Monday, May 27, 2024

WATCH: GAA star makes NFL draft announcement from Ireland

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Kerry Gaelic football captain Paudie Clifford made history on Saturday by becoming the first-ever person to announce a Pittsburgh Steelers draft pick in Ireland. 

Clifford, a Steelers fan, announced the Steelers fourth-round selection on Saturday, which saw the NFL franchise select Mason McCormick, guard for South Dakota State. 

With the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks forming a majestic backdrop, Clifford was accompanied by six local children who chanted “Here we go, Steelers” as the Kerry captain announced the pick. 

Paudie Clifford announcing a pick from Kerry.

Absolutely unreal.#NFLDraft @SteelersIreland

pic.twitter.com/l9MM3TD8dS


— Michael McQuaid (@Michael_NFL) April 27, 2024

“I was a bit nervous, but it was a great honor,” Clifford told the Steelers website after making the announcement. “It was just surreal to do it and I was very thankful to be asked to do it on behalf of the Pittsburgh Steelers.” 

Last May, the Steelers celebrated their long-standing connections to Ireland by securing international marketing rights for Ireland and Northern Ireland. 

The NFL franchise has also indicated its desire to play a game in Ireland as part of the NFL’s Global Markets Program.

Clifford said it would be a “dream come true” to see an NFL game take place in Ireland for the first time. 

Ireland has never hosted a regular-season NFL game, but the Steelers did beat the Chicago Bears in a pre-season friendly at Croke Park in August 1997. 

Clifford said he hopes to see the team make a return to GAA headquarters in the future. 

“It would be a dream come true to see a Steelers game in Croke Park”, he told the Steelers website.

“Hopefully that would be sooner, rather than later – there would be massive interest in Ireland to see something like that.” 

Clifford also praised the Steelers for their efforts to establish a presence in Ireland over the past 12 months. 

“It’s great to see the effort and the amount that they are putting into the Irish side of things. It’s kind of unbelievable how much they have put into it.” 

Dan Rooney, Director of Business Development & Strategy for the Steelers, said the NFL franchise viewed Ireland as a special place after obtaining marketing rights last May. 

Meanwhile, the New York Jets, who followed the Steelers into the Irish market last month through the NFL’s Global Market Program, also made a draft announcement from Ireland to celebrate their new partnership with the Emerald Isle. 

The franchise announced their fourth-round pick from Dublin, selecting Braelon Allen, running back for Wisconsin. 

Greg O’Shea, a former “Love Island” contestant who now works as a host for Virgin Media’s “Six O’Clock Show”, made the announcement for the Jets on Saturday.

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