By Pierce O’Reilly
The famous Sam Maguire Cup will be back in New York next month for the Kerry Football Club’s annual dinner dance, which will be held Feb. 17 at Astoria World Manor in Queens.
The Kerry club are honoring super-sub Maurice Fitzgerald from St. Mary’s Caherciveen after his wonderful contributions during the All-Ireland series. The Kingdom regained the coveted trophy last September after a ding-dong battle with Connaught champions Galway.
Fitzgerald will accompany the famous Sam Maguire to JFK airport, where he’ll be whisked away by Kerry F.C. officials. It is expected that a number of other senior players will also be in attendance.
In 1980, when the Sam Maguire cup was in town with Jimmy Deenihan and the Feale Rangers club, there was ructions. After attending an exhibition game at Gaelic Park , the cup went missing. It reemerged a few day later in suspicious circumstances, after the FBI were informed. The national media in Ireland had a field day wondering who was behind this devious act. The cup was damaged and defaced with a variety of different slogans written on it.
Kerry officals refused this week to comment on security for the cup while in the Big Apple, yet they did say that they expected everything to run off smoothly.
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The chairman of the New York Mayo GAA club, Pat Gavin, has also confirmed this week that the senior B club is planning to honor the double All-Ireland winners and league champions Mayo women’s football team at their annual dinner dance later this year.
Gavin said that their achievement was unmatched by any Mayo team in the last half century and that the club were honored to be associated with them.
It is expected that all-star attacker Cora Stauton and All-Ireland-winning captain Maria Stauton will be in New York with the Brendan Marten Trophy for the club’s celebrations.
The Mayo club are holding their annual AGM at the Landsdowne on Jan. 21 at 3 p.m. and it is expected that a large turnout of officials, players and supporters will put the final plans into motion.
"We’re beginning to find our feet now in the senior division and with a good home-based side we’re looking forward to another prosperous year, " Gavin said. "Mayo has always a strong tradition of immigrants to New York and it’s been the same for the last few years."
Anyone interested in finding out more about the club or helping out in any capacity this year should contact club secretary Kathleen Rowland at (914) 237-9387 or Pat Gavin at (914) 237 9372.