That sense of needing a strong community spirit abroad may be in jeopardy, which is all the more reason to foster it and cherish it by supporting groups like the Shannon Gaels.
It’s not just about Irish immigrants either. Queens is one of the most ethnically diverse communities in the country and the diverse nature of the Shannon Gaels is evidence of that. All children with an appreciation of the culture of Gaelic games, no matter their background, are welcome with open arms.
In 1913, when Croke Park was acquired by the GAA, it consisted of only two stands. Today, it has a seating capacity of over 82,000 and is the fourth largest stadium in Europe.
While the Shannon Gaels’ slice of Queens is on a much smaller scale and while U2, Celine Dion, or Neil Diamond will not be taking stage at Frank Golden Park anytime soon, it lends an example of what can be done when a tenacious group of people gets together.
Besides, Queens has something even more valuable than the A-list superstars that adorn the stages of Croke Park. It has kids with a spark for Gaelic games. A spark ignited by their parents or their friends, but kindled by their fellow Shannon Gaels.
For more information on the Shannon Gaels and how you can help make the Field of Dreams become a reality, visit www.shannongaels.org.