A softball diamond that was the focus of a longstanding disagreement between Manhattan College and the New York Gaelic Athletic Association will be sodded over in time for next month’s GAA championship match between New York and Sligo.
The diamond, at Gaelic Park in the Bronx, is used by the college’s women’s softball team and generally remains in place through the end of the academic year, in mid-May.
Gaelic Park is owned by the city and administered by the Metropolitan Transit Authority. Manhattan College, whose campus is adjacent to the park, holds the lease on the playing facility and rents its out to the GAA, whose season runs from early April through October.
The college and the GAA avoided what could have become a pitched battle when a meeting took place on Monday between Manhattan College President Brother Thomas Scanlan and the GAA, and it was agreed that this time the softball diamond would be covered in time for highly anticipated May 5 game, but that in years to come, it would not be sodded over until “at least mid-May.”
“This was a big bone of contention between them,” said one observer.
John Moore, in charge of public relations for the GAA in New York, said in a statement that “we are very grateful that we have been able to work together with Manhattan College and resolve this situation.”
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Manhattan College’s Brother Scanlan said that he was now only waiting for a guarantee in writing that the softball diamond would stay until the middle of May. The GAA’s Moore said that this was as agreed and would be forthcoming.
The GAA may avoid similar showdowns in the future if it is able to build a playing facility on Randalls Island, as it plans.