Category: Archive

Grand new era for Gaelic Park

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

The sporting spectacle was, however, only part of thee celebration of the re-opening of the newly remodeled Gaelic Park.
The new synthetic surface and the lighting cost in the region of three million dollars with the lights being brought to bear to perfect effects on the night.
The GAA headquarters in Ireland contributed a million to the project while the New York Board raised over half a million.
Manhattan College, the holders of the lease, contributed the rest.
It was fitting for this historic occasion that many members of the top echelons of the GAA in Ireland were present.
Among them were the President Nickey Brennan, the outgoing director general Liam Mulvihill, the incoming director general Pauric Duffy, the president of the Leinster Council Liam O’Neill, and the President of the Munster Council Sean Fogarty.
Capping off the entourage and acting as commentator was the inimitable Michael O’Muircheartaigh.
Michael has been the Gaelic voice of the G.A.A. for almost sixty years plus the author of two books, namely “Dun Sion to Croke Park” and “From Borroloola to Mangerton Mountain.” Journalists from all the major Irish papers were also present.
This was a very special occasion for the Gaels of New York as they proudly showed off the redeveloped facilities to the cream of the hurling world.
Nickey Brennan noted that Gaelic Park always had a special place in the hearts of not just GAA people, but all Irish people. He noted that it was not only a venue for games but also a place where many found friends, jobs, and, of course, spouses.
Noting that at one stage there were doubts about its future, Brennan said redevelopment has ensured that it will remain as the football and hurling headquarters in New York long into the future.
Brennan concluded his remarks by saying “the return of the All-Stars to New York is a source of much celebration for those who work so hard to promote Gaelic games in the city. I have never seen Gaelic Park looking so well,”
As for the game itself, it generally lived up to expectations, though it started at a sluggish pace, perhaps the jet lag and the cold were inhibiting factors.
Once the players adapted to the surface and the weather, it was an exhilarating goal fest of skill and strategy with the ’07 stars getting ahead at the end.
All in attendance agreed that the New York GAA Board under the direction of the chairman Seamus Dooley, along with his vice chairmen John Riordan and Brendan O’Sullivan plus the secretary Larry McCarthy had done a splendid job in organizing the evening’s proceedings.
Afterwards, the players and officials adjourned to the cozy confines of Rory Dolan’s on McLean Avenue. After the bodies were warmed and palates satiated, Seamus Dooley presented the outgoing director general Liam Mulvihill with a beautiful picture of Gaelic Park.
To Nickey Brennan, the New York chairman presented a replica of the Sam Maguire Cup.
Needless to say, a very interesting present or is it just an indication of Mr. Dooley’s penchant for devilment?
Obviously the Liam McCarthy Cup resides quite frequently in Brennan’s Kilkenny but could Seamus be telling the “Boss” to shake up the football team in the county?
The events concluded by Dooley also making a presentation to vice chairman Brendan O’Sullivan in recognition of his Trojan effort in coordinating a very successful weekend.
Indeed, so impressed was Nickey Brennan with the New York facilities that he announced that 30 million has been earmarked for similar developments in Ireland.
It’s nice to see New York ahead of the curve in this area. Despite years of frustration and failures with facility development, New York can be justly proud of its achievements.

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