GAA Football

Employment in NYC was the pull for Quinn

ACCORDING to the Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan, young people are emigrating Ireland because of a "desire to see another part of the world and live there".

But former Down footballer Keith Quinn would strongly dispute that theory.

When the 25-year-old moved to America last year, the trip wasn't motivated by wanderlust. Quinn needed work.

On Saturday evening the Mayobridge man lined out for the New York team that played against Boston in the curtain-raiser match that was held before the Allstars Exhibition game.

Ideally, Quinn said he would much prefer to be playing for his native club and county. "I would love to go back and play for Mayobridge, my club, and for my county. "But at the end of the day, I have to think about myself. I am not being selfish. Work-wise at home, it is just not happening at the minute. I was forced to emigrate to New York. "I will play to as high a standard as I can over here. But I loved playing in the red and black and I'd love to go back, but at the minute I just can't see it."

When Quinn moved to New York, he initially worked in the construction industry. But when offered the opportunity to work indoors, he didn't need to think twice. "The cold winters out here, you can't bear them. You are up at five o'clock in the morning and you are not home until six in the evening. You don't see daylight. "I love the bar work at the minute. Hopefully, in a few years, I will be able to open up a bar in New York."

Three years ago, Quinn played in the Ulster Club U21 Championship.

In the semi-final against Clonoe, he suffered a leg injury that later required 17 stitches. Quinn still finished the game.

And the Mayobridge club is still close to his heart.

A few months ago, he was hooked to his computer when he watched 'the Bridge' lose the county semi-final to Kilcoo. "That was heart-breaking," he said. "I watched that on Destination Newry. I cried myself to sleep for about three nights!"

Despite his strong attachment to Mayobridge, Quinn indicated his future years will be spent in NYC "I grew up there. All my family and friends are there. Mayobridge is a great, great club," he said. "I have my one Championship medal and I'd love to go back but I can't see it happening," he said.

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