GAA president Aogan O’Fearghail says looking after the needs of GAA clubs around the world is one of the ‘key areas’ he is going to focus on during his term in office.
Speaking at Monday’s Irish TV Grounds Ruislip naming rights launch O’Fearghail highlighted the importance of emigrants to the association.
“I’m delighted to be back in Ruislip,” O’Fearghail said. “I’ve been here many, many times. Ruislip holds a special place in my heart as president of the GAA.
“As holder of this office which I consider a very special office with a very reserved role in Irish society I’m really delighted to be here on an historic and important occasion for the GAA in London.
“It is for the GAA; we can never forget that. The GAA is a worldwide family. No matter where we go in the world apart from the South Pole we have a GAA club. That is hugely, hugely important.
“I’ve just started on a three year term as president. This is one of the key areas I’m going to focus on – worldwide GAA. We have close to one million members in the GAA. Twenty per cent come from outside of Ireland. That is a huge figure and it is growing. It is growing constantly in Canada, South America, all around the globe.”
O’Fearghail also ‘thanked’ the devoted people who kept Gaelic Games alive throughout the decades in the United Kingdom.
“Particularly here in Britain it is strengthening,” O’Fearghail reflected. “I want to thank as part of the GAA family all of you who have been here for many, many years.
“Those of you who have been here and were proud to be Irish in times that weren’t easy. In times that were difficult. I want to thank and acknowledge the great work you’ve done over the years.
“Those of you who stood when times were difficult and tricky for the GAA. Older members of the GAA in London are special people and we recognise you, we acknowledge you, and we thank you.”