Liam O’Neill was speaking at an announcement detailing the €4.17m refurbishment of the home of London GAA in Ruislip, which comes on the back of the county’s achievement in reaching the Connacht final last year.
New York have found it far more difficult to be competitive, given their geographical isolation prevents their participation in the Allianz Leagues and it may be their future lies westward rather than eastward.
“I don’t know what the future for New York is yet,” said O’Neill. “I suppose the whole legality of people living in New York has to be settled first. I know the GAA is growing in North America.
“I don’t know whether you’ll see New York competing in the All-Ireland series or a world championship. I am not quite sure where the future is there.”
O’Neill clarified he was not advocating New York should be exiled from the race for Sam Maguire and this was supported elsewhere in the interview when he spoke of the GAA community abroad choosing their own paths.
“London have proven they can compete,” he added. “There are difficulties with New York’s distances and the juvenile clubs haven’t reached the same level of consistency. New York is a bit behind that.
“We have some very significant developments. We have 700 children playing in Rocklands, Shannon Gaels, which I think is one of the most spectacular success stories of any of the GAA anywhere in the world.”
The hope is that Ruislip will be another spectacular success story.
The aim is for the new grounds to be reopened in time for London’s Connacht Championship match in May, 2015. The work will include a new centrally covered stand with terracing along the far side.
The new 3,900-capacity structure will equal the standard of county grounds in Ireland while also housing the county’s administrative offices.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is putting up €600,000 for the project with the GAA committing to €1.4m. The outstanding amount will be shouldered by London GAA and its clubs.