New York won the GAA All-Ireland Junior Football Championship title for the first time ever after beating Kilkenny by one point in stoppage time during a thrilling final in Dublin’s Croke Park on Sunday, July 16.
The championship-winning team and staff received a hero's welcome back home on Monday night at Ned Devine’s Saloon on McLean Avenue on the border of the heavily Irish neighborhoods of Woodlawn and Yonkers in New York.
“A welcome home fit for champions,” New York GAA said on social media on Monday night as the celebrations were still underway.
“A hugely successful year for NY GAA but also a historic one - presenting your All Ireland Junior Champions of 2023.
“Hopefully the start of a long of success for New York - the future is bright.
“For now, enjoy the celebrations boys - club championship starts straight back next week.”
A welcome home fit for champions 😉 A hugely successful year for NY GAA but also a historic one - presenting your All...Posted by New York GAA on Monday, July 17, 2023
Fans young and old, Irish and American, flocked to Ned Devine's - affectionately referred to as New York's GAA 'Headquarters' - on Monday night for the emphatic welcome back home.
Irish and American flags flanked the pub, an institution in the Irish American neighborhood, which afterward thanked attendees for coming out, dubbing it "one of the best nights this summer so far."
"We are immensely proud of our All-Ireland Junior football winners, management, and all who traveled to support the team," Joan Henchy, Chairperson of New York GAA, told IrishCentral on Tuesday.
"We want to recognize all of our parents who instill the love of our native games in their children the minor board who nurture them at underage - their clubs, coaches, and all the work the county board has done in providing the pathway to Sunday’s success.
"There's an All-Ireland championship title in New York," Henchy added, "The future is very bright."
Indeed, New York's Junior Football Championships victory is the latest in a string of notable successes for The Exiles. Earlier this year, New York's senior football team progressed out of the first round of the Connacht championship for the first time ever after beating Leitrim in Gaelic Park in the Bronx. The Connacht run came to an end after New York was defeated by Sligo.
Perhaps more impressive, the New York team who claimed this year's Junior Football Championship title is made up exclusively of American-born-and-bred players, a testament to the efforts of the New York GAA organization.
Speaking in Croke Park on Sunday, selector Kevin Moriarty said: “It is absolutely fantastic, we have had a great year since last November.
“We've been going hard with seniors and juniors, and all of the support we have got from the clubs.
“It is fabulous to win this, we were here last year, we got beaten. We knew we had a job to do this year, we came, we worked hard, and we got the victory. It is absolutely brilliant.”
Moriarty added: “There was one lad on that team, who had never set foot in Ireland before. In his first trip to Ireland, he is after winning an All-Ireland medal, you can't beat that.
“Every one of these players is born and bred in New York, every single one of them. They have gone through the whole minor system over there.”