Rangers delegation crosses the Atlantic to promote club and community

May 9, 2016

A delegation from Crossmaglen Rangers GAA club crossed the Atlantic last week to embark on a mission to secure inward investment for south Armagh.

Former Armagh GAA manager and present club chairman, Joe Kernan, and former chairmen Gene Duffy, Tony Brady and Eddie Hughes made up the four man steering group who arrived in New York City last Tuesday to use the club’s influential position as an advocate for inward investment in job creation to enhance the local economy.

As the most successful GAA club in Ireland over the last 20 years, Crossmaglen Rangers are confidently emerging from decades of underinvestment and neglect and their transatlantic trip aims to help remove the existing obstacles and lack of opportunity currently facing young people in the area by building international connections, relationships and partnerships that will enable the club to build for the future.

The four man team had a packed itinerary as they are also using the trip to work to twin with a U.S.-based sporting organisation, to augment their multi-cup winning GAA club.

Following a reception and information evening with New York Irish and business community representatives on Wednesday evening, the delegation continued their campaign of positive promotion of Crossmaglen at the prestigious American Ireland Fund dinner in New York where they met Mr Sean T Kelly, Vice Chair of KPMG and The Ireland Fund. The delegation also headed to Park Avenue where they met with the Irish Consul General Barbara Jones and the vice Consul general Anna McGillacuddy.

Representatives from Crossmaglen Rangers GFC, Tony Brady, Eddie Hughes, Sean T Kelly, Joe Kernan and Gene Duffy pictured at the prestigious American Ireland Fund dinner in New York last week.

Speaking ahead of their US expedition, former chairman Tony Brady said,

“There were promises made in the Good Friday Agreement that deprived areas would see economic benefits from the peace process. That never happened with Crossmaglen.

“Companies have invested in Newry, Dundalk, Carrickmacross and other nearby towns, but we have never seen any business come this way, despite us being very well-placed in terms of a skilled workforce, fiber-optic broadband and accessible transport links.

“We are going to New York with the aim of attracting businesses to south Armagh.

“We think that it would be of particular interest to software and service industries. The local landscape is stunning. It is steeped in history and mythology. Tourism is really starting to take off here. There is just so much potential but it needs to be harnessed. ”

“We want to build those international connections with sporting clubs that will benefit Crossmaglen Rangers club in the long-term,” added the club’s present chariman,  Joe Kernan.

“Due to the British army barracks on our ground during the Troubles, our club could have folded, but we were determined not to let that happen and we went on to win multiple All-Ireland titles.

“We are a very determined people and we know that any business which invests here will benefit from that determination.”