Tuesday 17 July 2018

'Steeped in Irish tradition' - Hurling in Croke Park makes Lonely Planet Top 10 local sports list

An action shot from the All-Ireland hurling semi-final between Kilkenny and Waterford
An action shot from the All-Ireland hurling semi-final between Kilkenny and Waterford

Barry Lennon

The Lonely Planet has shortlisted hurling at Croke Park as part of a top ten list of local sports that sports fans must visit.

The list, entitled ‘Where to watch sport like a local’, puts the GAA headquarters amongst the leagues of Boston Red Sox’s Fenway Park, Melbourne’s MCG and New York’s Madison Square Gardens

The guide describes Croke Park, the only European entry, as "steeped in Irish tradition".

“Steeped in Irish tradition, Croke Park is the headquarters of both Gaelic football and hurling. The latter – a fast-moving, physically demanding game – is best watched in the national stadium, with the semi-finals and final of the All Ireland hurling championships played here in August and September.”

The Lonely Planet advises newcomers as to some of the terminology to help the visitor to  ‘fit in’ at Croke  Park.

“Hurley for the wooden stick the players use to hit the sliothar, the baseball-like ball which is thwacked towards the opponents’ goal", before also adding a few words of advice before throw-in.

“Do have a few pints of Guinness to get into the mood before kick-off and don’t turn up wearing an Ireland football or rugby top."

The GAA has said it is proud that hurling has been held in such esteem on a global level and offered Lonely Planet the opportunity to learn more about our field sport.

"We are delighted to be included in such exalted company believing as we do that the game of hurling would hold its own in any sporting company, not to mention the unrivalled sporting occasions that the matches become," a spokesperson told Independent.ie

"We would love the opportunity to welcome our friends from Lonely Planet back and give them the low down on the game and its terminology at some stage in the future as part of our efforts to bring one of the country's cultural gems to overseas audiences"

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