THE WILD GEESE GAA CLUB HISTORY
TONY MC CARTHY
Year Club Was Formed: 1979
How was the club formed?
All of the club founders met every Sunday at the Christian Brothers of St Patrick’s in Huntington Beach (OC). The priests said Mass for everyone and then participated in the games and festivities. Hurling was tried first, but it seemed that football had more potential, so they continued as a football club. The catchment area for the club was Orange County – LA. San Diego had their own teams. At the time there was no active GAA in OC until the Wild Geese was set up. The name the Wild Geese was put up to a vote and is based upon the Flight of the Earls / Emigration etc.
The Flight of the Wild Geese was the departure of an Irish Jacobite army under the command of Patrick Sarsfield from Ireland to France, as agreed in the Treaty of Limerick on 3 October 1691, following the end of the Williamite War in Ireland.
More broadly, the term “Wild Geese” is used to refer to Irish soldiers who left to serve in continental European armies in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.
Emigration etc. At the time of founding the club, there were only 100+ members from all over the world. The Geese recruited many americans, as there was a huge effort to make the club cross cultural. The Geese brought a hurling team to the Kilmacud Crokes 7-aside tournament in Dublin before the All Ireland final,the won the shield division.
The club hosted several Irish teams down through the years in both football and hurling, such as Civil Service, Synge St, Knockmore, Crossmaglen, Ballyboden and many more. The Geese players put the players up in their own houses, fed them and brought them around sight-seeing / meeting Irish people.
The Wild Geese also hosted several inter county teams too, such as Armagh, Roscommon and Kerry. Again the Geese players put them up in their own houses, fed them and brought them around sightseeing / meeting Irish people.
The Wild Geese hosted the All Stars in 1979.
Past players that played for the Geese include Tom Heneghan (Roscommon), Geroid O Toole (Dublin, Nicholas Clavin (Offaly), Fr Jarlath Culhane (Sligo), Kevin Mulholland (Galway), and Martin Doherty (Cork).
The Geese got together every Sunday at the Brothers at Huntington Beach and played games. All the families attended and they played music, danced and had BBQs – hundreds attended – it was their home-away-from-home.
They fundraised for the Christian Brothers at the events and to pay for the expenses of the club.
It was a great place for fellow Irish people to meet with each other and many got work opportunities from these social events.
The Geese once had a local newspaper called “Ceangailt”, which gave relevant information to the Irish community here in Southern California.
There has been a revival of the geese over the past decade. Today the Wild Geese have 35-54 active registered members.
The playing panel is comprised of players from all corners of Ireland, and counties Donegal, Galway, Clare, Kerry, Cork, Dublin, Leitrim and Tyrone are proudly represented. We are very proud to say that we can be considered a multi-national Gaelic Football team, with players from the US, Jordan, Australia, Mexico all forming part of the team.
See below for the official 2016 Committee Members Contact details
|Vice Chairperson||Thomas Dolanfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Public Relations Officer||Michelle O'Connoremail@example.com|
|Club Development Officer||Eoin O Cruadhlaoichfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Youth Officer||Conor McAlinneyemail@example.com|
|Honoree President||Kevin Mc Donnellfirstname.lastname@example.org|