Tánaiste promotes Croke Park Classic with College alumni in New York27 September 2013
Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, T.D., was joined in New York by representatives of Penn State University and the University of Central Florida (UCF) to look ahead to next year’s Croke Park Classic American Football game between the two colleges.
The Tánaiste said:
“In 2012 we welcomed tens of thousands of US visitors for Notre Dame and Navy. Next year is the turn of Penn State and UCF. The colleges are two of the largest in the US with huge alumni networks. My Department will be working with these groups to encourage the supporters to travel and to develop business opportunities between Ireland and the states of Pennsylvania and Florida”
Alison Metcalfe (Executive VP of Tourism Ireland, US and Canada) said:
“The great links between the US and Ireland, forged over generations, mean that fans will immediately feel at home and I would encourage them to spend some time and check out all that Ireland has to offer”
The winner of next year’s Croke Park Classic will be awarded the Dan Rooney Trophy, named in honour of the former US Ambassador to Ireland, Dan Rooney. The Tánaiste paid tribute to the contribution of Ambassador Rooney to Ireland over many decades;
‘Dan is one of Ireland’s finest supporters in the US. From his establishment of the Ireland Funds through his Ambassadorship in Dublin, Dan has contributed so much to Irish culture, sport and the peace process. Dan’s backing for this GAA initiative will help us to ensure that next year’s event is a success, building on the 20% growth in visitor numbers from North America to Ireland so far in 2013’.
‘It is particularly great that for both UCF and Penn State, the visit to Dublin will be their first game outside of the United States. I look forward to welcoming two distinguished coaches of Irish heritage to Ireland - UCF’s George O’Leary and Penn State’s Bill O’Brien.