Páirc na nGael
|Former names||Innisfail Park|
|Location||Kingsbridge, Bronx, New York City, New York, United States|
|Public transit||New York City Subway: train at 238th Street station|
|Operator||New York GAA|
|Construction cost||$3 million |
|Project manager||Michael Antonaccio|
|New York GAA (1926–present)|
Manhattan SC (USL2) (2019–present)
Manhattan Jaspers (soccer, men's lacrosse, softball)
Gaelic Park (Irish: Páirc na nGael) is a multi-purpose outdoor athletics facility, located at West 240th Street and Broadway in the Kingsbridge neighborhood of the Bronx in New York City, New York, United States. Since 1926 the grounds has been used as the venue for Gaelic games in New York, and since its purchase by Manhattan College in 1991 it has hosted numerous American college athletic events.
Located just west of Broadway and south and west of Van Cortlandt Park in the northernmost part of the Bronx just south of the city border with Westchester County, Gaelic Park was purchased in 1926 by the Gaelic Athletic Association of Greater New York. It has been given a few different names over time including Innisfail Park, but since the 1950s it has gone by its current name, Gaelic Park, a reflection of the park's decidedly Irish flavor. The park includes a playing field and dance hall. In addition to hurling and football matches, a number of other sporting events take place at Gaelic Park. There are also concerts and dances that feature Irish music both old and new.
Gaelic Park was bought by the Gaelic Athletic Association of Greater New York (GAA) in 1926. It started off as a very rough pitch that served as a social center for the many Irish immigrants to The Bronx. With the absence of film centers and other entertainment complexes, hurling at the park was the main entertainment.
The GAA ran the park for about 10 years until it was forced into bankruptcy, after which the city took over the land. The property was then leased again in 1941 to John "Kerry" O’Donnell, who with the help of his family and friends ran the park, dance hall, and tavern. For several years, it was called "Croke Park" after the main GAA stadium in Dublin.
In 1947, John "Lefty" Devine became the public address announcer and the play by play announcer for Gaelic Park. He did both jobs for at least 18 years until 1965. Devine was born in New York. His father was born in Newmarket-upon-Fergus, County Clare and his mother was born in Mullinahone, County Tipperary. In 1965, it took Mr. Devine about 6 hours to announce the 5 games played there each Sunday. Mr. Devine was the play by play announcer at the Polo Grounds in a Gaelic football match of Meath vs New York.
In 1964, Robert F Kennedy attended a game at Gaelic Park. He addressed the crowd with a microphone. Jokingly, he said to the crowd "Every morning before breakfast my children say 'Up Wexford.'" His paternal grandparents were from New Ross, County Wexford.
As of 1965, Gaelic Park had a capacity of 12,000 people.
The Grateful Dead performed in Gaelic Park on August 26, 1971, to a crowd of 15,000 fans. It would be the last time the band would perform in their original quintet configuration of Jerry, Phil, Pig, Billy and Bobby. Other major bands of the 1970's played here as well, e.g., Chicago, Edgar and Johnny Winter, the J Geils band, and several others.
The park was taken over by Manhattan College in 1991. The college has kept up the traditions of Gaelic Park, as well as doing some significant renovations, and now also uses it for home games of lacrosse, rugby, soccer, and softball.
In early 2007, a $3 million renovation of Gaelic Park began. FieldTurf was laid out to replace the natural pitch, which made it more durable for both American and Gaelic sports. In addition, facilities for softball were improved, and the installation of stadium lighting made night games possible.
New York did not compete in the 2020 and 2021 Connacht Senior Football Championship (a precursor to the 2020 and 2021 Senior All Ireland Football Championships) due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, but returned to competition in 2022 with a first round home game at Gaelic Park against Sligo on Sunday April 17. On April 8, 2023 New York enjoyed their first Connacht championship win at Gaelic Park, beating Leitrim after a penalty shootout.
The first known rugby game was the final game of the Cambridge Vandals north American tour in 1933. The Vandals with a team including several internationals from the United Kingdom prevailed with a late score to maintain their unbeaten record in all eight games played.
|September 9, 1933||New York RFC 11, Cambridge Vandals 14||1933 Cambridge Vandals North American Tour||-|
|June 16, 1982||England 41–0 Eastern RFU||1982 England N. American Tour||-|
- "Gaelic Park - Manhattan College". gonyuathletics.com.
- "GAELIC PARK RENOVATIONS COMPLETE". Manhattan College Athletics.
- Hollander, Sophia (April 10, 2009). "A Bit of Ireland in the Bronx, but Slowly Fading Away" – via NYTimes.com.
- "Manhattan College re-opens Gaelic Park for new season - the Riverdale Press". Archived from the original on September 8, 2012. Retrieved May 30, 2010.
- "New York GAA | GAAinfo.com - Information, Results and Clubs". Archived from the original on November 26, 2011. Retrieved April 6, 2012.
- "Gaelic Park demolition gobsmacks neighbors". The Riverdale Press. Retrieved February 18, 2020.
- "Connacht SFC first round: New York 0-15 Leitrim 0-15 (After extra-time; New York win 2-0 on penalties)". Irish Times. April 9, 2023. Retrieved April 12, 2023.