Politics & The GAA

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  • Books
    • Two Thousand Years of Hurling
    • History of Gaelic Games
  • Newspapers
    • Irish Times
    • Irish Independent
    • Boston Irish Reporter (?)
  • GAA Documents
  • British Documents


Two Thousand Years of Hurling in Ireland

  • By Art o Maolfabhail
  • 1973 Dundalgan Press (W. Tempest) LTD. Dundalk
  • Differentiates "camanacht" -> Winter tradition -> Shinty -> Scotland
    • And "Caman" -> Summer tradition -> Leinster, Ireland
  • "Many of the counties which have made progress in hurling under the Association have done so at the expense of their traditional camanacht. Of course, the camanacht had, in fact, generally decayed to the point of exinction by the time that the Gaelic Athletic Association was founded in 1884. To-day, due to belated efforts, hurling with a broad stick [Irish hurling] is being introduced and fostered and played over a wider area than it was ever known before and we even be witnessing a transference of locality." (ix)
  • Football is an essentially British sport according to this book. The "good people" [fairies, or "si"] never played it. Meaning it is not embedded in the mythology of Ireland like hurling. (x)
  • In comparison -> Scottish shinty is "ground" hurling and Irish hurling is "handling" hurling. "Handling" hurling is considered superior.
  • From "native games" to "national games" to "Gaelic games" and "republican games

The Caman [Hurling] as a Symbol of Nationalism

1. Statues of Kilkenny (from English King) forbid playing of hurling 2. Lord Orrery, letter dated 9 July 1667 -> Irish Papist Rebels meet "under the pretence of a match at hurling" (40) 3. Then Newspaper Reports


  • From a letter Dated August 23rd, 1769 -> Published in the Freeman's Journal, Dublin
    • "At these meetings [hurling matches] all associations and midnight revels are hatched; and positively Hurling Matches were the first beginnings of the deluded and unthinking people called _White Boys_, who are now rising again in a neighbouring County, in open Defiance of the laws..." (43)
    • Signed "Your constant Reader, Old Correspondent and Admirer, A. Ferrit"
  • Art takes this on as highly biased .

4. "During 1829, and the years that followed public resistance to tithe-collecting became very strong in the south of the country. the large gatherings of men which met to demonstrate and also to intimidate the tithe-protectors came to be known as 'hurlers' apparently from the fact that the often carried hurleys." (45) "Whether they did this for their own protection or as a camoflage for their own proscribed meetings, or for both, and whatever the real origin of the practice, it gave the caman an undeniably seditious character."



Times of London

  • Irish Enthusiasm. Love Of Racing And Hunting., Football And Hurling. (Sport) (FROM A CORRESPONDENT.).
     The Times Tuesday, Nov 04, 1919; pg. 47; Issue 42248; col A [PDF TO BE ATTACHED]
  • The Times, Tuesday, Nov 04, 1919; pg. 48; Issue 42248; col B
    Gaelic Games. Hurling And Gaelic Football. (FROM A CORRESPONDENT.)
  • The Times, Monday, Jun 30, 1924; pg. 14; Issue 43691; col B
    Sport And Politics In Free State. Threat To Hurling Team. (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.)
  • The Times, Monday, Aug 13, 1928; pg. 6; Issue 44970; col C
    The Tailteann Games. A Great Hurling Match (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.).


  • BC GAA Oral History Project [1]
  • Belfast Controversy - [2]
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