Here Comes the May Issue of the Ohio Irish American News

Here Comes May Issue … featuring 2013 Northern Ohio Rose of Tralee Kelsey Higgins, with photo by Brendan Carr, plus stories on, Rachel Gaffney’s Real Ireland Crying Cockles & Mussels, Ireland in 100 Objects, A Letter from Ireland, Illuminations: The Potato, Owens Sports, Festival Musicians Crossword Puzzle, Rugby Rocks the U.S.A., My Bagpipe Addiction, Book and Music Reviews Kevin O’Donnell’s Deep is the Well, Blowin’ In Plenty of Fish in the Sea, Enter the Haggis Live at The Beachland Ballroom, The Hooley, Boston: Host to the 2013 World Irish Dancing Championships, On this Day in Irish History and more. Available Thursday; pick up yours at over 240 locations in and around Ohio, or see us online at www.ianohio.com.

Next month is our 7th Annual Fantastic Festival Focus Issue, get on board quick!

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It is 80 Days until the 31st Annual Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival

It is 80 Days till the

31st Annual Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival
July 19-21, 2013
Berea Fairgrounds

Featuring:

Mary Black
Ronan Tynan
High Kings
Eileen Ivers & Immigrant Soul
Scythian
Cherish the Ladies
McLean Avenue
Seven Nations
Marys Lane
New Barleycorn
Brigid’s Cross
Malachy Cush
Dennis Doyle
Donal O’Shaughnessy
Dermot Henry
Patrick O’Sullivan
Guaranteed Irish
Irish Descendants
Tesse Burke School of Dance
Leneghan Academy of Irish Dance
Brady Campbell School of Irish Dance
87th Pipe & Drum
Cleveland Firefighters Memorial Pipe Band
West Side Irish American Club Pipe Band
Award winning Theatrical Performances and Comedy,
Tir Na nOg Children’s area
Internationally recognized Cultural Hall
Workshops, Presentations & More

www.clevelandirish.org

Need your Irish Fest Fix? Here we go …

Need your Irish Festival Fix? Join me at the Scranton Celtic Fest May 18 & 19 – The Blaggards, Dady Brothers, Derek Warfield & the Young Wolfe Tones, Kilmaine Saints, Seamus Kennedy, Timlin & Kane and more. I’ll be performing At Each End of the Rifle, and my new monologue, Songs & Stories: An Irish American Journey, both days. Would love to see ya!

Irish Network Cleveland Launches: ~ A Story from this Month’s Issue of the Ohio Irish American News

Irish Network Cleveland Launches: ~ Join the Team
By Séamus O Cadhain

Irish, Irish-Americans, and Friends of Ireland throughout the Cleveland area came together for St. Patrick’s Day, as they have for more than 146 years. In that period of time, countless families migrated over from the Emerald Isle for opportunity in the Greater Cleveland area and throughout Ohio. They came together to build strong communities along the coast of Lake Erie. Neighborhoods developed and the Irish were always part of the next big project. The tall buildings downtown, all over roads and bridges were crafted and built in part by the Irish community.

Today, Cleveland’s Irish Community is still strong and a new effort by several members seeks to enhance the communications between all clubs and societies in order to join together more often for music, dance, sport, and craic. By partnering with Irish Network USA, Cleveland’s Irish Community joins the growing cause to bring all Irish together to foster growth, education and assistance.

“Irish Network USA was launched in 2010 to help piece together the efforts of so many great groups which have put the Irish and Irish America on the map in a very big way,” said John Murphy, co-president of Irish Network USA. “We look forward to welcoming Cleveland as one of a growing list of cities that are tapping into this national network.”

Established networks throughout the country are assisting INcleveland (Irish Network Cleveland) with setting the ball in motion for a successful year of getting everyone together. Events will be announced on the website, www.IrishNetworkCleveland.com and will include musical sessions the first Friday of each month at the Harp and the third Thursday of each month at Plank Road Tavern. INcleveland seeks further ideas on how to set events for most people to attend.

