Tag Archives: Irish

Sunnyside-based NY Shamrock Soccer Club continues to grow after over 50 years

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo by Dinos Avlonitis

One Sunnyside-based soccer club has been taking the field for over 50 years and only plans on getting stronger and bigger.

The NY Shamrock Soccer Club, a member of the Cosmopolitan Soccer League, was founded in 1960 and has since grown in its western Queens community including players from all over the borough, city, nation and different parts of the world.

Currently, with more than 100 players, the club has four adult teams — the NY Shamrocks, NY Shamrocks Reserves, NY Shamrocks Over 30s, and most recently the NY Shamrocks Women’s team.

Photo by John Riordan

The Shamrocks Over 30s pictured before their 3-2 victory over Gottschee at Randall’s Island on Oct. 12. (Photo by John Riordan)

“[The club is] proud of its heritage, of being an Irish club and proud of being part of the community for over 50 years,” said John Riordan, the treasurer on the club’s committee and also a player for the past four years. “It’s a nice spread and it’s definitely fun to go back to [The Courtyard Ale House] after a game. It’s an amazing clash of countries back at the bar.”

The goal right now for the club, along with bringing home as many wins as possible, is to advance in the 21st century, become more involved and known in the community, and reconnect various generations of Shamrocks, according to Riordan.

Photo by Eoin Sweeney

Photo by Eoin Sweeney

“There are a lot of old Shamrocks that have lost touch with the club and we’re trying to re-engage them and just grow the club,” said Riordan, who even met fellow Shamrocks back in Ireland. “People have fond memories of playing with the club. You want to make the club as strong as it can be.”

The original playing ground for the club was at the field at Monsignor McClancy Memorial High School in East Elmhurst, and at the moment the club is looking for a new permanent field to call home.

The teams practice at Randall’s Island Tuesdays and Thursdays, and home games are played at St. Michael’s Playground, right by the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, due to help from Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, said Riordan.

“This has offered us huge stability this season,” he said. “Finding a space to play on regularly is a very difficult process and she helped us along, something we’re very grateful for.”

The club has also been sponsored by local businesses such as The Courtyard Ale House, Galasso Trucking and Crana Electric.


Club president Sean Mc Mullan pictured with women’s team members Teresa Brink (center) and Farah Aslam (right). (Photo courtesy of the Shamrocks)

Along with hoping to bring home some trophies, the club also plans to have a youth structure in Sunnyside.

“It’s just the best way of meeting people,” Riordan said about the club. “I never thought I would find a club that is as competitive and that takes it as seriously like the Shamrocks.”

On Oct. 12, all three men’s teams took home wins, with the NY Shamrocks First Team winning 6-1 against Doxa FC. The teams will play in the Cosmopolitan League State Cup on Oct. 19.

For more information, visit NYShamrockSC.com or facebook.com/NYshamrockSC.



Volunteers out in force for Irish Day of Action

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Maureen Sullivan


Residents of the Rockaways experienced a different kind of surge as almost 1,000 Irish volunteers arrived to lend a hand in a massive display of community spirit.

Seven different meeting points throughout Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx were busy at the crack of dawn on Saturday, November 24 as volunteers boarded chartered buses to the areas most badly hit by superstorm Sandy.

The New York Irish Center in Long Island City was one such meeting point and also one of several Irish organizations that joined forces to create this special day of service.

“Our aim was to get as many able-bodied people to help out as possible; to make one big, united effort,” said Jane McCarter, the Center’s arts and cultural director.

Before they departed, volunteers were given T-shirts to wear with a slogan that read “Irish Day of Action,” and underneath it, one word familiar to many that day: “Meitheal” (meh-hull), the Gaelic word to describe the long Irish tradition of coming together to help one’s neighbor.

This was by no means the first relief effort by the Irish community; it was a move to support existing efforts, according to Peter Ryan, deputy consul general of Ireland who was present that day.

“We are complementing what was already being done,” he said. “We felt that it would be nice for everyone to come together and show solidarity.”

He estimated that, combined with volunteers already on the ground, the Irish Day of Action brought an additional 500 helpers, bringing the total to 1,000.

Members from such organizations the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Emerald Guild, the Gaelic Athletic Association and the Emerald Isle Immigration Center worked together in small groups that local coordinators assigned to devastated homes in areas like Breezy Point and Hamilton Beach – places that many generations of Irish Americans have called home.

“I don’t know what we would do without you, I really don’t,” said Cathy Segur, 63, of Old Howard Beach, as she watched a team of volunteers gut the home of her 90- year-old aunt, Elizabeth McCord.

Irish native Des McGoldrick, 47, his wife Fran, and their two college-age children, Chris and Caitlin, spent the day together, working on McCord’s home. Part of a team of 12, they spent hours clearing the house of its contents and knocking down walls.

“It was shocking. [That house] is as bad as it gets,” said Des, “but I was certainly impressed by all the volunteers. They were there for one reason – to get the work done.”

St. Patrick’s Day around Queens

| brennison@queenscourier.com


Queens’ St. Patrick’s parades have passed and for those that want to avoid the madness of Manhattan there are a plethora of options right here in the borough. Bars around Queens borough are serving up St. Paddy’s Day specials, so revelers can save some green.

Here are some spots around the borough to celebrate:

Austin Ale House, Kew Gardens:

Live music Friday and Saturday with a complimentary corned beef and cabbage buffet from 3-5 p.m. on St. Patrick’s Day and food and drink specials all day.

Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden, Astoria:

Receive a St. Paddy’s Day mug with unlimited refills on select beers for just $15. There will also be live music, $4 shots of Bushmills, $5 shots of Jameson, $6 Jager bombs, $7 Irish car bombs and $10 corned beef and cabbage with potatoes and carrots.

