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It's GAA only Dubai /Toronto-style

A NEW two-part programme Home From Home which airs this week will document the stories of both established and newly arrived members of four overseas GAA clubs based in Christchurch, Dubai, London and Toronto.

The first episode, which aired last night on Setanta Sports, presents a portrait of the four international clubs as they functioned in 2013 and is intercut with personal tales from the playing exiles.

Director Andrew Gallimore said: "The GAA is the ultimate local and parish sport but it has this very interesting international dimension through emigration down through the years."

"The history of the organisation overseas reflects patterns of emigration and the social circumstances at home, in bad times these clubs flourish and vice versa."


The series documents the vital contribution that clubs abroad make to ensure that 'home' feels that little bit less faraway to new arrivals while helping to preserve a distinctively Irish ethnic identity.

Christchurch McKenna's is one of the clubs featured.

It has experienced an influx of new players as the New Zealand city is currently experiencing a construction boom after being devastated by two earthquakes in 2010 and 2011.

Liam Kelly, Club Secretary of McKenna's said the club was essential to him settling.

"I remember playing hurling and football since I was able to walk.

"I came over here not knowing anyone but the first night down at training I met 30 people and within a couple of weeks I was going out socialising. It was brilliant really."