Ireland is trying to persuade the Rutgers University Scarlet Knights football team to play a Big Ten Conference football game there next season.
The pitch was made to a group of about fifteen New Jersey legislators visiting there earlier this month by Padraic O’Kane, an Irish sports promotor.
Notre Dame is set to face off against Navy at Aviva Stadium in Dublin in August 2023, and O’Kane is seeking another American college game to play there in the future.
“The growth of the playing college football regular season games as part of the Aer Lingus College Football Classic was delayed during the pandemic and this year American universities will begin this new annual tradition with Northwestern playing Nebraska and next year Notre Dame will face Navy,” said Assembly Majority Whip Carol Murphy (D-Mount Laurel). “It was exciting to learn that Ireland has great interest in bringing Rutgers University over to play a conference game in the future and that would be tremendous for the student athletes and the exposure for our state university.”
Murphy, the national co-chair of the American Irish State Legislators Caucus, led a bi-partisan delegation of lawmakers from April 7-13.
“The historic trip by our bi-partisan delegation of New Jersey state lawmakers was important to kick off the national effort of brining the American Irish State Legislators Caucus across to have important conversations about our respective economic futures, embrace the tremendous relationship shared by our nations over history and build the support necessary for continued peace,” said Murphy.
The group also sought to demonstrate solidarity as the Good Friday Agreement neared its 25th Anniversary.
“The Support of the United States at all levels State and Federal has been and remains important to sustaining peace on our Island,” said Senator Mark Daly, the chairman of the Ireland Senate. “It was important for Ireland that the New Jersey American Irish State Legislators Caucus came to Dublin and went to Northern Ireland to see for themselves the results and need for US involvement.”
The group headed by Murphy includes over 1,000 state legislators from all 50 states.