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NYPD Gaelic Football Club


Club History

  • The 1970's - The NYPD Gaelic Football Club has a deep and rich history in the New York City Police Department, dating back to 1970.  Some of the first patrolmen who played for the club in the early years are truly New York's Finest!  They include Commissioner John Timoney of the Philadelphia PD, the Cassidy brothers Mike, Jimmy, Paddy, and Jerry, Joe Crotty, Noel Moloney, Brendan Tumulty, Joe Firth, Terry Connaughton, Paddy Higgins, Tim Murphy, Richie Dormer, and Marty Dollard, just to name a few.  Who could forget our own Dan Kiely, who has been our coach and constant reminder of the great tradition and pride today's club must live up to! (From the 1st Annual Dinner Dance Journal)
  • The 1990's - There was a brief lapse in the team's history in the late 70's and into the 80's, but thanks to friendships that were formed through the New York GAA Minor Board, gaelic football would return to the NYPD.  In June of1990, Kieran Croke, Marty Mahon and others fielded another great NYPD team.  Kieran led the club for several years both on and off the field, setting a high level of sportsmanship and integrity we will all always be proud of.  By the year 2000, the club expanded from those humble beginnings of t-shirt uniforms in the 1970's, to being a sponsored Gaelic Football Club.  Many great matches took place in the late 90's, setting the stage for the club's historic trips to Ireland in the coming years.  Along with the Fire Department matches, the club played against a Garda Siochana selection, and against the Rockland and Hartford clubs.
  • 2001 - The last thing on anyone's mind in 2001 was Gaelic Football.  September 11th changed every life.  So many great men and women were killed by cowards who say they were doing it in God's name.  They were wrong though, because the men and women who put their personal safety aside on September 11th were truly doing God's work.  The club lost many close friends including Damian Meehan, Dennis McHugh, and Glen Pettit.  May they always rest in peace.
  • 2002 - A busy year for the NYPD Gaelic Football Club.  Charity games were held against the FDNY, Rockland, and Local 608.  The club also made its first trip to Boston to play against the Donegal Junior Club.  These great matches helped raise thousands of dollars for our charities.  The year culminated with the club's historic trip to Ireland.  Our first game on Irish sod was well played by both sides, but in the end the hometown Dubs won out.  Apparently, the referee on the Northern Tip forgot how to tell time, allowing the Donegal Gards to scratch out a draw.  More important than the great display of football, our members enjoyed the tremendous hospitality of people throughout the country. We are deeply grateful to Eugene O'Sullivan, Enda Mulrman, and Tony Doran.
  • 2003 - The team marched on in 2003.  Our annual matches against the FDNY and Rockland again raised a ton of money for our charities.  The club traveled somewhere new in 2003, playing the Washington Gaels down in Maryland.  The club again made its way back to where the sport originated, but it wasn't for football.  The club had the privilege to be present at the dedication ceremony of the magnificent September 11th monument in County Kildare.  The following poem was written by Cheryl Sawyer and was read aloud at the dedication.  The title is, "One."



As the soot and dirt and ash rained over us,

We became one colour.

As we carried each other down the stairs of the burning building,

We became one class.

As we lit candles of hope and rememberance,

We became one generation.

As the firefighters and the police officers fought their way into the inferno,

We became one gender.

As we fell to our knees in prayer and strength,

We became one faith.

As we whispered or shouted words of encouragement,

We spoke one language.

As we gave our blood in lines a mile long,

We became one body.

As we mourned together the great loss,

We became one family.

As we cried tears of rage and grief,

We became one soul.

As we with pride the sacrifice of heroes,

We became one people,

We are One colour, One class, One generation, One gender

One faith, One language, One body, One family, One soul,

One People.

