Many of you will perhaps have no idea that here in Ireland we have two national sports, Gaelic football and Hurling, affectionately known as G.A.A or gaah. These are part of every parish in Ireland with children playing them from an early age. While other sports threaten to take away some of their popularity, they are still enjoyed by enormous numbers.
Today is one of the biggest days in GAA, it’s All Ireland Football day. Over 86,000 will attend the final in Dublin having sweated, bartered and possibly in some cases sold a kidney or their mother in order to get tickets. The rest of the country will fill bars and sitting rooms to watch it on television.
So what are these sports and how do they differ from other sports? Well for starters they are unique to Ireland, involve a lot of physical contact and very little protection. They are also faster and way more exciting than any other ball game I’ve ever watched.
Don’t believe me? Well have a look at hurling in this clip. Recently I heard a quote relating to a day John Wayne came to Ireland and watched a match for the first time. He was asked ‘Would you like to be out there with a hurley?’ He answered, ‘Well I sure as hell wouldn’t like to be out there without one’.
So watch and be amazed. This is real men in action!
Now when you are recovered you can sit back and enjoy the slightly less frightening but no less physical game that is Gaelic Football. Today my home county Dublin will take on Kerry. The city v the country. My flag is flying and I’m hoping for victory. Up the Dubs. Sorry you can’t share the excitement with me but watch this and imagine you are here in Ireland playing a real mans sport.
Important update… After a nail biting seventy five minutes Dublin are the All Ireland Champions 2015. 🙂
photo credit: Kman999 via photopin cc