herald

Thursday 16 August 2018

Chief of Swedish GAA club coming home for battle

The chairman of Stockholm Gaels -- a Swedish club dedicated to GAA -- is gearing up to return to Ireland for this Sunday's epic battle against Kerry.

Die-hard Dubs supporter Philip O'Connor has been living in Stockholm for over 12 years, but is still just as passionate about the sport as he ever was.

"It's the high-point of the year, every Irish person will want to see it," Donnycarney native Philip said.

"I'm coming home on Friday and I can't wait.

"It's been a long time since Dublin claimed an All-Ireland crown, I have to be there," he told the Herald.

A former Ardscoil Ris student and schoolmate of Blues manager Pat Gilroy, Philip has high hopes for Dublin in the title decider and is dedicated to the GAA cause.

"I moved to Sweden in 1999 and live there with my Swedish wife and kids -- but football is still a huge part of my life.

"We set up a GAA club last year in Stockholm and we're the current Scandinavian champions."

Chairman of the Stockholm Gaels -- one of some 400 clubs abroad -- 40-year-old Philip said the support from the Irish community has been fantastic.

"We have 80 members in total and over 50 of them are Irish -- it has really brought the community here together."

But while Philip gears up to watch the big game here, not everyone is as fortunate -- few of those living outside of the country will have the opportunity to see the Dublin vs Kerry battle.

Philip is appealing to RTE to lift its viewing rights for the historic occasion, to allow Irish emigrants take part in the day.

hnews@herald.ie

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