Editor’s Corner & Milestones:
Cleveland is a city of immigrants, yours, neighbors and mine. So much has been going on in the Rock-n-Roll Capitol that it harkens back to the days when Cleveland was the 10th largest city in the U.S., built by immigrants from every nation of the world. There were one or two Irish among them.
It is an exciting time. I grew up here. The missing vibrancy that attracted so many to Cleveland is back, full of vision, dreams and bricks & mortar. Grande openings, ribbon cuttings and announcements of new developments and hotels are each spurring another round of investment, and another, with another chance for Cleveland to shine. Dreams are not only being crafted, but realized too.
The contributions of the Irish have always added so much to Cleveland, much to the United States, much to where ever they settled around the world. They brought labor, music, leadership and yes, games. If you haven’t been to Cleveland in a while, there is much to see; here is your invitation.
Gaelic Football is a cross between soccer and rugby, marked by fast-paced, non-stop action. There are no time outs. In Ohio, Cleveland St. Jarlath’s, Cleveland St. Pat’s and Columbus Naghten Street Gaelic Football Clubs and the Akron Celtic Guards Hurling Club are part of the Midwest Division of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). The Midwest Division is part of the North American County Boards.
Each year the North American Boards hosts a National Championships weekend, with divisional winners from across the United States meeting on the road to The Finals. Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles or Chicago usually host this championship round and the Finals, over Labor Day weekend.
This year, Cleveland is the host. 108 teams will descend upon the city for what will become the biggest and most spectacular North American County Board Games yet. The games of Gaelic Football, Hurling and Camogie will be featured all weekend at Barton-Bradley Fields in North Olmsted, plus music, a cultural village, food and great company. For the Finals schedule, see: gaacleveland.com/2013-playoffs-draw.html.
For a great chance to see Gaelic football before the Games, and 108 teams arrive, check out the GAA schedule in this issue. Save two hours on a Saturday to check out the home teams at a field near you. You’ll be ready for the Finals, and Cleveland will have a home-team advantage second to none.
Congratulations are much in order this month:
To the Cleveland GAA Committee for their work in bringing the GAA Nationals to Cleveland;
To 2012 Northern Ohio Rose of Tralee Ashley Speaker, who got engaged to Kyle Buckel last month;
To Hooligan’s Pub in Put-in-Bay, celebrating their 5th anniversary;
To Croagh Patricks, celebrating their 4th Anniversary;
To Capt. Mike Kilbane, formerly of the North Olmsted Police Department, appointed Chief of Independence Police Department.
So many American dreams … Happy 4th of July; for many Irish, a different kind of independence, even though from the same crown. Many dreamed of America for its freedom, for its freedom from an oppressor, for its freedom of religion and freedom of opportunity. But they didn’t just dream, they took action and they took to the seas.