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Hurlers Becoming First Ireland Club to Play at New York’s famous Gaelic Park

Glenarm GAC

A hurling club from Co Antrim, Shane O’Neill’s Glenarm GAC,  is set to make history as they will become  the first visiting club from Ireland to play at New York’s historic Gaelic Park, according to the Irish Star.

The hurlers took on a New York junior select  at 8pm on Friday at the historic place.

Per the report, 36 members traveled from Ireland on Thursday to watch 15 players play in a game they “will remember for the rest of their lives”.

“For a smallish club from the Glens of Antrim to lead the way as the first ever club to be allowed the opportunity to play a club game against such a renowned side on hallowed turf is something” Chairman Eamonn Matthews said per the report.

“The county board have pulled out all the stops for us. We were narrowly beat by a few points last weekend but our season starts now. The players are taking it seriously – they know the significance of being the first team to do this.

“We’re not approaching this lightly or treating it as a holiday. For some of the players, this is the first time they’ve got a passport and gone travelling. We’ve not asked for a single penny of fundraising, either. They’ve paid for it all.

“This is a massive step up for as a club. We do feel like we’re trailblazers. We’re spreading the word of Gaelic.”

“Gaelic Park is the mecca for anyone coming across the Atlantic to play. Kevin told me to leave it with him and in fairness, he sorted it out.

“The 1947 All-Ireland football final between Cavan and Kerry was the first time the game was ever taken out of Ireland so for us to follow in their footsteps is unreal. Anyone whose got anything to do with hurling knows how big a deal this is. We’ve got relatives in New York who are all coming to watch. There’s a lot of hype and excitement.”

“Our uncles, fathers, and cousins moved to the US during the 70s, 80s, and 90s, and played GAA here,” Eamonn added. “We always heard chat of Gaelic Park through them. We’ll now be living out those stories and memories.

“At the same time, the kids at the club will come together in a hall in Antrim on Saturday morning to watch a replay of the game while eating breakfast. Watching 15 boys play on such an iconic ground will be memorable for them.

“Thirty six have travelled out but that’s not to say those 36 will stay at home. The boys will see the good conditions, nice climate, and lifestyle in New York, and that’ll appeal to a few of them. That’s the negative for us at home.

“We’ll enjoy some sightseeing on Saturday before taking on Rockland on their home patch on Sunday. This might not be an annual event but it’s something for the next generation to work towards.”

Trending on Europa Tribune

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