Bourbon Street, Bayside:

Friday the restaurant will feature a pre-St. Patrick’s Day happy hour drink specials and “green” giveaways. On St. Paddy’s Day watch the parade from the bar with live music, free corned beef and cabbage from 3-5 p.m. For those suffering a post-holiday hangover the bar has a Sunday brunch with Bloody Mary drink specials.

Donovan’s, Bayside:

The New York institution since 1966 will be serving up a traditional Irish breakfast on St. Patrick’s Day between 9-11:30 a.m. Live Irish music by The Sporting Paddies will be performed between 5-8 p.m.

Gibbons’ Home, Maspeth:

The recently reopened Irish pub will feature live Irish music Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Strawberry’s Sports Grill, Douglaston:

Darryl Strawberry’s restaurant will be featuring drink specials all day including: $2 Coors Lights, $3 domestic drafts, $3 green Jell-O shots, $4 Guinness drafts, $4 Killian’s, $5 Jameson shots and $7 car bombs. Fill up with smoked corned beef and coleslaw specials all day.

Studio Square, Astoria:

Enjoy a free corned beef and cabbage buffet between noon and 5 p.m. Wash that down with a pitcher of Killian’s Irish Red and three shots of Jameson for $18 or $2 Jameson shots.

Safari Beach Club, Bayside:

The bar will open at 8 a.m. and feature $5 Irish coffees. There will be free shots for ladies between 2-6 p.m. and live music beginning at 11 a.m.

Woodside, once the heart of Queens’ Irish-American community, still maintains a strong presence of Irish pride and features some of the best Irish pubs in the city. Stop by Sean Og Tavern, Saints and Sinners, Donovan’s Pub, Molly Blooms in neighboring Sunnyside, amongst a host of others for an authentic pub experience.


The history of St. Patrick and his parade

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com


By Will Sammon

On St. Patrick’s Day, almost everyone wants to be Irish, however, not everyone really knows why. New York City, from 44th Street to 86th Street, will be the biggest site of green attire and leprechaun attitude on March 17, the date of the annual holiday. But how does any of that, and all the beer drinking, relate to the importance of St. Patrick and the origin of the parade?

The History Behind St. Patrick

The answer, as you may have guessed, is nothing. But that is not to say you should not celebrate it, especially if you are of Irish descent.

The presumption that St. Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland is largely a myth, according to Seamus Boyle, national president of the Ancient Order of Hibernians in America, Inc. (AOH). He did, however, convert many Irish people to Catholicism. The Order is a Catholic Irish American fraternal organization founded in New York City in 1836. Within 200 years of Patrick’s arrival, Ireland was completely Christianized.

St. Patrick was born in Britain to wealthy parents near the turn of the 4th century. At the age of 16, Patrick was taken prisoner by a group of Irish raiders who attacked his family’s estate. They whisked him away to Ireland where he spent six years in captivity.

According to his writing, God’s voice told him to leave from Ireland, and after more than six years of being held captive, the saint escaped. He walked nearly 200 miles from County Mayo, where it is believed he was held, to the Irish coast.

After escaping to Britain, Patrick reported that he experienced a second revelation — an angel in a dream told him to return to Ireland as a missionary.

The Parade

The St. Patrick’s Day Parade marched for the first time on March 17, 1762, 14 years before the Declaration of Independence was adopted. Today, it is the largest parade in the world, according to parade secretary Hilary Beirne.

To this day, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade remains true to its roots by prohibiting floats, automobiles and other commercial aspects in the parade. Every year 150,000 to 250,000 marchers, many bagpipe bands, politicians and approximately two million spectators lining up on Fifth Avenue, are involved in the celebration, according to the parade committee.

The St. Patrick’s Day Parade is run by a private corporation, The New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee. The parade workers and committee members are all volunteers.

The first St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York was held on lower Broadway in 1762 by a band of homesick Irish expatriates and Irish military serving with the British Army stationed in the American colonies in New York City, according to Beirne. This was a time when the wearing of green was a sign of Irish pride and was banned in Ireland. The parade participants reveled in the freedom to speak Irish, wear the green, sing Irish songs and play the pipes to Irish tunes that were deeply meaningful to the Irish immigrants who had fled their homeland.

The Parade starts at 44th Street at 11 a.m. and is held every March 17, except when March 17 falls on a Sunday; it is celebrated the day before, because of religious observances. The parade marches up Fifth Avenue, past St. Patrick’s Cathedral at 50th Street, all the way up past the Metropolitan Museum of Art and American Irish Historical Society at 83rd Street to 86th Street, where the parade finishes around 4:30 to 5 p.m.


Sunnyside and Woodside hold St. Pat’s For All Parade

| brennison@queenscourier.com

3-4 St. Pats (FINAL6)

Woodside and Sunnyside recently showed their Irish side.

The 2012 St. Pat’s For All Parade was held on Sunday, March 4, beginning in Sunnyside at 47th Street and Skillman Avenue and ending in Woodside at 58th Street and Woodside Avenue.

The parade featured a wide variety of marchers, from residents and elected officials to community groups and visitors from the Emerald Isle. The grand marshals were Peter Quinn, a novelist and Irish historian, and Mary Brosnahan, executive director of the Coalition for the Homeless.

First held more than a decade ago, the parade celebrates the diversity of the Irish communities of New York and is open to all feeling green.

“I think the parade was one of the largest we have ever had,” said Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer. “The weather was unusually good. We had a lot of marchers and it was a very fun parade.”