New York GAA Minor Board

League History

Brief History of the New York Minor Board 

 

After the founding of the New York GAA in 1914 there were several attempts to set up youth GAA leagues for Irish Americans in New York City most notably in the Catholic School leagues of the 1930-1950’s. During the Second World War lots of these young men too young to serve in the war effort helped fill the ranks of the senior men's football and hurling teams to make sure the games continued .  Several Irish Americans featured in the New York teams that travelled back to Ireland to take part in the National League competitions in the 1950’s. One of the most famous of these boys was Jackie Hughes who lined out at center forward at just 17 years of age for the New York team in the 1950 National League Final in Croke Park. A memorial to a young man Bill Feighery who died playing in Gaelic Park is located on a dressing room wall in Gaelic Park. Prior to the famous 1947 All Ireland Football Final a selection of Irish Americans played as a curtain raiser to the main event in the Polo Grounds in New York. 


Throughout the 1960's the parish league participation dwindled and by the late 1960’s it was almost non existent .


In 1970 a group of dedicated volunteers came together and formed the New York Minor Board. This board was dedicated to the development of the GAA in the tri-state area and within a few years 19 clubs from all over NYC, New Jersey and Connecticut had affiliated to the board with competitions from U10-U21. Several of the clubs that were formed back in those early years are still around today with clubs such as NY Rangers, St Raymonds, St Joesphs, Rockland, St Barnabas, Westput, New Haven and the NY Celtics tracing their origins back to the early 1970’s. Some of the clubs that existed then that do not exist now are Fordham Shamrocks, Fordham Gaelic Athletic Club, Good Shepherd (Inwood), JFK (Long Island), Park Slope Shamrocks (Brooklyn), New Hyde Park Gaels (Long Island). 


From the mid 1970’s throughout the 1980’s the program had grown so much that representative teams from the New York Minor Board began to be sent back to Ireland at U18 level with much success as they would play in the All Ireland Minor Quarter Final against County teams. The New York Minors played against London in Wembley soccer grounds in 1976. The teams continued to travel to Ireland until the mid-80’s. 


By the early 1990’s a drop off in emigration had seen the Minor Board decrease to just 6 clubs but the Board took the bold step to begin entering the Feile peil na nog competition on an annual basis. The New York Teams have risen from Division 8 to Division 1 and are now regarded as one of the strongest teams in the Feile Competition on an annual basis. In 2004 the NYMB hosted the first ever CYC (Continental Youth Championships) in SUNY Purchase in New York. Despite the tough weather the host committee did a fantastic job keeping the tournament going and the competition is now the largest festival of Gaelic Games outside of Ireland. New York would host the CYC again in 2010 in Eisenhower Park, Long Island and in 2014 to celebrate the Centenary of the New York GAA in Randall’s Island, New York. 


In 2010 the first ever Juvenile Hurling Committee was formed to help build Hurling programs in New York. Throughout the years several Hurling teams have competed in Hurling Championship, Leagues and Tournaments and New York has enjoyed a large amount of Hurling success at the CYC. In 2017 New York sent over its first ever U14 Hurling Feile to the Connacht Hurling Feile competition in Ireland. 


New York competed in the Connacht Minor Championship in 2009, 2010 and 2011 taking on Roscommon in Croke Park. New York competed in the British Universities GAA competition from 2007-2017 and now competes in the Irish Collegiate GAA Competition Corn Na MacLeinn where they have competed since 2017. The NY Collegiate team got the Corn Na MacLeinn Final back in 2019, after being narrowly defeated by John Moore’s, Liverpool.


As of 2021 there are 15 clubs in the New York Minor Board from the tri-state area St Brendan’s, Rockland, Westput Setanta, Dutchess Griffiths, New Haven, St Patricks, Sperrin Og's, St Barnabas, NY Rangers, NY Celtics, St Raymonds, Shannon Gaels, St Joesphs, Long Island Gaels and Le Cheile.


Down through the years thousands of volunteers have supported the New York GAA through coaching, refereeing, administering and sponsoring our teams. Without the support of these volunteers our clubs or competition would not exist. To get involved with the New York Minor Board please contact secretarynymb@gmail.com.

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