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Films to trace history, popularity of N.Y. GAA

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Pierce O’Reilly

New York GAA is rarely out of the news and with television crews from the U.S. and Ireland interested in documenting their controversial and complex history of late, things are unlikely to change in the the near future.

Since its affiliation with Croke Park and its championship debut in hurling and football, the New York GAA has become one of the most talked-about associations in the recent past.

American video producer Jeff Daniels, from Riverdale, is at present putting the final touches to a half-hour documentary on the history of the Gaelic Athletic Association that he directed during the summer months. Daniels graduated from the University of Maine last year and became intrigued with the complexities of the Irish game with its headquarters at his own backdoor.

After a short stint in Australia, where he fell in love with the oval game, he returned to New York eager to produce a film that would explain the intricacies of the foreign game in New York and its success in America. Daniels recorded several of the final series of games from Gaelic Park as well as interviewing several influential people involved in the association. He hopes that the half-hour documentary will be shown on different cable networks in the Tri-State area.

TG4, the Irish-language television station with its headquarters in Galway, also were in the U.S. recently, where they shot two documentaries involving the GAA. The first half-hour program told the story of the success of the GAA and its impact in the cities of New York, Boston and Chicago, where it is today a stronghold.

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The second documentary, shot by independent producer Steven Macken, is about the history of Gaelic Park. The two programs are to be shown in late February and should further enhance the image of the exile game in Ireland.

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