Larry McCarthy, a representative of New York GAA, became the first overseas candidate to win the GAA Presidency last week

New York GAA Chairperson Joan Henchy has led the local salutes to Larry McCarthy, a long-time Sligo/New York GAA stalwart who made history last Friday when he was elected president of the GAA, the first time that someone based overseas won the vote to lead Ireland’s largest sporting organization as a whole.

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Henchy, who made history herself last December when she became the first woman to chair the New York GAA, told the Irish Voice that McCarthy’s nomination can only help grow Gaelic games in New York.

“The entire New York County Board is elated and extremely proud of Larry’s accomplishments,” Henchy said.  “The board has had a very strong association with headquarters (in Dublin) and now it’s even stronger.

“This shows how far the association has come,” Henchy added.  “Delegates do not see borders or gender issues and New York is recognized. We look forward to working with Larry, and we will continue to work hard for our members and our youth.”

Let the handover begin! President John Horan with President Elect, our own Larry McCarthy! #gaa

Publiée par New York GAA sur Vendredi 28 février 2020

McCarthy, 65, originally from Bishopstown, Co. Cork who immigrated to New York in 1985, announced his candidacy for the top GAA post last year, and spent the past several months commuting between Ireland, the U.K. and his base in New Jersey, where he lives and works as an associate professor in the Department of Management at Seton Hall University with a specialty in sports marketing and management.

His campaign paid the ultimate dividend on Friday after the vote at the GAA Congress in Dublin when McCarthy emerged victorious over four other candidates after four vote counts.  He will be president-elect for the rest of 2020 until he takes over the leadership from John Horgan next year.  GAA presidents serve three-year terms, and McCarthy will move back to Ireland for the duration of his.

After the historic election, he told the media that he was thrilled to have emerged victorious, calling the result “incredible, amazing, unbelievable.”

"It was a long, hard, tough campaign as it should be for a leadership position like that and I am absolutely delighted to come out ahead of it,” he added. 

“It’s a phenomenal day for the New York GAA, for the Irish diaspora who have been involved in the GAA for years and years in North America but obviously around the world as well.”

Read More: New York Irishman Larry McCarthy voted as GAA president

McCarthy said he would take a sabbatical from his position at Seton Hall and would start looking for full-time accommodation in Ireland.  McCarthy and his wife Barbara have two grown sons, Shane and Conor.

“The biggest challenge now will be moving to Ireland for three years, getting myself organized and getting organized on a professional level as well…I haven’t tempted fate in trying to figure out what the logistics of (a sabbatical) are, and neither have I tempted fate in terms of buying hoses or looking at kind of accommodation at all so that’s all going to come down the tack now fairly quickly,” he said.

The Sligo Football Club in New York posted on Facebook that “everyone in the club is hugely proud…he’s done it!  We’ll see you in Ned’s,” meaning Ned Devine’s on McLean Avenue in Yonkers, where McCarthy plans on convening for a victory party in the coming days.

You can watch Larry McCarthy's speech here:

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