From Carrigaline Cork to New York
A group of 25 sixteen year old players and 10 adults (mentors & parents) from Carrigaline in Cork travelled to New York on the 24th March having been invited to Gaelic Park home of New York GAA for a tour and as some hurling and football training sessions on Easter Sunday with the New York Minors.
This trip was 18 months in the making and the idea of it was fostered from two very successful Féile trips that this group of players had, one in particular which found Carrigaline playing a New York team in Derry. Close links between the two teams were forged and on the coach trip home from the Féile to Carrigaline the idea was formed
There are many distractions facing teenagers in the modern world and through the fantastic organization that is the GAA, an opportunity was seen to try help focus the players in the years ahead by creating a lifelong link to the GAA and sport. There are huge benefits of being involved in team organizations, whether it is in regards to health or socially, and especially in the years where outside influences can have a detrimental effect on teenagers.
This year is a huge year with the 1916 centenary celebrations and being in New York at Easter time is a fantastic opportunity both for the players and mentors to be involved in this occasion whilst participating in our national games, in of all places New York at Gaelic Park. Mr Simon Gillespie, New York Games Development Officer and the New York Minor board have been instrumental in making this trip a success. On Easter Sunday at Gaelic Park, a special 1916 Centenary Commemoration took place with the playing of the national anthem, a pipe band, and a special reading of the Proclamation prior to the session. Members of the Irish Consular in New York were in attendance and there was a reception for both teams and guests after the game.
The group also organized a guided tour of Ellis Island and visited some other usual tourist spots over the course of the week. Prior to travelling the good wishes and support the group have received had taken them all by surprise with Michael Martin TD and world champion Rob Heffernan to name but a few, among the supporters.
Great credit goes to the parents of these players and the organising committee which consists of club members and coaches, such as Pat Barry, Michael McCarthy, Andre Ghelfi, Cian Barry, Liam O’Regan and Cian Sisk.