Gaelic Gaming in New York City

An exploration of the Gaelic gaming community in New York City both past and present.

Project summary

This project is an exploration of the Gaelic gaming community in New York City both past and present. Drawing on primary source research of early 20th century newspapers and present day interviews with players, we will compare and contrast the modern experience with the past. Particular focus will be ascribed to the transatlantic community that Gaelic gaming has spawned.

Exploring the deep connections between Ireland’s gaming community and New York’s we will explore how a transatlantic community is created and sustained. Over the course of my research it became clear that constructing a transnational community requires maintaining strong individual ties across countries, creating systems of support for those crossing the Atlantic, and involving young people in order to continue on traditions.

01 Interviews

02 Research Paper

Gaelic Footbal & Hurling


The following is a series of interviews with players deeply involved in the Gaelic gaming community of New York.

Interview with Tommy Kavanagh

Tommy Kavanagh is an Irish born hurler. He moved to New York after college and became involved in the Gaelic gaming community right away. His interview highlights the true sense of community to be found through Gaelic games, as well as the ways the Irish diaspora in New York work to support one another.

Interview with Aisling Daly

Aisling Daly is an Irish born Camogie player. She began playing in Ireland and has played a role in the development of a women’s gaming scene in New York. She coaches younger Camogie players in her spare time and plays for her own team. Her interview offers perspective on the administrative work it takes to uphold a trans-Atlantic community.

Interview with Margaret Brady

Margaret Brady is an American born Camogie and Gaelic football player. She became involved in Gaelic games through a friend in elementary school and hasn’t stopped playing since. Margaret is one of New York’s best players and has competed both here and in Ireland. She also coaches younger teams. Margaret attends college in Ireland, but was kind enough to be interviewed the day before her flight. Unfortunately, some of Margaret’s interview was lost due to technical difficulties.

Interview with Shane Slattery

Shane Slattery is an American born hurler and footballer. He has been playing the sport since childhood. In his interview he talks about growing up with Gaelic games and provides insight into the ways social media has impacted the Gaelic gaming community. Shane will be graduating from Fordham University this spring.

New York City, – Irish depositors of the Emigrant Savings Bank withdrawing money to send to their suffering relatives in the old country

The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1880

Research Paper

The Role of Gaelic Games in New York City and Ireland in the Strengthening of a Trans-Atlantic Irish Nationalism in the Late 19th and Early 20th Century



I reached out to the New York branch of the Gaelic Athletic Association in order to find subjects to interview. They GAA was very accommodating and gave me players to speak with. I framed my interview as a conversation and kept in mind the transatlantic aspects of the sport.

Guiding Questions for Interviews

  • A brief explanation of the sport?
  • Your team? Involved in county?
  • How long have you been playing? Where is it?
  • How’d you start?
  • Where’d you grow up?
  • What’s the most important part of the game to you?
  • Most vivid memory of the game?
  • How many players are Irish, Irish-American? Are there different attitudes or differences?
  • Have you visited Ireland? Did you play there? Have you played with people visiting from Ireland?
  • Are you involved in other Irish communities?
  • Do you feel part of a larger community?


  • Casey, Marion. Making the Irish-American: History and Heritage of the Irish in the United States. New York: NYU Press, 2007.
  • Darby, Paul. Gaelic games, nationalism and the Irish diaspora in the United States. Dublin: University College Dublin Press, 2009.
  • Rouse, Paul. Sport and Ireland: A History. New York: OUP Oxford, 2015.
  • Rouse, Paul. “The Triumph of Play,” in The GAA & Revolution in Ireland 1913-1923, ed. Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh. Cork: The Collins Press, 2015.


Finn Clarke

Finn Clarke is a History Major at NYU’s College of Arts and Science. Thanks to his Irish roots, he has always taken an interest in Irish culture, particularly how it sustains itself in the US. Despite what the subject of this research might lead you to believe, Finn is almost entirely unathletic and prefers reading, going to concerts, and generally relaxing to sports. Working on this project, especially the interviews, proved a rewarding experience and he encourages others to go out and speak to people they find interesting.

Next Project

Approaches to Messy Digitized Archival Documents