“The need to connect Irish America and Ireland has never been greater,” stated Steve Lenox, Co-President of Irish Network USA. “What started in Chicago over ten years ago as a local group to maintain links to home has become a critical bridge linking the Diaspora across the USA through business, arts, sports and most importantly, friendship.”

The main objectives of Irish Network USA;
1. To bolster business opportunities and economic development between the United States and Ireland.
2. To serve as a conduit between newly arrived Irish immigrants and their communities in Member cities and states.
3. To support and encourage Irish Arts and Culture through film, literature, theater, dance and language.
4. To encourage and promote the mission and expansion of Irish sports, Hurling and Gaelic football, throughout the United States.
5. To support the efforts of local Irish organizations and associations.

The benefit to the Irish Community is creating a network which serves as the umbrella organization on the national level and connects all of the member chapters.

It’s a testament to our success that outgoing Ambassador Michael Collins cites IN-USA has one of the developments he is most proud of in his time in the U.S.

For more information on how to be part of INcleveland, email Jim A. Coyne at coyne.james.a@gmail.com or send a message to IrishNetworkCleveland@gmail.com. Every group in the greater Cleveland area is invited to assist in the development of this network. A letter was sent to the Mayo Society and the Irish American Charitable Foundation to further explain how this can get off the ground. The overall philosophy of INcleveland is to be as inclusive as possible in order to enhance the already established groups in Cleveland.

“Follow me where I go, what I do and who I know;
O’Bent Enterprises includes:
www.songsandstories.net www.ianohio.com www.clevelandirish.org
www.twitter.com/jobjr www.twitter.com/365Irish www.twitter.com/cleveland_irish
http://songsandstories.net/myblog/feed/ www.facebook.com/OhioIrishAmericanNews www.facebook.com/Cleveland-Irish

Irish Network Cleveland Launches: ~ A Story from this month’s issue of the Ohio Irish American News:

Irish Network Cleveland Launches: ~ Join the Team
By Séamus O Cadhain

Irish, Irish-Americans, and Friends of Ireland throughout the Cleveland area came together for St. Patrick’s Day, as they have for more than 146 years. In that period of time, countless families migrated over from the Emerald Isle for opportunity in the Greater Cleveland area and throughout Ohio. They came together to build strong communities along the coast of Lake Erie. Neighborhoods developed and the Irish were always part of the next big project. The tall buildings downtown, all over roads and bridges were crafted and built in part by the Irish community.

Today, Cleveland’s Irish Community is still strong and a new effort by several members seeks to enhance the communications between all clubs and societies in order to join together more often for music, dance, sport, and craic. By partnering with Irish Network USA, Cleveland’s Irish Community joins the growing cause to bring all Irish together to foster growth, education and assistance.

“Irish Network USA was launched in 2010 to help piece together the efforts of so many great groups which have put the Irish and Irish America on the map in a very big way,” said John Murphy, co-president of Irish Network USA. “We look forward to welcoming Cleveland as one of a growing list of cities that are tapping into this national network.”

Established networks throughout the country are assisting INcleveland (Irish Network Cleveland) with setting the ball in motion for a successful year of getting everyone together. Events will be announced on the website, www.IrishNetworkCleveland.com and will include musical sessions the first Friday of each month at the Harp and the third Thursday of each month at Plank Road Tavern. INcleveland seeks further ideas on how to set events for most people to attend.

“The need to connect Irish America and Ireland has never been greater,” stated Steve Lenox, Co-President of Irish Network USA. “What started in Chicago over ten years ago as a local group to maintain links to home has become a critical bridge linking the Diaspora across the USA through business, arts, sports and most importantly, friendship.”

