New York’s Gaelic Park lastly begins revamp

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The New York GAA unveiled its plans for the redo of Gaelic Park, which has been a sporting and social touchdown level for generations of Irish immigrants, throughout an occasion on the Irish Consulate on June 7.

A video showcasing the brand new Gaelic Park included a glass-walled new bar/catering facility that may host tons of of company indoors and outside, fashionable dressing rooms, and a very new exterior construction.

“We began placing the check piles within the floor at present, so building has formally began at Gaelic Park,” Liam Bermingham, the New York GAA secretary, advised company in attendance on the consulate gathering.

“It’s been 94 years that we’ve been taking part in on the park. There’s fairly a little bit of historical past on the nook of 240th Road and Broadway within the Bronx,” he added.

Joan Henchy, the present chairperson of the New York GAA, advised the Irish Voice, sister publication to IrishCentral, in a subsequent interview that the renovation value will are available at round $5.1 million, with a few hundred thousand {dollars} put aside for contingencies. Croke Park in Dublin, the GAA’s governing physique, has dedicated $2 million to the mission; the Irish Division of Overseas Affairs will give $500,000 in funding.

Henchy and her staff are busy planning different fundraising initiatives, together with a first-ever New York GAA Corridor of Fame dinner in Dublin on July 22, two nights earlier than the All-Eire soccer closing.

All going to plan, the brand new Gaelic Park must be prepared for its unveiling in about 18 months. It could have been sooner, however the pandemic delayed the mission simply when it was scheduled to begin in March of 2020. The prolonged delay meant that all the required permits that had been issued expired and needed to be re-applied for once more.

“It’s been a bit demanding however we’re getting there,” mentioned Henchy, a long-time volunteer with the New York GAA and different Irish teams.

“There are lots of folks and companies which have stepped as much as hold us as near funds as potential.”

The July 22 dinner on the Conference Centre in Dublin is promoting properly, and several other hundred company are anticipated. Tables of 10 are €10,000; particular person tickets are €1,000.

Honorees are the well-known GAA announcer Micheal O’Muircheartaigh, former Dublin senior soccer boss Jim Gavin who led his aspect to 6 All-Eire titles, Galway hurler Joe Canning, and Briege Corkery, winner of 18 All-Eire titles in camogie and soccer.

At Tuesday’s occasion, Bermingham revealed that businessman and restaurateur Mike Carty, proprietor of Rosie O’Grady’s in Manhattan, will obtain a distinguished service award.

“There may be no person extra deserving than Mike for all he has finished all through the years not just for the GAA however for all Irish teams,” Bermingham mentioned.

The emcee for the night time can be GAA announcer and New York native Marty Morrissey. Henchy mentioned there can be music, dancing, displays and a correct celebration in honor of the New York GAA and all it has meant for thus many Irish immigrants.

Gaelic Park, she stresses, can be a welcoming house for all Irish teams as soon as it’s full.

“We wish the AOH, we would like the United Irish Counties, we would like the associations. We wish Gaelic Park to be for everyone,” she says. “It may be a complete cultural middle. Individuals can use it for his or her features or no matter they like.”

Henchy additionally factors out the importance of Gaelic Park to the encircling communities within the Bronx. They too can be greater than welcome to avail of the brand new amenities.

“There are lots of ethnic communities within the space and we have now the help of all of them. They’re excited to get the renovation going as a result of there’s nothing round anymore – Visitation is gone, St. John’s is gone. There’s no precise close by amenities for them to have issues like weddings or candy 16 events,” Henchy says.

“I used to be chatting with members of the NYPD fiftieth Precinct they usually know the way vital the New York GAA is to the world and the area people.”

Different fundraising plans embrace a memorial wall at Gaelic Park the place donors can contribute $1,000 for a reputation to be etched on the stone. Given the variety of gamers who’ve handed by way of the park down the years, the wall, Henchy feels, ought to simply refill.

In the meantime, there are some 90 groups underneath the New York GAA’s umbrella, and the season is properly underway. Henchy is especially proud that the New York GAA was capable of compete two seasons these previous two years regardless of Covid restrictions.

“We’re the one county that was ready to do this,” she provides.

For additional info on the July 22 dinner, go to nygaahof.com.

*This column first appeared within the June 15 version of the weekly Irish Voice newspaper, sister publication to IrishCentral.



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