Up to 2,500 Roscommon people are expected to make the trip to New York this weekend as the county’s senior football team commence their Connacht Championship campaign against New York in Gaelic Park on Sunday.
Club Rossie are hosting two official functions in New York over the weekend to coincide with the ‘Roscommon exodus.’
There is a corporate event at the American-Irish Historical Society on Thursday evening. Both Roscommon main sponsors, Sean Mulryan and Tom Hunt, will be in attendance, and the special guest on the night will be well-known Boyle-born actor Chris O’Dowd.
Then on Friday night Club Rossie hold a special ‘Meet and Greet’ event in Rosie O’Grady’s on 7th Avenue, which will be attended by guests including Roscommon’s joint managers, Kevin McStay and Fergal O’Donnell. The MC on the night will be Willie Hegarty. Both these events are ticket only.
The Roscommon players will travel to New York on Thursday morning (today). They will be staying in New Jersey for the duration of the trip. The team will travel home on Monday night, arriving into Ireland early on Tuesday morning.
As for the Roscommon supporters, big crowds are expected to socialise in the various well-known Irish pubs in Manhattan. Establishments in New York that have Roscommon connections – such as McKeon’s Bar on Mclean Avenue and The Riverdale Steakhouse (both of which are located close to Gaelic Park) – are expected to do a roaring trade over the weekend.
The big game takes place on Sunday, with a 4 pm start. The last time the sides met at Gaelic Park was in May 2011 and on that occasion Roscommon won by 3-21 to 1-11.
If Roscommon win on Sunday they will face Leitrim in the Connacht quarter-final on Sunday, May 22nd next.