Kieran Croke was born in the Bronx to Aiden and Teresa, who like so many others at that time, had emigrated from Ireland. Kieran, his sister Paula, and their parents enjoyed life in New York, but also felt the pull from the Emerald Isle. So, for several of their grade school years, the family lived in Moycullen, County Galway. They chose to return to New York, but continued to spend many memorable summers in Ireland. The family quickly assimilated into the American lifestyle once again, but incorporated the traditions of Ireland, which remain close at heart.
True to the Croke Gaelic sports history, Kieran began playing Gaelic football with the Celtics from U-10 up through U-21. His days as a minor player were filled with many competitive and memorable games, and were the source of many life-long friendships. He continued his playing days at the Junior level with the Celtics, and later at both Junior and Senior grades with the Connemara Gaels.
In 1983, Kieran graduated from Manhattan College, and worked for several years as a civil engineer. In 1986, he chose to make a change, and began his career with the NYPD, rising through the ranks, and working in various commands until he retired from the Employee Management Division as a Deputy Inspector in November of 2006. Since that time, he has been employed at Fordham University, and currently holds the title of Associate Director of Security for the Lincoln Center Campus, where he just happens to call our own Dan Kiely his boss!
One of his proudest accomplishments is the role he played, along with several others, in helping ressurect the NYPD Gaelic Football Club in 1990 by serving simultaneously as President, coach/selector, and player for many years. He currently remains an active club member as its Treasurer.
Kieran's Gaelic Football affiliation also extends to his son's Minor Club, St. Brendan's, where he coaches the U-14 team, and the New York Minor Board, where he serves as Secretary. His most memorable Minor Board achievement came in 2006, when he was manager of the New York U-14 All- Star team who won the Division 3 Feile Peil na nOg Championship, held in County Wicklow. He proudly watched as his son Niall, who was the team's captain, receive the silverware from GAA President Nickey Brennan.
Kieran and his wife Chris live in Monroe, with their three children: Kara, a freshman at Fordham University, Deidre and Niall, who both attend Burke Catholic High School. e takes great pride in seeing all the NYPD GFC has accomplished through the years, and, although retired, hopes to remain a mainstay for years to come.
** FROM THE EIGHT ANNUAL DINNER DANCE JOURNAL. **
KEEPING THE HERITAGE ALIVE