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This article draws on the concept of transnationalism to examine the role and function of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) among Irish migrant communities in the United States. In particular, it examines the role of the GAA in the production and reproduction of shifting notions of Irish national identification in America. The analyses here are rooted in ethnographic research conducted in the US and Ireland and are informed, theoretically, by the work of Basch, Glick-Schiller and Szanton Blanc (1994) and Duany (2002) on transnational identities. The article argues that Irish nationalism, as constructed and articulated in and through the GAA in America, can be considered as a deterritorialized form of identity rather than one that is necessarily limited or constrained by national borders.
Darby is with the University of Ulster School of Sports Studies, Newtonabbey, Northern Ireland.