was too young, but one night he snuck away with his hurley and sliotar and headed to the castle of King Conor.

The king invited Setanta to join him on a visit to the home of Culain, Setanta had a hurling match and told the king he would join him after. Upon arriving, however, he was attacked by the king’s guard dog, who was known and feared as one of the most terrible and ferocious dogs in all of Ireland. Setanta, however, reacted swiftly and struck the beast with his hurley, killing it with one blow.

After, Culain told Setanta that the dog has been his very best guard and that he was upset to have to replace him. Setanta declared that he would be Culain’s guard until the dog was replaced, and would be known henceforth as “The Hound of Culain” or “Cu Chulainn.”

Cu Chulainn grew up to be the leader of the Red Branch Knights, and won many battles before being struck down by his own spear in a battle against the forces of Queen Meve. Realizing he was mortally wounded, Cu Chulainn tied himself to a standing stone, as he did not wish to die laying on the ground, but on his feet like a true Gaelic hero.

And even though he was motionless for a very long time his enemies were afraid to approach him and it was only when a raven landed on his shoulder they knew he had finally been defeated.