Hurling (non alcohol-induced)

Doug Beerabelli

Killer Threads
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
My family is taking a trip to Ireland this summer to celebrate a college and HS graduation (results pending). We will be on Dublin on July 23. The All Ireland Hurling championship will be held that day in Dublin at Croke Park, which apparently is the third largest capacity stadium in Europe (82,300).

I think I’ve overcome the initial hurdle of convincing the family to be interested in attending.

The next: Getting tickets. My initial internet searching seems like they might eventually go on sale to public, but also that it’s possible the individual county clubs throughout Ireland may get first dibs in such tickets.

Has anyone here been to this event, or have any thoughts or ideas on attending the event, or hurling in general? I know a little about the sport - it looks like it could be a uniquely fun experience to attend this event.

Thanks for any thoughts and responses.
 

Bergs

funky and cold
SoSH Member
Jul 22, 2005
22,009
I have not been to an event, but me and Mrs. Bergs got hammered with Kilkenny hurling legend Richie Power and his then-girlfriend one night in Kilkenny. Great guy.
 

brs3

sings praises of pinstripes
SoSH Member
May 20, 2008
5,200
Jackson Heights, NYC
The game itself is not super easy to follow live, but YouTube has lots of videos explaining how it works. I've been to hurling matches at Fenway & Citi Field, and in both instances being part of the crowd is half the fun. I suspect it's even better in Ireland. My dad is a big hurling fan, and my grandfather played on Offaly's team in the late 1930's.
 

MiracleOfO2704

not AWOL
SoSH Member
Jul 12, 2005
9,687
The Island
The only question I have at the start is how your Irish is. I know in the past that the GAA wanted as little English as possible, but since then they’ve let the IRFU borrow Croke Park while Landsdowne/Aviva was being built.
 

Doug Beerabelli

Killer Threads
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
The only question I have at the start is how your Irish is. I know in the past that the GAA wanted as little English as possible, but since then they’ve let the IRFU borrow Croke Park while Landsdowne/Aviva was being built.
LOL. Not much. I've been playing in an Irish American folk band for a decade. Not trad, more like an Irish wall of sound version of the folk/St. Patrick's Day stuff). I backup sing any gaelic that's in those tunes, probably at a 57% accuracy rate. I'm all Italian, so my vowel is at the wrong end of the last name.

But I am willing to learn.
 

Stanley Steamer

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 11, 2012
1,444
Rossland, BC
Sounds like a great idea. I don't think I have anything useful to add, but when in Ireland a few years ago, we took a bus tour out of Dublin. The emcee was discussing the GAA and Irish sports in general. He described hurling as a cross between hockey and murder.
 

TeddyBallgame9

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
612
Ringgold, GA
The game itself is not super easy to follow live, but YouTube has lots of videos explaining how it works. I've been to hurling matches at Fenway & Citi Field, and in both instances being part of the crowd is half the fun. I suspect it's even better in Ireland. My dad is a big hurling fan, and my grandfather played on Offaly's team in the late 1930's.
My GGGF was born in County Offaly in 1812. Maybe we're related! When I did the pilgrimage to the town he was born in, Ferbane (or Féar Bán as my tattoo written), there were 2 streets, 4 pubs, and a sporting goods store where I purchased Faithful jerseys for me and my brother.
 

Storrowdriver

New Member
Nov 1, 2013
2
The all-Ireland final is a great event, and will be a tough ticket to get. My son plays on a hurling team in Connecticut, and we joined him on an Ireland tour a couple of years ago where they played a couple of matches against local club teams. We attended a larger county match and the fans were great. They are loyal, wear the colors and really cheer them on. It's easy enough to follow; pick a side and enjoy.
 

Doug Beerabelli

Killer Threads
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Bumping just to report the miracle that my son and I got to attend the match. A friend back home, originally from Ireland, had a friend in Ireland with two extra tix. The home friend knew we were there, told my wife about it, and we hopped on it. Only charged us face ($90 or so). There will be gifts of appreciation in addition to that.

What a cool experience! Croke Park arose like a castle in the middle of a residential area as we walked up to it. Crowds were great - enthusiastic for their squads, but not obnoxious. Limerick v. Killkenny, with Limerick wining it's 4th straight all-Ireland championship. It's a fun sport to watch, I hope to someday catch a game on a smaller field at the county level if we make it back to Ireland. My son, 18 years old, really appreciated and enjoyed the game, as well as the uniqueness of being able to attend this event as a couple interlopers from across the pond.

Storrowdriver, what team does your son play on in CT?
 

Storrowdriver

New Member
Nov 1, 2013
2
He plays on the Hartford GAA team, whose field is at the Irish-American Home in Glastonbury. They play against teams in Worcester, Providence, Portland and outside of Boston. There are higher levels teams in Boston, and very good ones in New York. Lucky you to get tix for the finals!