Taking the Field of Glory: Midwest Gaelic Athletic Association Begins Summer Play
By Vincent Beach
Midwest Gaelic Sports News
An bhfuil sibh réidh? Tá súil againn é. Nearly the start of Monday night football there – are you ready … for some GAA? The schedule is posted; The Cleveland Memorial 7’s kicks-off the action for men’s and ladies’ football on May 21 in Cleveland. Thereafter, championship play begins for all codes (football, hurling, and camogie).
The men’s football is divided into pools: Detroit, Cleveland, & Cincinnati; Buffalo Fenians, Buffalo Na Fianna, Pittsburgh; and Albany, Syracuse & Roc City (Rochester). The clubs will play one home and one away with those in their pool and are free to arrange friendly matches during off-weekends.
The ladies’ football will also play a home and away series, but the pool is limited to Cleveland, Buffalo Fenians, & Pittsburgh. To facilitate the newly formed camogie (ladies’ hurling) games and dual plays, football and camogie matches are schedule for the same day/same city. That is, the Cleveland ladies and Pittsburgh ladies will each host a double header of football and camogie.
On the hurling-side, the clubs arranged for each city to host a Blitz. There, the host club will play a double header and all three other clubs will travel in for one match each. The summer-game play record will be the base for the Midwest GAA Finals seeding. This year the games will be played in Rochester on Saturday August 6 and Sunday August 7th. Comhairdheas ag Rochester! Just a reminder – the USGAA Finals are close this year in Chicago, starting August 19 through August 21.
Cleveland 7-A-Side Gaelic Football Tournament – A Special Memorial
This year we honor a great GAA family, the Mulloy’s, and specifically Steve Sr. and Steve Jr. Thomas Mulloy and the family provided iIrish with the following words about their father and brother:
Steve Mulloy Sr. was born and raised in the town of Keel, on Achill Island, Co. Mayo, a teenage Steve Mulloy Sr. attended St. Jarlath’s College, Tuam, Co. Galway. Founded in 1801, the institution was a renowned secondary school for young men in Ireland’s western counties, including Steve’s native Co. Mayo. He played many years with Cleveland St. Patrick’s Gaelic Football Club.
Around 1980, Steve and a handful of other Irish immigrant footballers helped a group of young footballers, mostly American born to Irish parents, start their own club ,after feeling passed over on game days in favor of the older, longtime players who may have lost a step or two. Along with other older former players for St. Pat’s club, Steve Sr. aided the young “narrowbacks” with organization, fundraising and other details to launch a new club (narrowback is an American-born offspring of Irish parents).
Shortly after the establishment of St. Jarlath’s Gaelic Football Club in Cleveland, Steve returned from a trip to Ireland. He brought with him a beat up, old brown suitcase. Inside were full uniforms – jerseys, shorts and long socks that rose up and cuffed just under the knee. For as long as I can remember, my dad was always helping young Irish Americans get involved in their Irish culture, whether teaching young West Side IA junior fife & drum marchers or encouraging them to form traditional Irish music or Celtic rock bands, he understood the importance of grooming the next generation to become caretakers of the heritage.
He had also served on WSIA board and as club president, served as delegate and executive director of the United Irish Societies in putting on the St. Patrick’s Day parade, was involved with Irish Northern Aid, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, and so many other organizations, especially leading roles in raising funds for causes.
Steve and his wife Anne raised eight boys and two girls in Cleveland. Stephen Mulloy Sr. passed away on June 29, 2008, at the age of 74.
Steve Mulloy Jr. Young Steve or Stevie was an ardent young footballer with St. Patrick’s Football club minors and juniors. He was a founding member of St. Jarlath GFC. fter retiring from the game, Steve faithfully supported the club at its fundraisers and other events, not only attending home matches, but also following the team for Midwest road games. But Young Steve took it further than that – he would routinely pop up at GAA North American County Board Finals across the country to show his support to the lads.
On those trips, his exploits and adventures are legendary among the fellow footballers who conspired with him in all sorts of road-trip mischief and mishaps. Young Steve loved all sports – but the Gaelic game was very close to his heart; his Cleveland Gaelic football team and friends were even closer.
Young Steve passed away this past July 8, 2021, at the age of 62. Suaimhneas síoraí dár n-anam. Join the Cleveland Irish community and Gaelic Athletic Association on Saturday, May 21st at the West Side Irish American Club for a day of Irish games, Irish hospitality, traditional music, agus craic!
Cleveland St. Pat’s/St. Jarlath’s
Over thirty new players have been out to training for the adult football, hurling, and camogie teams, and it is not too late to join them. Join what? Join a great group of fun people to play competitive sports and socialize.
It is literally the cheapest personal training you will get! Kicking and catching balls with friends will take you back to the fun you may have had on your youth teams, but then there is advantage of the occasional barley-pop afterwards.
Men’s and ladies’ football is Tuesdays and Thursdays at the WSIA (see below) from 6:30PM to 8PM. Hurling and camogie is Wednesdays 6PM-8PM in Seven Hills, and Sundays at the WSIA.
Cleveland Hurling/Camogie City Series
Draft day for the 4-team league was April 16th, with games beginning May 1st. The games will be played at the WSIA on Sunday late-mornings. Switching gears slightly, the GAA and WSIA will co-host their annual Night at the Races on May 14th, up at the club (WSIA). Once again, the best deal in town for fun and pints of the plain stuff. Tickets go fast, so reach out to either the GAA or WSIA soon.
Cleveland Continental Youth Championships
St. Pat’s – St. Jarlath’s will hosted a series of free Friday indoor sessions, where new players learned the skills and played a few games. The regular spring/summer series will cover eleven weeks, as the program is gearing up to amass youth teams for the largest GAA event outside of Ireland, the Continental Youth Championships.
The CYC’s will take place in Chicago this year over four days, July 28-31. The tournament is great fun for the children and minors while very exciting for the parents. Youth training sessions for all ages will be on Fridays in May (6, 13, 20) from 630PM – 730PM. In June and July, trainings will be on Thursdays ahead of the adult football practices, from 5PM-615PM. All training sessions are at the WSIA. For more info on the youth program, contact ClevelandYouthGAA@gmail.com.
Go raibh míle maith agaibh (
Thanks y’all) to our readers and supporters. We need your help and involvement, but would most like to share the fun of Irish sport and Cleveland community with you. Consider getting involved at any level. Fáilte (welcome) to all. The Gaelic Athletic Association is Ireland’s largest sporting organization, and a bit of home for the Irish abroad here in the US of A. Beyond sports, the Association also promotes Irish music, song and dance, and the Irish language as an integral part of its objectives. Cleveland GAA is open to all who want to play competitive sports, meet new people, and join an athletic, fitness-minded club for all ages.
Follow @ClevelandGaelic on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for the 2022 activities for Men, Women, and Youth, or visit ClevelandGAA.com.
*Vincent Thomas Francis Xavier Beach is a proud Greater Clevelander and emigrant of Michigan. He joined the St. Pat’s Gaelic Football Club in 1999 and, with much help, is the current caretaker of the Cleveland GAA. His Irish is a cross of dialects from the University of Cincinnati and An Cheathrú Rua. With his wife, Michelle, he enjoys watching time absolutely fly by as their children, Ambrose (12), Bernadette (11), and Cedric (7), grow. His other hustles are coaching CYO basketball at St. Mary of Berea, coaching soccer in Olmsted TWP, teaching Construction Management at CWRU, and laying down some engineering skills on local water/wastewater projects.