Finn was a brilliant wing back and is still leading from the front. He scored the first point in the All-Ireland semifinal for his side when they went on to defeat Longwood Meath to qualify for Croker this Sunday. We wish them well in their respective quests for glory.
At senior club level, former New York full back and wing back Paul O’Connor is playing at number nine for his home side Kilmurray-Ibrackane as they prepare for the semifinal clash versus Portlaoise on February 21. That game will be played in the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick.
In their quarterfinal win his side got the better of London’s Tir Conaill Gaels, who had one Shaun Campbell at number five. Campbell was at wing back the last time New York took on Galway in the championship before he headed back to England.
Busy times then on the club front. While some players have fleeting visits to New York, and more have long and brilliant careers. we forget none, admire all, and watch closely as they continue their careers after they leave us.
Good luck to our friends in their championship battles this Sunday and in the weeks ahead.
Kerry, Sam Ready to Dance
By Eugene Kyne
WITH the dinner dance season in full swing it is party city for the New York GAA brethren. Down had their dance last Saturday night when they honored Pauline Turley as guest of honor and awarded player of the year trophies to Robbie Moran and Brendan McGourty. They also gave out the 2009 New York championship winning medals to their squad.
In the weeks ahead one of the most sought after tickets will be for the Kerry football club dance. It takes place this year on February 27 in Riccardo’s of Astoria, with Donal O’Sullivan from Skellig, Co. Kerry the guest of honor.
O’Sullivan is one of the owners of Navillus Construction, a huge supporter of all things Kerry and GAA as well as one of the leading employers in New York’s construction circles. His club Skellig Rangers are the reigning 2009 All-Ireland junior champions after a comprehensive win over John Mitchells of Liverpool last year in the final.
Club Person of the Year is Paudie O’Connor from Dromid, and Yonkers, while Dermot Foley of Firies is the Senior Player of the Year. Eoghan O’Mahoney from Laune Rangers is the Intermediate Player of the Year on what promises to be a great evening.
In the aftermath of another All-Ireland win some special guests will be bringing from Ireland the Sam Maguire Cup. A trio of superstars, all of whom would have valid claims to spots on the all time GAA 15, one of whom took the number 13 slot, will escort the cup across the pond.
Mickey Sheehy, with eight senior and two under-21 All-Irelands (he wears 13 on the centenary 15), Maurice Fitzgerald (two senior and one under-21), and Dara O’Se with five senior and two under-21s, will be the security team that watches Sam come through customs.
A total of 14 all-star awards and possibly the most famous goal and point in the history of the game means it will be an evening of unbelievable stories.
This year’s Kerry New York managers are Finbarr Flood at senior with Bingo Driscoll and Eugene O’Sullivan, and the Ballydonoghue pair Brendan Henchy and Paudie Mulvihill at intermediate. Certainly if they can talk any of the aforementioned three to stay for a few months it would be a tremendous coup.
Eoin Moriarity at 718-784-0500 or Joan Henchy at 914-629-8244 can be reached for info on journal and dinner dance tickets.