The main objectives of Irish Network USA;
1. To bolster business opportunities and economic development between the United States and Ireland.
2. To serve as a conduit between newly arrived Irish immigrants and their communities in Member cities and states.
3. To support and encourage Irish Arts and Culture through film, literature, theater, dance and language.
4. To encourage and promote the mission and expansion of Irish sports, Hurling and Gaelic football, throughout the United States.
5. To support the efforts of local Irish organizations and associations.

The benefit to the Irish Community is creating a network which serves as the umbrella organization on the national level and connects all of the member chapters.

It’s a testament to our success that outgoing Ambassador Michael Collins cites IN-USA has one of the developments he is most proud of in his time in the U.S.

For more information on how to be part of INcleveland, email Jim A. Coyne at coyne.james.a@gmail.com or send a message to IrishNetworkCleveland@gmail.com. Every group in the greater Cleveland area is invited to assist in the development of this network. A letter was sent to the Mayo Society and the Irish American Charitable Foundation to further explain how this can get off the ground. The overall philosophy of INcleveland is to be as inclusive as possible in order to enhance the already established groups in Cleveland.

“Follow me where I go, what I do and who I know;
O’Bent Enterprises includes:
www.songsandstories.net www.ianohio.com www.clevelandirish.org
www.twitter.com/jobjr www.twitter.com/365Irish www.twitter.com/cleveland_irish
http://songsandstories.net/myblog/feed/ www.facebook.com/OhioIrishAmericanNews www.facebook.com/Cleveland-Irish

Terrible Beauty ~ A Story from this month’s issue of the Ohio Irish American News:

Terry from Derry: Terrible Beauty

Something that continues to disconcert me is why we constantly strive for satisfaction when it seems so elusive. We move from one thing in life to another longing to be content, but restless when that same contentment threatens to become mundane. I’m not sure everyone feels this way; maybe it’s those who are afflicted with certain personality type like myself. I remember a priest who was particularly fond of saying ‘may the peace of Christ disturb you’. While it seems a contradiction in terms, it comes down to understanding of what he meant by peace.
Peace, in this cleric’s terms, did not mean the absence of conflict, but rather peace is the active ingredient to provoking change. Peace becomes a way to enrich our lives beyond materialism or success. Peace rarely makes us satisfied with who we are or how we view life. This definition may not seem the usual way we think of peace. I certainly found it much more challenging.
Life can often seem tempestuous as though in a constant state of flux. We can never stand still while things happen around us. It can be disconcerting to feel a loss of control. But if the priest is right, then it’s wrong to fight against these feelings. To reject the precariousness of existence is to reject the opportunity for growth. A friend of mine recently said of the Psalms (a testimony to human dissatisfaction) they begin with orientation, then disorientation, and finally re-orientation.
What we enjoy so much from these biblical songs is the way they mimic our own experience. We find ourselves empathizing with the psalmist as he wrestles with difficult circumstances, orientating his perspective of life to accommodate a new trouble, an unseen change in fortune. Life presents us with unwelcomed situations that challenge and demand a lot of our energy. Sometimes these events are so critical they fundamentally shift our view of the world. Grief for instance, can force us to come to terms with the fragility of life.
The unexpected misfortune disorientates us, moves us onto less secure ground, shifting sand in which it’s harder to find firm footing. This process of disorientation raises all sorts of existential questions about our purpose in life, our relationships, goals and objectives. During this period, the dark night of the soul, we can lose some important beliefs. The new world we inhabit does not always allow for knowledge that fails to be supported by the new experiences. Sometimes old beliefs are deepened.
I remember in the play History Boys when one of the high school boys is complaining of learning poetry by heart. The main thrust of his complaint is that the content of the poems are beyond his years, demonstrating mature situations, he had yet to discover. The teacher’s response was to state that when he did mature into those complex situations, he would be prepared. The inaccessible language of the poems would suddenly mean something to him, and what was unknown becomes known.
Acquiring new language is simply a part of finding ourselves in new territory, a new psychological realm. We begin to re-orientate our hearts and minds to what begins to become familiar. Our adjustment is another step in the maturation process, but it can be dismantled quickly or it may last.
I remember once sharing a flight with a young man from India. He was a Brahmin, originating from the highest caste in the hierarchical class system. We were talking about the differences between Christianity and Hinduism. When I mentioned the idea of God as a Trinity, he said the concept was not unfamiliar to his faith. He went on to say that the Creator aspect of God is Brahma, whereas the sustainer of life is Krishna, and the destroyer is Shiva. I was particularly interested in Shiva and he continued to define this process of destruction in a way that would comply with what I stated earlier regarding the psalmists.
Shiva destroys in order to re-create. Since one of the main tenets of Hinduism is much of what we think as life is merely an illusion. Shiva strips away the mask created by the lies we choose to believe about the world and ourselves. In this sense, the destruction is redemptive.
The process of becoming disillusioned, in the best possible sense, is painful. It can ultimately force us to come to terms with what really matters in life. The power of the illusion is so great we become attached to it, causing it be the driving force in how we behave and act. Losing such cherished illusions is never easy, and can bring out the worst and best in us.
I’m reminded of Yeats’ phrase ‘a terrible beauty is born’ when considering this process. Life is both terrible and beautiful, and sometimes joy is only truly felt once we have experienced sorrow. So, in welcoming peace into our hearts, we invite change and affirm the loss of false ideals.
*Terry, originally from Derry, now resides in Chicago and teaches Irish and British Literature at Loyola University, Chicago. terenceboyle@sbcglobal.net

