By Irish Echo Staff
Rockland County, NY, legislators Patrick Moroney and Christopher Carey have presented the Rockland Gaelic Athletic Association with a Distinguished Service Award in recognition of the GAA's efforts over the past 43 years to promote and bring recognition to Gaelic football and related Irish sports, as well as to nurture appreciation for Irish culture, heritage and traditions in the county.
Rockland GAA chairman, Vincent Tyer, vice chairman Marty McKenna and club coaching officer Joe McGirl accepted the award on behalf of the GAA.
The club was established in 1972 by Irish immigrants who settled in Rockland County and were determined that traditional Irish sports should be passed on to their children.
Today, the ever-growing membership consists of over 600 local youth from a variety of ethnic backgrounds.
In 2000, the club, said a release, was able to purchase the land that it leased in Blauvelt for over thirty years from the Rockland Psychiatric Center and is presently commencing work on expansion plans that include the construction of a clubhouse that will provide changing rooms, a conference room and an open style pavilion for club gatherings.
The club sponsors youth teams for boys and girls ages 6 and under through 18 years of age, and men's and women's teams that compete in Gaelic football, hurling and camogie.
"The GAA has accomplished so much over the past four decades and is recognized by other clubs in the nation and in Ireland as the leading promoter of traditional Irish sports in America," said Legislator Patrick Moroney.
"Many young families were introduced to our county through the GAA and settled here as a result. The GAA promotes Irish sports, Irish culture and Rockland County, as well," Moroney said.
Legislator Carey added: "This program draws in youth and adults from all over the County and introduces them to the challenge of a different sport and allows those of Irish descent the opportunity to participate in a sport that is reflective and reminiscent of their ancestry, culture and tradition. The GAA has made enormous contributions to Rockland County and we are pleased to recognize that fact."