Documentary on One

With the Irish in New York - No. 1 Gaelic Park

Gaelic Park in the Bronx is the home of Irish sport in New York City but the famous grounds means a lot more to the community. It's the place where New York's Irish go to make connections, meet potential spouses, and gossip about life back home. ( 1978 )

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With the Irish in New York - No. 1 Gaelic Park

Since 1926, Gaelic Park in the Bronx has been the home of Gaelic games in New York City, producing hurling and football teams of the highest standard that battle it out in front of the 2,000 plus crowd. They cheer on their local team while catching up with supporters from surrounding boroughs and fans from back home. Over the years, Gaelic Park has witnessed some thrilling matches as their football team fight it out against travelling Irish teams taking part in the first stages of the All Ireland Championship. 

The grounds that sit in the shadow of the el at Broadway and 240th Street in Riverdale is more than just a sports field, it is a place where people come to make new friends and cement new roots in the community. It is a connection to a land that people have left behind where they can find out the most recent news about neighbours, family and friends from the old country. It is a familiar place in a strange in a new city and the first stop for many Irish immigrants arriving in New York City. 

Gaelic Park is a place where music and games are inextricably linked with traditional Irish music filling the stadium on a hot summer's nights while people enjoy a drink in the warm sunshine talking about the match the following day. 

John "Kerry" O’Donnell, who with the help of his family and friends ran the park, dance hall, and tavern since the early 1940s. He talks about life for Irish people when he first arrived in New York and the role that Gaelic Park played in his life. 

Produced by Cathal O' Griofa & Presented by John Kerry ( First broadcast in 1978 )


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