Update from the All-Star tour in New York

Ladies Football All Star Tour to New York by Fr Liam Kelleher.

The first All Star Ladies Football tour group has arrived
safely in New York ahead of Sunday’s exhibition game at Gaelic
Park. The game will be a curtain raiser to the New York/ Connaght
Championship clash. The game is attracting huge interest here
and the All Star selection will line out against a ‘Rest of
Ireland’ select picked from the All Star nominees and ten
Ladies from the seven Ladies Football Clubs in New York. The
group gathered at the Skylon Hotel in Dublin on Tuesday night
for a farewell dinner and left Dublin Airport at 10.30am on
Wednesday amidst intense media publicity. After a bumpy ride
to Kennedy Airport, where I was lucky not to have been arrested
and my camera confiscated for taking a picture in the Arrivals
area we were all set!

After that scare we were met by New York Ladies Chairperson
Nollaig Cleary and Rosie O’Reilly and we were transported
to Fitzpatricks Hotel on Lexington Ave, in the heart of Manhatton
where we were greeted with a warm reception and had a short
rest before dinner and karaoke in O’Doherty’s Bar. A tired
group retired to Fitzpatrick’s for a well earned rest in anticipation
of a full programme of events in the week ahead. Thursday
was spent visiting the major tourist attractions in New York,
the Empire State, the Stature of Liberty and Ellis Island.
After a relaxing day of sight-seeing dinners was well received
in Fiona’s on First Avenue. Fridays programme begins after
breakfast with a bus to Woodbury Commons, the outlet store
which will no doubt please the Ladies. At 5.30pm the group
will attend a reception at the Irish Consulate Offices in
Park Ave along with the Mayo GAA party. On Saturday there
will be work for both players and the six Ladies Gaelic Tutors
who traveled with the group, lending a hand at the New York
‘Gaelic 4 Girls’ programme and running the first ever Ladies
Gaelic Foundation Coaching Course. This will be followed by
a run-out for the teams at Gaelic Park and dinner in the Riverdale
Steakhouse. Sunday will be the big day with Mass, followed
by the exhibition game in Gaelic Park. Then the Mayo / New
York encounter and dinner for all in Rory Dolans on McClean
Ave. Monday and Tuesday will be relaxing days before flying
from JFK at 6pm and arriving in Dublin at 5.50am.

The tour has been on the agenda for some time and has been
made possible with the involvement of TG4 and O’Neills in
the sponsorship of the first Ladies Gaelic All-Star Banquet
Presentation. Definite plans were set in motion when President
Geraldine Giles visited New York last November for the Ladies
Football Dinner Dance. After the wonderful success of the
All Star banquet the tour was seen as adding an extra new
dimension to the profile of the All Stars as Cumann Peil Gael
Na mBan enter another exciting new chapter. New York was looked
upon as the ideal launching pad for adding the new international
dimension. The New York Ladies Gaelic Football Association
was founded in 1991 by Terry Connaughton who became the first
President and amazing at the time seven clubs affiliated.
Just two of the original clubs, Cavan and Monaghan remain
although the total number still stands at seven with Na Fianna,
Kerry D Gold, Roakland, Mayo and Fermanagh joining. Their
championship is in its eleventh year with Cavan reighing Champions.
Nollaig Cleary admits that New York would not have the strength
to match the might of the All Stars but is delighted to see
ten New York players involved in Sunday’s historic game. Nollaig
and her team have done everything in their power to ensure
that the event will be an outstanding success.

Cumann Peil Gael Na mBan are greatly indebted to the New York
Board whose current officers are: Chairperson: Nollaig Cleary
Fermanagh Vice Chair: Rosie O’Reilly Cavan Secretary: Cathy
McKenna Mayo (Originally Donegal) Asst Sec: Breda Carroll
Cavan (Originally Cork) Treasurer & PRO: Eleanor Fox Mayo
(Originally Tyrone) Registrar: Sharon Levins Cavan (Originally
Louth) Asst Registrar: Joan Kiernan Kerry D Gold (Originally
Longford) Irish Lang: Mary Melly Na Fianna
(Originally Donegal) Insurance: Derval Carey Monaghan

Fr Liam Kelleher PRO 087-8516984

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