April Issue, featuring Dublin singer Frances Black and her Rise Foundation
April Issue, featuring Dublin singer Frances Black and her Rise Foundation
also visit us online at www.ianohio.com
also visit us online at www.ianohio.com

“Follow me where I go, what I do and who I know;
O’Bent Enterprises includes:
www.songsandstories.net www.ianohio.com www.clevelandirish.org
www.twitter.com/jobjr www.twitter.com/365Irish www.twitter.com/cleveland_irish
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The Heart of the Issue: Plank Road Tavern ~ A Story from this month’s issue of the Ohio Irish American News:

Heart of the Issue: Plank Road Tavern

Plank Road Tavern
16719 Detroit Avenue
Lakewood, Ohio 44107
(website under construction)

M – F: 3:00 pm – 2:30 am
Sa – Su: 11:00 am – 2:30 am
Proprietors:
Kevin Pap & Family, Pat McGinty, John Davie

Plank Road Tavern is old school in values. Great company, great craft and selfless contribution get the seat of honor in the hard wood and warm embrace that welcomes all. Music graces the ear, and seeps from the bones of instruments and owners.

“We started Plank Road in 2011,” said Proprietor Kevin Pap. “We were looking for the right spot and this location was available. It is a great area, central location; great city. We found our niche in Lakewood – a place where we would want to hang out. It is not expensive, and is very welcoming. Our crowd is exactly like our family, from our parents to my 21-year old sister, with shared interest in our heritage and our community.

“We always had the goal (at the gentle suggestion of my sister-in-Law, Sarah Lally Pap), to have a sessiún every Thursday night. We have been doing that for two years now. It can be three people, it can be fifteen, but everyone has a ball. The vision we dream over the generations is to have a Thursday night sessiún with the kids and our kids are the ones playing and we’ll be the old ones watching them play.

“Good music, good atmosphere, good food, good people. From older folks like Al O’Leary to legends to be, just getting started – anyone can come up, anyone who can play music or if they simply want to listen, they can come up; everyone is welcome, everyone will have fun.

“Our food is different and distinctive. There is no microwave here; it is all fresh. We buy locally where ever we can. One of our specialties is our Build your Own Burger, anything you want on it, for $6, includes fries. We have a varied menu, with Fried Green Tomatoes, fresh salads, chicken sandwich, we are constantly adding with the seasons.

