Gaelic Park has one over all the GAA grounds in Connnacht. In all of Ireland, for that matter. It’s more than a fair bet that on any given Sunday in May, a decently warm sun will be shining over the Bronx and that small corner of it that, well, might be forever Ireland.
So the footballers from Sligo should consider themselves doubly lucky.
They didn’t get blown off the pitch by either the weather gods or a battling New York team last Sunday afternoon.
That said, the visitors didn’t exactly blow away a home team that came out to play before an enthusiastic Gaelic Park crowd that was drawn from every county in Ireland, each of the five boroughs and beyond.
The game, of course, was a historical landmark in the storied saga of Gaelic Park, a ground that might be a little short on stadium facilities but one where there is no lack of passion and atmosphere when New York’s fortunes are on the line.
No matter what happens in the future with regard to the Bronx venue, or the planned new GAA facilities on Randalls Island, it is most fitting that it has been Gaelic Park that has been the setting, last year and this season, for the first of what should be many men’s football and hurling championship games, in New York in the years ahead.
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Doubtless, the prospects of a significant venue change was the subject for much discussion among patrons at the park before, during and after Sunday’s Connacht championship encounter.
Moving house is no easy matter and there are not a few who would be less than inclined to forsake the cozy confines under the shadow of the MTA yard.
It can only be hoped that the GAA’s decision, whatever it is in the end, will be in the best interests of the footballers, hurlers and their supporters.
In the meantime, it’s good indeed to bask in the warmth of a May sun and applaud the efforts of the New York team, the visitors from Ireland and those GAA volunteers who clearly put a lot of effort into ensuring that Gaelic Park was in its best bib and tuck on its big day.
More of the same, please.