New York chiefs find positives in absence of Irish invasion

New York chiefs find positives in absence of Irish invasion
Joan Henchy, chairperson of the New York County Board

GAA officials in New York are confident that the huge reduction in the number of players heading from Ireland this summer will not have a negative impact on the games there.

Indeed, they are hopeful that it will present a further opportunity for homegrown players in New York to progress after adopting a policy a few years to concentrate on developing their own players.

The indefinite suspension of J-1 visas used by students, the travel bans imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, and the likely hectic summer of club and inter-county fixtures here, are set reduce the number of players travelling to the USA this year.

But Joan Henchy, chairperson of the New York County Board, doesn’t think it’s going to have a negative impact in the Big Apple.

“I would disagree with the suggestion that the lack of J-1 would depopulate our season. I can only speak for NY and not that of USGAA,” she said.

“We have an abundance of home-based players, American-born players who have come of age and a healthy vibrant underage structure comparable to any county.

“This is very evident with results at Féile na nGael, and World Games. 

New York has reduced our dependency on students in recent years, with major deductions on sanctions, and limited numbers of transfer also.

The Rockland club located in Orangeburg are leading the way with regard to developing homegrown players. 

Founded in 1972, they cater for hurling, Gaelic football, ladies Gaelic football and camogie and field over 20 teams across the four codes.

Rockland, one of 32 GAA clubs in New York, have over 850 playing members and around 10% of their underage players have no Irish connection.

Club chairman Jim McGirl said that 95% of their playing members were born in America.

“We think it’s quite obvious that all clubs need to put more focus on the American-born players, focus on what’s available rather than lament about the challenges that immigration have presented,” McGirl said.

More on this topic

Re-examining the 1980 All-Ireland finalRe-examining the 1980 All-Ireland final

Farmer bids to get girls dancing to a new beatFarmer bids to get girls dancing to a new beat

Old rivals Down and Meath go to Extra Time for healthy heartsOld rivals Down and Meath go to Extra Time for healthy hearts

GPA backs two-week ‘breathing space’ ahead of return to playGPA backs two-week ‘breathing space’ ahead of return to play

More in this Section

Juventus players and manager agree to forego wages for four monthsJuventus players and manager agree to forego wages for four months

'Tenacious player who gave his all': Tributes paid to former Roscommon footballer Conor Connelly who has died'Tenacious player who gave his all': Tributes paid to former Roscommon footballer Conor Connelly who has died

Tommy Fleetwood hopes Ryder Cup can be ‘light at the end of the tunnel’Tommy Fleetwood hopes Ryder Cup can be ‘light at the end of the tunnel’

Conor McGregor wants Defence Forces to help with lockdownConor McGregor wants Defence Forces to help with lockdown


Lifestyle

For Tory islanders however, being cut off is a way of life.Islands of Ireland: Isolation a way of life on Tory

Louisa Earls is a manager at Books Upstairs, D’Olier St, Dublin.We Sell Books: Virus response writes a new chapter for Books Upstairs

Singer and actress Lisa Lambe takes inspiration from a gnarled tree in the west for her new album.Lisa Lambe's love letter to Connemara

Colette SheridanHitching around Ireland changed the direction of my life

More From The Irish Examiner