A game for the gods

Hurling draws comparisons to ancient, mythical games, but the secret to its success is that it has remained a thoroughly modern sport, changing with the times when necessary.

10th August, 2013
Michael Collins, Sinn Féin leader and Commander-In-Chief of the Irish Free State Army, throwing in the sliotar to start a hurling match at Croke Park, Dublin in 1921. Photo: Getty

What is it about hurling that so stirs the soul? The answer to that question lies in the unique fusion of past and present that was created in the years after the establishment of the GAA in 1884. The packaging of the game has changed significantly in the decades since then, but its essence remains unchanged.

The modern imagery of hurling is rooted in the idea of hurling as a game that stretches back centuries, into...

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