By Ray O’Hanlon
More than three months after "Irish Night" at Shea stadium, a group collecting funds to help launch a reconstructed Famine-era sailing ship is still waiting for a check from the New York Mets.
"We want to go over there with a check," Jeff Cleary, spokesman for The Famine Ship Limited, told the Echo.
Cleary is referring to Kerry, where the reconstruction of the sailing ship, the Jeanie Johnston, is taking place.
The Echo reported in early September that the Famine group was becoming anxious because at that point, one month after the Aug. 5 Irish Night, no money had been forthcoming from the Mets.
The Famine Ship Limited and the Mets had announced earlier in the year — at a reception in the Irish Consulate attended by Kerry TD and former Irish Foreign Minister Dick Spring — that the Jeanie Johnston project would be aided by a portion of the gate receipts taken on Irish Night.
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But just exactly what portion was to became to subject of open disagreement between the fund-raising group and the Mets.
However, the Mets did tell the Echo in September that a check was on the way. The check seems to be now lost in the floodlights.
"They told us first that the check would arrive after the World Series. Then they told us that it would come after Mike Piazza was signed up," Cleary said in reference to Baseball’s biggest-ever player contract, amounting to over $90 million.
Now the Mets are embroiled in a front office sex scandal and the Famine ship backers are worried that their long wait in the financial outfield is yet far from over.