Hurling has been called the fastest and oldest field spot in the world, and catching a game on home soil is a bucket-list night out for sports fans.
What other sport lets you on the field with actual weapons? At the Gaelic Games, hurling is played with a hurl (a stick made of ash wood) and a sliotar (a small leather ball) both of which were carried into battle by legendary Irish warrior Cu Chulainn. These deadly weapons form part of one the most original things you will ever see played on grass, a modern battle between two teams that has grace, skill and just a little element of danger!
Now you can watch this modern form of battle in a hurling match at Gaelic Games in September.
What’s in a game?
The Gaelic games is more than just hurling, you have Gaelic football, handball and rounders (played with a bat and ball, kind of like baseball). There are also women’s version of hurling and football and all the games are played in a packed-to-the-gills stadium.
It is all on show in Dublin’s Croke Park, a huge sporting field that sits beside the city’s Royal Canal. This sport stadium is hallowed ground for Dubliners and they will make you feel right at home when you attend a match; this is friendly rivalry at its best.
The crowd’s the thing
If you love sport you have to get to the Gaelic games just to soak in the atmosphere. These traditional Irish sports are huge in the local community so the Gaelic Games pulls massive crowds to watch these amateurs – players are just average workers once the games are over, likely to be pulling on a pair of overalls or a suit and tie and heading to their day job – soar to might heights on the field.
The stands are full, the crowds are enthusiastic and you will get swept away in it all.
The games takes place mainly in the capital of Dublin and you can go to the stadium or catch them in a pub but don’t forget to sightsee around the Irish capital.
You can dine in some of the cities finest restaurants – from hearty pub grub to high-end dining – go on a self-guided walk along the coast or visit quirky spots like the National Leprechaun Museum.
READ: INCREDIBLE IRELAND: Top Agents discover APT’s Emerald Isle Tour
READ: TO BE SURE IRELAND: It’s never been easier or more affordable to get there
Have you ever seen a hurling match?
Written by Paul Chai, KarryOn contributor
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