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€250,000 cash boost for New York GAA club

Valerie Robinson Southern Correspondent newsdesk@irishnews.com

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NEW York GAA club has been given a €250,000 cash injection by the Irish government to help attract future Gaelic stars.

The Republic's minister for the diaspora, Jimmy Deenihan, pictured, yesterday announced

that the cash was being provided to Shannon Gaels GAA Club in Queens and would be used in the development of an under-age playing field at Frank Golden Park.

The club was founded in 2002 and named after the river Shannon because it runs through all four provinces of Ireland. It is the only GAA club that serves the children of Queens at all levels of Gaelic games, including football, hurling and camogie.

Its members claim that Shannon Gaels is "probably the fastest growing juvenile club in North America".

Mr Deenihan said that the funding would encourage young people to participate in Gaelic games, adding: "This grant recognises the strong links between GAA clubs abroad and the Irish communities in which they are based."

The funding is being provided as part of the Emigrant Support Programme of the Republic's Department of Foreign Affairs, which is aimed at supporting Irish communities around the world.

GAA president Liam O'Neill described the Shannon Gaels project as "remarkable", saying the playing field would bring the club's ambitions to have its own "fully developed home" a "step closer to reality''.

Club chairman Sean Price said the funding would enhance the lives of many children by "helping to create a top-class GAA home outside Ireland'' and allowing them to develop a "greater sense of their Irishness".

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