“And of course, Craft beers – we have eighteen craft beers at all times. We get a lot of people who haven’t been exposed to them, don’t know what to ask for or what their likes are. At Plank Road, you can try a sampler, learn a bit, have fun, and it is a little less expensive than elsewhere.

“We have our staples like Guinness, but we also change out as new seasonal beers become available. You get a nice craft beer, and a great meal, like a gourmet pub with all the warmth and comfort of your favorite pub. We hope we will become that, your favorite pub.”

Plank Road Taverns, is special, and has specials:
“Mondays are our Buy 1 Burger, Get a Free Beer Night; on Tuesdays we have $4 Martinis; Wednesdays are $2 Taco Nite, which is not a typical Taco, we’ve gotten a reputation as the freshest tacos in Lakewood.”

“We also have a great new patio in back with sanded concrete and ample seating for outside dining in warmer weather.” Appetizers from Hummus to Mussels and nearly a dozen Martini choices are available every day.

“Plank Road is the home of St. Jarlath’s Gaelic Football Club. With the Gaelic Athletic Association’s Football and Hurling Finals coming to Cleveland over Labor Day Weekend, we are looking forward to doing a lot of cool stuff during the games, it is going to be a fantastic weekend.

“You can watch sports, but we are not a sports bar, you can get a great meal, but we’re not a restaurant; we are a place you can hang out after work, be yourself and relax.
“Lakewood is a great community to be in ~ the city likes and supports small businesses. We are grateful for their support and plan to be here for a long time.”

The heart of the issue is our advertisers. They support and fund the Ohio Irish American News every month, they make it available to their customers, and they help spread the history and the promise of our rich Irish heritage. Plank Road Tavern is a living example of the trademark generous pride and welcome the Irish actively create and nurture in our community. We are blessed; we are grateful.

“Follow me where I go, what I do and who I know;
O’Bent Enterprises includes:
www.songsandstories.net www.ianohio.com www.clevelandirish.org
www.twitter.com/jobjr www.twitter.com/365Irish www.twitter.com/cleveland_irish
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Blowin’ In: Homage to the Middlle ~ A Story from this month’s issue of the Ohio Irish American News:

Blowin’ In: Homage to the Middle
By Susan Mangan

When my oldest son was born, he did not waste time with a prolonged labor. So anxious was he to get on with the act of living, that the doctor barely had time to catch him as he came flying out, in media res, into the middle of things. With great power and enthusiasm, he came rushing into the world head first with eyes as wide as an owl’s.

Even now, my middle child, my first-born son, is always right in the center of every conundrum, every scheme, and every moment of joy that defines a boy’s life. His presence is announced with a roar, a loud guffaw of laughter, a cry for attention. Though he resides in the middle, he is not content to lie peaceably on that center rung.

When psychologists speak of birth order among children, they are not weaving the stuff of myths. Truth be told, each of my three children is a textbook case in proof. The oldest, a girl, rules the proverbial familial roost, the youngest is the indulged, golden child, the middle is the worker who keeps his head down and plows forward.

I respect my middle child’s inherent work ethic and his keen understanding that a mixture of gumption and tenacity can forge a path from the middle that ever reaches toward the top.

When my son was nine, turning ten, he qualified for his first World Irish Dancing Championship. Delighted with his fifth place on the podium, we were unaware of the daunting challenge that lay ahead. In the auld times, my son would have been the champion of the Irish crossroads. Handsome and strong, his beats would be heard across the furze -covered countryside. No, his knees would not be the straightest, nor would his feet be turned out, but how the girls would swoon to see my son, straight-backed and broad-shouldered dancing like a young warrior set to battle.

Unfortunately, we are not in old Ireland, but in the twenty-first century, and the art of Irish dancing has taken on extreme levels of precision and razor sharp execution. A country farmer with perfect timing and bent knees would not get a second look from a scrutinizing judge in a major competition. And so it was for my son in his first performance on the World’s Irish Dancing stage in Dublin, Ireland in the spring of 2011.

