By Pierce O’Reilly
The visiting Galway football team, All-Ireland champions for 2001, recently presented New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani with a specially engraved Connamara marble plaque for his work in getting New York City back on its feet following the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.
The presentation was made to Irish Consul General Eugene Hutchinson last week before the team played New York in the final of the FBD league final. Speaking at the presentation, Galway Football Board Vice President John Joe Halloran said there wasn’t a person in Ireland who didn’t know the name of Rudy Giuliani right now.
“New York has for decades looked after the people of Ireland and as All-Ireland Football Champions for 2001 we want to thank the city and especially its mayor in such trying times,” Halloran said.
The Connemara marble plaque with Galway crystal engravings has a poignant message for all New Yorkers. The last verse of the famous Irish ballad “The Town I Love So Well” is engraved on the glass. It reads:
“Now the music’s gone but they carry on
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For their spirits been bruised, never broken
They will not forget, but their hearts are set
On tomorrow and peace once again.
For what’s done is done and what’s won is won,
And what’s lost is lost and gone forever.
I can only pray, for a bright, brand new day,
In the town I loved so well.”
Irish Consul Hutchinson said he was honored to welcome the All-Ireland champions to the Big Apple and that he would personally present Giuliani with the plague at the mayor’s earliest convenience.
“We’re all very touched and honored that the Galway GAA board and team took the time out to visit us this week,” he said. The mayor was also presented with a scroll with a list of all the masses that were offered for the victims of the WTC.