Kelly told the Irish Echo that “a slight window of opportunity” has been pried open for the project. Kelly emphasized that “a lot has to happen” for the GAA to get back behind the project, adding that “if there is any hope, we will pursue it.”
It was last week’s announcement from the Irish-based organization that they were withdrawing their support that seemed to doom the planned development. That announcement also had another effect, spurring the Randall’s Island Gaelic Sports Group (RIGS) members to offer up their resignations in a last ditch bid to save the project.
Kelly preferred not to comment when asked about the resignations, but RIGS member Kieran O’Sullivan confirmed that “if we have to step aside, we will.”
O’Sullivan, who has been there from the start with Monty Moloney, Paul Tuffy, and John Moore, told the Echo “we got involved to get a GAA park, and we would have been very disappointed if it failed to happen.”
While Randall’s Island deals with where the New York GAA will play their matches, the matter of who will play those games is on the agenda for Sunday afternoon’s ILIR fundraiser at Gaelic Park. With immigration from Ireland to New York shrinking the local Association’s player base, the New York GAA has thrown in behind the ILIR. The Association will be running a fundraiser on Sunday, March 5, from 3 p.m. until 11 p.m., featuring seven popular local bands.
The event will augment the $20 admission with a raffle and a highly anticipated auction. County teams from all over Ireland have donated autographed team jerseys, including All-Ireland champions Tyrone. Also up for grabs will be Yankee tickets and two ringside seats for the John Duddy fight in March, valued at $400 each.