Friday 22 June 2018

Comment: How sliotar replaced the rugby ball for middle-class

The Cuala team perform the Icelandic thunderclap after the AIB GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Club Championship Final match between Ballyea and Cuala at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
The Cuala team perform the Icelandic thunderclap after the AIB GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Club Championship Final match between Ballyea and Cuala at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
David McWilliams

David McWilliams

My first memory of going to a "big match" in a proper stadium is St Patrick's Day 1976. I went with thousands of locals from around Dun Laoghaire to see CBC Monkstown in the Schools' Senior Cup at Lansdowne Road.

CBC, the local school, was not a posh school but it was a rugby school. Back then, the "known world" to my nine-year-old self was the coastal stretch from Blackrock baths as far as the ramparts in Dalkey. It was a rugby and football place. By football I mean soccer, not GAA. And nobody played hurling here.

Had you told us that a Dalkey team would be All Ireland hurling champions, we'd have laughed at you.

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