Gaelic sports have been played in New York since the late 1700s, but the significance of the GAA for the Irish in the city has always extended far beyond the opportunity to play - resonating with home, allowing the city's Irish community to gather, support, celebrate & compete, a crucial connection to retaining their Irishness and adjusting to the rigours of life in their new, often difficult, environs.
The modern New York Gaelic Athletic Association formed in 1914 at a time when the games were thriving in the city. Having moved to New York in 1985, Cork native Larry McCarthy became a member of the Sligo Gaelic football club, and would go on to become Secretary to the New York GAA Board from 2003-2009, New York GAA Chairman from 2009-2011, and secretary of the Gaelic Park Development Committee since 2011.
In February of 2021, Larry McCarthy of New York become the 40th president of the GAA, and the first from overseas in the association’s 136 years.
Malachy Clerkin talks to the GAA Uachtarán about the importance of GAA to the New York Irish today and to Irish America in general, his vision for the organisation, and his personal journey in New York City over almost 40 years.