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Hurling is hidden gem of our culture

A recent documentary aired on US cable television chronicling the story of the Barley House Wolves, a hurling club in New Hampshire consisting entirely of National Guard soldiers. This well-established club now contests the North American GAA championship and owes its existence to one soldier's inspiration when he saw a hurling match for the first time on TV during a refuelling stop at Shannon.

Similar stories abound all over the United States of first-time viewers of hurling seeing it on TV or the internet, and becoming so enthralled that they go on to take up the game and start a club of their own if none exists nearby.

Imagine the sheer scale of growth that hurling could see in America if the tape delay broadcasting rights for the game were given away to any mainstream network that would broadcast it.

As long as the game remains confined to expensive pay-per-view live broadcasts only, this most genuine and exciting expression of Irish culture will remain hidden from view.

Eamonn Gormley
Chairman, National Collegiate Gaelic Athletic Association, Sunnyvale, California

Irish Independent