Hurling joins camel coaxing on global heritage list
Hurling is to join Mongolia's coaxing ritual for camels and the Mediterranean diet on a global list of cultural activities that need to be safeguarded.
Unesco has decided that our national sport is worthy of recognition as a piece of 'intangible cultural heritage'.
This means the sport epitomised through the years by Christy Ring, Jimmy Doyle and DJ Carey is now considered as important as many physical artefacts.
The Government yesterday agreed that hurling should take its place on the list which is updated annually.
A spokesperson said that we had never applied for the game to be recognised in a such a way before but felt it would be appropriate.
Fulfilling the requirements of keeping hurling's special place within Unesco will cost around €16,500.
Unesco says that 'intangible cultural heritage' is important as it gives us a sense of identity and belonging, linking our past, through the present, with our future.
"Cultural heritage does not end at monuments and collections of objects. It also includes traditions or living expressions inherited from our ancestors and passed on to our descendants, such as oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festive events, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe or the knowledge and skills to produce traditional crafts," says Unesco.
By adding hurling to the list, the Government commits to keeping the game alive, ensuring respect for it and to raise awareness about its importance.
The list contains some well-known traditions, but also ones that would be unheard of in Ireland.
Shrimp fishing on horseback in Belgium makes the cut, as does the manufacture of cowbell in Portugal.
Both Arabic and Turkish coffee are among the drinks on the list.
In China, the knowledge and practices of mathematical calculation through the abacus, known as 'Chinese Zhusuan', is considered an intangible cultural heritage.
Falconry and Slovakia's Bagpipe culture also sit alongside Turkmenistan's Epic art of Gorogly, Mali's "coming forth of the masks and puppets" and Estonia's "smoke sauna tradition".