Though he did not place in the top half of his competition, his hard work paid off and he was afforded an opportunity that not many people have had: the chance to mingle with the best and step foot on a world caliber stage. Those who walk in the middle are accustom to disappointment, as things never really quite go their way. This realization is a blessing and a curse.

The middle tastes the honeyed nectar and is motivated to try and reach for the golden fruit again and again, but his enthusiasm is tempered at times by the challenge that this quest entails. In such case, even the epic hero requires a bit of diversion, and so on our last day in Dublin, my son and I found ourselves meandering among the musicians and artists, bohemians and tourists, in Temple Bar.

Named after the main artery in Dublin’s cobbled-stone paved enclave, Temple Bar is home to one of the oldest pubs in the city. The vibe is energetic and youthful. One cannot help but be drawn into its seduction. Dingy eateries proffer fresh oysters. Long-haired guitarists play for the toss of a coin and the chance to be discovered. Glass ensconced storefronts boast Italian gelato and coffee to take-away.

My oldest and youngest child would have been a bit discomforted by the heady atmosphere in gritty Temple Bar. My middle child, on the contrary, is content as long as he has a pocketful of treats. Armed with a bag of Tayto Crisps and a promise that we would be back to the hotel in time for his favorite television show, my son and I set off through the t-shirt shops and vintage stores of Temple Bar.

At one point, I lost my sense of direction. One cobbled street looked vaguely like the next. My son and I wandered a few miles outside of Temple Bar into a rather sundry area of Dublin. Strangely, signs for sweets and oysters were replaced with placards for solicitors. Basement level flats were covered with iron bars and screens. Rubbish littered the sidewalks.

Trying to remain cheerful, I held my son’s hand more tightly and tried to point out any points of interest. There were none, other than a curious assortment of hundreds of rainbow colored round rubber discs, some packaged, some not, that lay beneath my feet. “What are those, I thought? They certainly don’t look like individual packages of sweets or no, they couldn’t be . . . ?”

Suddenly, my son pointed to a stately old building flanked with rows of long steps. “Mom, that is the dancing school that the kids in my competition go to!” Sure enough, parents and children toting bags filled either with books or dancing shoes scurried up and down the steps. I wasn’t quite sure how I would explain the brightly colored packages that were scattered on the concrete, so I seized the diversion and righted us on our path back toward Temple Bar.

At long last, my son and I found a light-filled Italian gelato and coffee shop. While he indulged in his creamy confection, I sipped the first real coffee that I had since arriving in Dublin. The young woman who had just delivered our repast rushed out the door across the cobbled street and into the arms of her lover. A young, artistic-looking man with thick curly hair and a hand knit cap, he possessed the air of a new Dublin, where creativity and promise reigns. I sighed and looked across at my son, chin smeared with chocolate, oblivious to my musings and the abandon of the day. “Mom, do y’think we can get back to the hotel in time for The Simpsons?” he asked. Sometimes, being in the middle is just plain easy.

This spring we are headed back to World’s for the second time. A new city, Boston, will beckon. The stars may align and my son may have turned out toes and straight knees. I will not bet the moon on it, but I know he will be lovely, confident, and proud. Expect the unexpected, and the middle may just make it into the light.
*Susan holds a Master’s Degree in English from John Carroll University and a Master’s Degree in Education from Baldwin-Wallace College. She may be contacted at suemangan@yahoo.com.

“Follow me where I go, what I do and who I know;
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Football – The Granny Rule and the Irish National Team – A Story from this Month’s Issue: Ohio Irish American News:

Owens Sports


It has not been unusual for a non-Irish born player to pull on the green jersey and line out for the Republic of Ireland in an international match against the likes of Brazil, Germany and England. Players such as Ray Houghton and John Aldridge quickly established themselves as Irish folk heroes and subjects of Christy Moore ballads, a must to the support of every fan of Irish football, me included.