  • 2004 - The Donegal Garda club made its way to Gaelic Park to kick off the 2004 season.  The referee from 2002 must have fixed his watch, because this time the NYPD came out on top.  A fantastic time was had by all during their stay.  The club headed for Beantown for the second time in September, but this time played a historic match against the Boston Police Department.  Again the NYPD prevailed on the pitch, but it was the club charities and all supporters who were the true winners in Boston.  The Dublin Garda visited New York in October.  A hard fought match was played spectacularly at Gaelic Park, but the Dubs thwarted the efforts of the NYPD to pull off the perfect season.  Although the Dublin boys won the game, we again had a great time with them.
  • 2005 - The Boston Police made their way down to Yankee Land in June for the what is becoming the annual charity match with the NYPD.  Boston won the game and took the Glen Pettit Memorial Cup back up north with them. 
  • The Fire Department game was held in early September, with the NYPD again coming up short.  The big winners of these matches though was not the opponents, but the charities we played for. 
  • The NYPD took its show on the road, or plane for that matter, again in 2005.  The club arrived in Dublin at the end of September for the Inaugural International Police Gaelic Football Tournament.  Before the throw in of the tournament though, the team headed south to the true home of the Sam McGuire Cup, the Kingdom.  Although Tyrone stole the show in the All- Ireland, the NYPD and the Kerry County Club arrived in Killarney simultaneously to thousands of fans in the town center.  While we were in Killarney, the Kerry Garda Club hosted us to a match at Fitzgerald Stadium.  Kerry came out on top of this tune up game prior to the tournament.  
  • The match that had people talking all over Dublin was the first round match of the International Tournament featuring the NYPD and the PSNI.  This hotly contested match was not for the feint of heart.  After 60 minutes of what many involved said was their toughest match of their lives, the NYPD came away with what to this day is their most satisfying victory.  The Dublin Garda GAA bullied the London Met Club before meeting the NYPD in the final.  The Americans fell short this time though, as Dublin walked away with the cup in their hands.  The four sides met together after the final for a great banquet where politics and rivalries on the pitch were left at the door, and a fine time was had by all in attendance.
  • 2006 - The club played several exciting matches in 2006.  On July 16th, the Rockland Feis played host to a match between the Rockland and NYPD clubs.  A celebration of Irish culture featuring bagpipes, dancing, and spirits reached its culmination with a friendly between the two clubs.  In the end, Rockland had the better of the play as temperatures topped 100 degrees.  A well deserved thanks goes out to all our supporters who braved the summer heat for the event.  
  • The Annual Charity Match against the Boston Police GFC took place up in Beantown this August.  Prior to the match, many of the NYPD Gaels made it over to Fenway Park to catch a glimpse of the 2006 Boston Massacre.  New Yorkers didn't fair as well on the Gaelic pitch though, as the Boston Police won the game and kept the Glen Petit Memorial Cup up in the Bay State for another year.  
  • The Tipperary Garda Gaelic Football Club crossed the pond to visit New York the first week of October.  Wesley Otero proved to be a great tour guide as the club made its way throughout the Big Apple.  On October 7th, they found their way to Gaelic Park in the Bronx where the NYPD GFC hosted the Police Officer John Brower Charity Match.  The NYPD Gaels held on to an exciting match that featured spectacular play on both ends.  The final score was NYPD 1-18 to Tipp's 2-10, but the true victors on this fine Saturday was the Brower Family.  Thanks to everyone for your support!  
  • Barely a week passed by before the NYPD Gaels were back in action.  The Annual Charity Match against the Fire Department, originally scheduled for September, but postponed due to rain, was up next.  This year the club played for the family of Detective Patrick Rafferty, who was killed in the line of duty on September 4th, 2004.  A chilly Gaelic Park was filled with hundreds of supporters for both sides, but those wearing red went home happy.  After all was said and done, the FDNY earned the right to keep the cup another year with a final tally of 4-10 to 0-11.  This match always draws the largest crowd of the year at the park, and 2006 didn't disappoint.  Both the NYPD Gaelic Football Club and the family of Detective Rafferty thank you all for your support.
  • 2007 -  The Club had a banner year in 2007.  The play opened up with the Annual Charity match with the FDNY.  The game played out to its great expectations, with hard, clean football tilting the score back and forth.  The Hose Jockeys proved a bit too much on this day though, and went on to win the game and keep its streak alive.  Like always, the two clubs raised thousands of dollars for their respective charities.  
  • The Rockland Feis was the next stop on the NYPD Gaelic Football Club schedule.  The feis always provides a first class Gaelic atmosphere, and this Sunday didn't disappoint.  The highlight of the event again was the friendly between the Rockland GAA and the NYPD.  The teams didn't disappoint and the Boys in Blue took the match by a single point!  
  • The International Police Gaelic Football Tournament was the main event on the Club's itinerary this year.  London played fantastic hosts to the event at the end of October.  The week began with a visit by all four participants to New Scotland Yard for a pre-tournament gathering.  The night was topped off by a visit from Sam McGuire himself.  The cup was on vacation from its home in Kerry and greeted the four teams to a great night.   
  • The games got underway as the weekend approached.  The London Met GFC hosted the opening game against the NYPD Gaels, who were led out onto the field by bagpiper, and midfielder Kevin Paynter.  The NYPD steamrolled their hosts and awaited the winner of the following game in the final.  The match between the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the Dublin Garda was another one sided affair as the Dubs looked forward to a 2005 tournament final rematch with the Americans.  
  • On the morning of the final, the NYPD GFC made a stop at Wembley Stadium to visit the eventual Super Bowl Champion New York Giants, as the practiced prior to their history making game with the Miami Dolphins.  Head Coach Tom Couglin accepted our number 23 jersey at a press conference during the practice.  The jersey is retired by the club, as the number represents the twenty three Police Officers killed on September 11th, 2001.  
  • The NYPD Gaels and the Dublin Garda met again to settle the tournament.  This game would be much different than the '05 final, which the NYPD was never really in.  The match got off to a white hot start as spectacular play by Dan McNulty yielded 3 quick points for the New Yorkers.  Dublin battled back.  The first half became brutal at times, but at the half way mark, the game was all knotted.  The second half proved no easier.  The play see-sawed back and forth until John O'Connell put a blazing shot past the Dublin goalie, gibing the NYPD the lead for good.  In stunning fashion, the NYPD Gaelic Football Club won its first ever Internalional Police Gaelic Football Tournament.  Goalie PJ Doherty and his defensive corps did not yield a goal throughout the entire tournament.  
  • Riding high off its victory over seas, the NYPD hosted the Mayo Garda to a charity match on a brisk November night.  Like every other match of the '07 season, the score teetered back and forth.  The Mayo Gards turned out to be a step to quick for the NYPD in the end, taking the match and the trophy back home to Mayo.  The night raised thousands for the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life.