Category: Archive

Editorial GAA turns the page

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

In a textbook case of lousy luck, the New York GAA, flush from its most successful championship weekend in recent memory, hardly had time to savor the moment when it ran headlong into an unwelcome reminder of some of its less distinguished days.<BR>

A new book by former Kerry football great Pat Spillane has hit the shelves in Ireland and in it the author recalls his visits to Gaelic Park in the Bronx as a hired gun for local teams. The picture Spillane paints in &quot;Shooting from the Hip&quot; is not a pretty one. The New York GAA scene of the 1970s and ’80s is rife with drinking, gambling and rules trangressions. He calls New York of that era the &quot;banana republic&quot; of the sport — and by this we assume he’s not talking about fashionable clothing.<BR>

No doubt there is validity to some of Spillane’s observations, particularly his contention that the hiring of mercenaries is bad for team morale and uses money that is better spent developing young players. But that was then and this is now. The current New York GAA president, Monty Moloney, has made a remarkable effort to put the organization on solid footing. His efforts were rewarded with a rare full house for the senior hurling and football championships on Oct. 25 and, just this week, with confirmation that New York will be permitted to contest the All Ireland football championship for the first time.<BR>

&quot;We are talking about the future and it looks bright and we hope to advance the GAA to where we want to go,&quot; Moloney said this week. Amen. He deserves the chance to pursue his vision free of the shackles of the past.<BR>

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