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    NY GAA not benefitting from Ireland’s downturn

    By Noreen Bowden | May 6, 2009

    The Irish Times takes a look at the New York GAA scene in the context of Ireland’s falling economy, as Mayo prepares to make the trip to play New York in the opening round of the Connacht championship.

    The article notes:

    It used to be an economic downturn in Ireland was at least good for something; the GAA in New York. When players here were laid-off or couldn’t find work they typically looked to America, and particularly New York, where the promise of employment and a vibrant GAA scene – along with several other perks – was more than enough to entice them across the Atlantic.

    These days things are a little different

    The article notes that stricter immigration laws have kept New York’s GAA scene from booming as it might have in tough economic times of the past. There has been talk of an increased numbers of players coming, but “it’s really only dribs and drabs”, according to NY GAA chair Larry McCarthy.

    They key to the NY GAA’s future growth? The twelve underage clubs in the New York area, according to McCarthy, which bring players up from under-10s to minor grade.  But McCarthy notes that that the dominance of American sport is a challenge in attracting young people, and many young people lose their connection to their GAA clubs when they go away to college.

    Related web page:

    Irish Times: New York build on underage structures

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