Tag Archives: Stockholm Gaels

Was it worth it?

The John Aherne trophy- staying in Stockholm for another year.

Every midnight call. Every e-mail. Every sms saying “I can’t come to training”.

Every bruising training session. Every pulled calf muscle. Every tight hamstring.

Every night spent pacing a pitch in the darkness.

Every kit order. Every bank transfer. Every missed DHL delivery.

Every referee. Every player. Every volunteer.

Every missed point. Every fluffed chance. Every bad bounce.

Every late night. Every early morning. Everything inbetween.

Yesterday we did it.

We retained our crown against some fantastic footballers, in some horrible conditions.

Was it worth it?

Damn right it was. And it’ll be worth it again next year. And the year after that.

First in, best dressed

It’s all happening for the Gaels this week, on and off the field.

Tonight is the last training session before the championship at Årstafältet on Saturday, and yesterday the book became available for pre-order in Sweden via the Bokus web site.

As if that wasn’t enough, today our sportswear supplier O’Neills launched the Stockholm Gaels range of merchandise on their website.

Great achievements for our club and we’re all very proud, but it’ll all count for very little if we don’t do the business on the pitch on Saturday…

Why Micheal might be the man for Ireland

Micheál ó Muircheartaigh - foreword (sic) to the Aras?

When I was looking for someone to write the foreword for this book, there weren’t too many suitable candidates.

It’s not that I’m choosy, it’s just that both the publisher and I didn’t want a foreword for the sake of it. We wanted someone who could add something to the story.

Broadcaster- and now possible Irish presidential candidate – Micheál ó Muircheartaigh was one of few who fit the bill.

It’s not just his lifelong love of Gaelic games, or the Irish language, or Irish culture that made him a perfect choice.

It was obvious from the moment that he got on the phone to me to discuss it that, not only did he understand what our club and our games and this book meant to us, he understood our situation as Irish people abroad trying to make a go of it.

I’m never star-struck, but I’ll admit to being nervous as I waited for him to come on the line. All that melted away as the voice of a thousand Sunday afternoons greeted me and started to ask about the Stockholm Gaels and the state of football and fishing and dog racing in Scandinavia.

Micheál has travelled all over the world to act as a guest commentator for Gaelic games played from San Francisco to Shanghai. He has handed out medals and trophies and comhgairdeagaises to players on every continent.

He has listened to our stories, our troubles and our triumphs and treated us no differently to any other club at home.

Because at the heart of it, after a long, illustrious broadcasting career based on a powerful grá for the games, Micheál understood why we have to do this. Even at the age of 80, the love burns as brightly as it ever has.

I know nothing of Micheál’s politics so I cannot recommend that anyone vote for him. But what I do know is that you will travel far and wide to find a more intelligent, sensitive soul with such an instinctive understanding of the Irish people.

Loved by many and respected by most, he is the kind of non-political figure, a father of the nation, that we could all rally behind.

And just as he has described so many marches to glory in the past, he might finally feature in one of his own – up the North Circular Road, and all the way to the Phoenix Park.


“A Parish Far From Home”

From the preface:

‘This story is not about sport alone. This is a story about what Irish emigrants abroad have achieved despite a lack of resources, despite still living in the shadow of our neighbour across the water, and despite being weighed down by the stupidity of some of the decisions made by our politicians.Even today none of us takes the decision lightly to leave our family and friends and go and try our hand in another country. But if we do … thanks to those who have gone before us, there is often a community ready and waiting to help us out on our arrival … You will find new friends and team mates who will do everything they can to support you. It won’t exactly be the same as your home parish — nothing ever could be. But what you can do is band together with these people to build something new and vibrant that you can all be proud of — a parish far from home.’