By Ray O'Hanlon
Irish immigrants and the Gaelic Athletic Association in American cities are a natural match. So a lack of immigrants, no matter what their status, is an obvious matter of concern to the GAA.
With that in mind the GAA in New York is this weekend extending a helping hand in the shape of gate receipts being donated to the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform which is battling to secure legalization for thousands of undocumented Irish in the U.S. while working to secure a bigger "future flow" into the U.S. for Irish people wanting to live and work here.
This Sunday, June 27, New York GAA is hosting a Field Day with six games being played back to back at Gaelic Park in the Bronx.
Football, hurling, youth and senior games and matches for men and ladies are all on the card.
"As an added bonus the New York GAA have very generously agreed that all proceeds from the day will go to supporting the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform whic continue to tirelessly fight for a comprehensive immigration reform," ILIR said in a statement.
"Immigration reform is a very important issue to the New York GAA. Without a future flow of Irish immigrants coming into the United States the very existence of the New York GAA and others around the country is put into jeopardy. This is a wonderful opportunity for us at Gaelic park to show our support for those who have been working over the last four years to achieve immigration reform," said Larry McCarthy, chairman of the New York GAA.
"What is key now is that we all support the work that is being done by the ILIR, help them in whatever way they need and come out and support them on the Sunday at Gaelic Park.
"The proceeds from the event will allow the ILIR to continue its work for immigration reform. Over the last months the ILIR has traveled to the White House, Texas, Florida, Colorado, Arizona, Boston, New Jersey, South Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Montana," added McCarthy.
Said ILIR president, Ciaran Staunton: "The GAA have been instrumental to our continued success around the country."
The Sunday games will kick off at 10 a.m. Details from Gaelic Park at (718)548-0009.