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Action from Gaelic Park Photo by: Nuala Purcell

New York GAA Update

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Action from Gaelic Park Photo by: Nuala Purcell

The Gaelic for Girls program has been a rising star of the New York GAA over the last five years, with an increase in its numbers at encouraging rates during that time. With a new season dawning registration for 2009 is upon us.

This Saturday between 12 - 2 p.m. at the Aisling Center, girls between the ages of 6 and 18 are invited to register for the new season with St. Bridget’s New York.
 
The Aisling Center is located at 990 McLean Avenue in Yonkers, and is certainly guaranteed to be packed with excited parents, children and teenagers alike.
 
Highlights for the Girls of St. Bridget’s this year will be the annual trip to the Feile Peil Na Nog, which is the under-14 competition in Ireland. Last season the club reached the final of its division in a brilliant display.
 
The Continental Youth Championships (CYC) are being played in San Francisco this summer which means a return to the West Coast for the New York side. They had an outstanding tournament there five years ago and will look to harness more silverware this time round.
 
McLean Avenue is the place to be then this Saturday. Contact Nollaig at 917-407-9939 or Mary via Email at bockagh@aol.com for directions or information.
 
In other New York GAA news, with Easter approaching a perfect way to celebrate the season will be taking place at the Kerry Hall on McLean Avenue.
 
A Mass for former New York players and their friends will be celebrated on April 19 at 10 a.m. It will be followed by a full Irish breakfast in the function room.
 
The Mass will be celebrated by Father Brian Coffey from Kerry. He is the chaplain in an upstate prison and will have Brother Gregory as his assistant. Brother Gregory had a huge influence in Gaelic Park in all aspects, including club games and county games down through the years.
 
The players from the history making 1960s still speak to this day of Brother Gregory and the tremendous help he was. Former New York GAA Chairman John Riordan from Kerry will be on hand as will New York stars Peter Nolan, who starred for Offaly and represented Ireland before he came stateside.
 
Kenny Finn, who not only won a FAI Cup medal with Dundalk but also played soccer for the U.S. at international level, will also be on hand. Both were fixtures at three and six for New York for a decade.
 
Sonny Kenna at 914-714-0359 or Paddy Cummins at 914-968-2563 can be called for information on what should be a wonderful day.
 
Meanwhile, Terry Connaughton will be the first chairman of the newly formed intermediate football division in New York. That may be a little dramatic as he already had the junior title. Akin to a revamp of a political cabinet, he basically moves across the corridors of power from the former junior title to the new intermediate and junior posts.
 
Still the same amount of clubs, a few extra games and I presume an upgrade in All-Ireland tickets. It’s good to be the chair!
When all the hoopla was over the clubs had their seedlings for the year ahead, with the first round of the Charlie Sweeney Intermediate championship as follows:
 
St Raymond’s vs. Armagh, Kerry vs. Roscommon, Offaly vs. Astoria, Brooklyn vs. Mayo, and Dublin vs. St. Barnabas. Six of the 10 teams will again qualify for the playoffs. 
 
In the John Brady Knockout Cup the teams are laid out in groups which guarantee extra games for all. Astoria/Offaly and Dublin are in group one, Kerry, Mayo and Brooklyn are in group two, with Armagh, Barnabas, Rays and Roscommon in the final group.
The top team in each group heads for semis, with the two finishers in group three also going through. 
 
In the new junior division, in the first round of the championship Celtics play Rockland, Rangers face off against Cavan, FDNY take on Donegal while St. Barnabas will have Monaghan in the last game.
 
The teams are set in two groups for the John Joe McGovern Knockout, with Rangers, Celtics, Monaghan and FDNY in the first group while the remaining four round out group two.
 
The top two teams in each qualify for the semis. It will make for a few extra games but the players thrive on this, and isn’t that what the investment in Gaelic Park was about? Roll on 2009.  

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