The famed ‘Star Hurleys’ have been in existence since 1958 with David Dowling and his younger brother Stephen keeping a family tradition alive as ash is still being hand-crafted at their Kilkenny workshop despite the coronavirus pandemic.
Hurlers of the Year like TJ Reid and Richie Hogan, as well as their Kilkenny team-mates Cillian Buckley and Pádraig Walsh and Tipperary star Pádraic Maher, are some of the most famous exponents of their world-renowned ash.
While orders may have slowed down amid the Covid-19 outbreak, the Dowling brothers continue to make the hurleys made famous by their late grandfather Ramie (66, Upper Patrick Street) from their new base in Jenkinstown alongside their uncle Brian.
“It’s huge for us to carry that name on and we love doing it. We finish all the hurls by hand and we wouldn’t do it any other way, even though there are quicker ways. Every hurl gets that special bit of care,” David said.
“We’re just tipping away with some club orders at the moment but they’re obviously not going to be collected until things get going again but we’ll have them done and ready.”
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'It has always been staggering between the stools of the carrying game and the propelling game; that is the root of its troubles. It is, and we feel sad to have to say it, a synthetic game.' - Con Houlihan