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New York City firefighters tog out for commemoration match
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Captains Mark O'Brien and Shaun Campbell are led out by piper Stephen Byrne. Photo Brian McDaid

New York City firefighters swapped their uniforms for GAA jerseys as they took on colleagues from Donegal in a 1916 commemoration game.

Fifty-four firefighters have spent the past few days in Donegal ahead of being guests of honour at Croke Park tomorrow for the National League finals.

The New York Fire Department representatives were in Letterkenny as part of an ongoing friendship with their Irish colleagues.

The Donegal service raised money for the New York men and women after the 9/11 terror attacks.

The Americans had returned the favour by donating money to the local community centre three years ago and they were back in Donegal yesterday to make another donation. Among them were two New York firefighters with parents from the county - Denis McCool (56), whose father was from Clonmany, and Eddie Boles (53), whose mother was from Fintown.

"Irish firefighters were so supportive of us and our colleagues after 9/11," said Eddie. "Since then, we have expanded our links with firefighters in Dublin and Donegal."

The sides played both a soccer game and a GAA match yesterday.

Mark O'Brien, originally from Ballyshannon and a former member of the Aodh Ruadh GAA club, led out his fellow New York firefighters for the game.

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