Houghton and Aldridge were able to take advantage of the famous “Granny Rule”, established by the world football governing body, FIFA, which states that “any person who is a naturalised citizen of a country by virtue of that country’s laws shall be eligible to play for a national or representative team of that country”.

The first player to have taken advantage of this ‘back door’ passage to play for the ‘Boys in Green’ was Manchester born Shay Brennan, who in 1965 lined up for Ireland in a World Cup qualifying match against Spain, Ireland incidentally won 1-0. Since Brennan’s ground breaking Irish appearance the flood gates opened and Irish fans have become accustomed to cheering on non-Irish born players to victory.

Jack Charlton was the man though who took the ‘granny rule’ to a whole new level. Perhaps Ireland’s greatest manager of all time, and ironically enough he too, was non-Irish, the former England international was appointed manager of the Irish national team in 1986. He set himself the immediate yet dubious task of qualifying the team for their first ever international tournament – the 1988 European Championships. Charlton famously placed notices on all the notice boards at most English clubs asking for those with any Irish ancestry to declare their interest in playing for the Irish and he’d take care of the rest.

This did not go down well with a lot of the Irish fans and he immediately made himself an easy target for the Irish media, to which he famously responded in his typical honest and upfront way: “ You want me to compete with the best in the World, I’ve got to have the best in the world. And it’s not here in Ireland that I can find it, I’ve got to go to England to find it, or Scotland to find the quality that will make you a team that will compete with the best in the world. Now, if you don’t want to do that, tell me, and I’ll concentrate on the League of Ireland and we’ll win nothing. But give me the freedom to produce results and I’ll produce results.”

Jackie’s Army of course made it to the 1988 Euro Championships, where Ray Houghton famously got the ball and stuck it in the English net. To do the actual goal more justice I’d recommend you do a Google search for Christy Moore’s famous song ‘The Joxer Goes to Stuttgart’ – it will send chills down your spine.

Since the 1994 World Cup, the Irish team’s accomplishments have been few and far between, although the one constant has remained – the influx of non-Irish born players. Many fans argue that the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) has taken too much advantage of the rule and that this has had a negative effect on the local game. It has not become uncommon for the most talented players picking up and moving across the water to ply their trade in the lower leagues of England. More times though, these players get lost through the ranks in England and are eventually lost totally to the game.

A more concerted effort by both the FAI and the Irish Government to prevent this is essential to the sustainability of the local game. These last few years has seen steady decreases in attendances at League of Ireland games and with that has come the inevitable bankruptcy of the several Irish clubs. It has become a battle of the little Irish club versus the English clubs being shown live on the Irish networks every week. Little kids are running around the street of Derry, Dublin and Cork with the names Keane, Kilbane and O’Shea on their English Premier League jersey’s as opposed to wearing the Candystripes of Derry, the Red and White of Shelbourne (Dublin) or the Green and White of Cork.

I have no problem with the majority of these non-Irish born players lining up in the Green shirt. For the most part they genuinely are playing because their immediate family is Irish and they have close ties to the country. There are some cases though where you need to sit back and think, “Why on earth would we want him playing for us?”

2013 North American Gaelic Championships Update
Plans are well under way for this year’s North American Championships that will be held at the Barton-Bradley Complex in North Olmsted, in Cleveland, Ohio. We are only a few months away and this is turning out to be a significant, impactful and game-changing event, one not to be missed. From football and hurling to the music and pipers, the stage is being set for a memorable weekend, for not just Clevelanders, but for those we will be welcoming from all over North America and Canada. For more updates on the Finals, please visit www.gaacleveland.com, www.facebook.com/gaacleveland and on www.twitter.com/gaacleveland

*Originally from Derry City, Mark is Chairman of St Patrick’s Gaelic Football Club in Cleveland. He can be reached at markfromderry@gmail.com

“Follow me where I go, what I do and who I know;
O’Bent Enterprises includes:
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