Noel O'Connell was born on December 23, 1954 in Cahersiveen, County Kerry, Ireland to Mary (née O’Sullivan) & Patrick J. O’Connell, of the "Andy" O'Connell clan. The youngest of 6 boys, their family immigrated to The Bronx, NY when Noel was six years old. He spent many childhood summers back in his beloved hometown of Cahersiveen, where he developed his lifelong love and passion for Gaelic games. He was very involved with the NY Gaelic Athletic Association throughout his life, in all capacities from player, to coach, to Chairman of the Minor Board. He loved coaching, and did so with his home club of Rockland GAA since 1996.
Noel was the consummate Gael. A great teacher of Gaelic Football, Noel left a lasting impression on the entire New York GAA and Rockland community. His passion for the game was matched by his passion for life. It's impossible to recount all the stories, laughs and games through the years, but suffice it to say, he will be truly missed by a community that owes him a lot.
To help "Keep the Tradition Alive" and to ensure that Noel's memory will be everlasting, the Rockland GAA Scholarship Committee will be hosting their first Noel O'Connell Memorial 5K on Saturday, March 27, 2020. Funds raised will go towards the scholarships given out annually to graduating High School Seniors at the Annual Awards Program held in December.
The race will start and finish at the Clubhouse and will be held on the grounds of Rockland Psychiatric Center.
"What is success?
To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate the beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded!"