Thursday 21 November 2019

Big Apple chairman hits out at O'Neill comments

GAA chairman Liam O'Neill
GAA chairman Liam O'Neill
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

New York GAA chairman Liam Bermingham has expressed "disappointment" with comments made by GAA president Liam O'Neill that were interpreted as raising a question mark over the exiles' inter-county future.

O'Neill said he couldn't be sure what the future held for New York when asked at the announcement in Croke Park of the revamp of London GAA's Ruislip grounds.

But Bermingham said that casting even a small level of doubt on the future participation of New York in the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship on the week of the county board's centenary banquet in Queens was unfortunate.

"I'm certainly disappointed by these comments," he said.

"The players have been really making a lot of effort and we very much appreciate the hard work they have put in.

"To say the least, the timing is poor."

STRESSED

O'Neill, who stressed he wasn't advocating New York's removal from the championship in any way, was fulsome in his praise of other developments in New York GAA, most notably the academies in Rockland and Shannon GAA club, and Bermingham acknowledged that.

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He said he couldn't really be sure if New York's future was in the All-Ireland championship or a potential world championship.

The GAA's president elect Aogán Farrell will be in New York this weekend to help the county board celebrate its centenary banquet, but there are no plans to officially raise any concerns out of respect to the Connacht Council.

"There are no plans to discuss this with the president-elect," emphasised chairman Bermingham.

"First and foremost, this is a conversation that must be had with the Connacht Council and it must take place in the appropriate forum."

Irish Independent

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