Tag: hurling

All Ireland Senior Hurling Final

Sunday, 18 August, 2019

Kilkenny have won the trophy 36 times and Tipperary 27 times, and yet they keep coming back for more. Today’s installment of this classic between Tipperary and Kilkenny will be a physical affair with more emphasis on fitness and brawn rather than the fine arts of the game but the traditionalist will be pleased with that.

hurling

Cashman: Summing up the state of the game in the year 2000, the laureate critic of hurling, the great Cork hurling writer, Kevin Cashman, put it thus: “In Kilkenny they very notably think long and hard about the game of hurling sometimes to the extent of outsmarting themselves. In Cork we think long and hard, too, except that much of what we think is complacency or cliché; in Tipp it is self-delusion; in Clare paranoia; in Wexford nostalgia; and in Limerick grudgery.”

RESULT: Tipperary 3-25 – Kilkenny 0-20. It ended in a rout for Tipp and the fateful decision was taken by the referee, James Owens, just before half-time, when he red-carded Richie Hogan for an alleged high challenge on Tipperary’s Cathal Barrett. It was a critical moment that ended the game as a contest. Referees need to be very, very sure when showing a red card.


Limerick fans celebrate

Monday, 1 July, 2019

Munster Senior Hurling Championship Final result: Limerick 2-26 – Tipperary 2-14. It was a rout in the end but there were sunny Sunday moments to savour at the LIT Gaelic Grounds. Some of the scores were beautifully taken, some of the skills displayed were exquisite and some of the hits that went in were so hard that the spectators felt them. All in all, a memorable day out.

Limerick fans celebrate


Jackie Tyrell goes to war with figures of speech

Friday, 31 May, 2019

The Phoney War is the name given to the period in World War Two from September 1939 to April 1940 when, after Hitler’s Blitzkrieg attack on Poland, seemingly nothing happened. Jackie Tyrrell, the distinguished Kilkenny hurler, who now pundits about the game for the Irish Times, begins his think-piece on Sunday’s Waterford-Limerick match by declaring, “On this Sunday nine weeks ago, we had the ultimate Phoney War take place in Croke Park when Waterford and Limerick met in the league final.” The ultimate (“the most extreme example of its kind”) Phoney War?

And if that wasn’t enough, Jackie Tyrell, who appears to have read history, ploughs deeper into the furrow: “Go back and watch it and that’s what strikes you, how it rivals those early months of World War II for its lack of intensity, savagery and real purpose.” Hundreds of thousands of civilians were killed during the 1939 invasion of Poland and millions more were killed in the following years of German and Soviet occupation. During the Waterford-Limerick game Jackie Tyrell refers to, there were minor injuries but no fatalities on a mass scale.

As the hurling season warms up, we can expect mountains of metaphor, heaps of hyperbole, swathes of simile and clatters of cliché from Jackie Tyrell.

Eddie and Ali


All Ireland Hurling Final: Galway vs. Limerick

Sunday, 19 August, 2018

It’s Sunday, 19 August, and 82,000 hurling fans, including family and friends, will trek today to Croke Park in Dublin to watch this year’s All Ireland Final between Galway and Limerick. It should be a wonderful occasion and the hope here is that, when “all doing is done”, as the poet Desmond O’Grady put it, Limerick will win its first title since 1973.

BREAKING: Limerick 3-16 Galway 2-18. Up Limerick, All Ireland Hurling Champions 2018!

Galway and Limerick

Desmond O’Grady was born in Limerick in 1935. He moved to Paris in the 1950s, where he worked in the Shakespeare and Company bookshop. He earned his MA and PhD from Harvard University and appeared in the 1960 Fellini film, La Dolce Vita, playing the role of an Irish poet. During the late 1950s to the mid-1970s, while teaching in Rome, he was European editor of The Transatlantic Review.

A Song Of Limerick Town

We, in the fishblue hours
Of clockstrike early morning;
Sleep in the househuddled doors
Of our eyes, love in our yawning;

Stole through the sailorless streets
Of the still, caught-cuddling town,
Where seabedded fishing fleet sleeps
Fast in the arms of ‘Down

Anchors, all hands ashore.
And now, here with the bulk
Of our talk from the hours before,
Here with the sulking hulks

Of ships, when no bells fore
Or aft will bang in the ears
Of morning and the town clock
Hoarsely churns its gears.

We are made one. I
With the man of the Limerick town
And you with the Shannon stream;
Made one till all doing is done.

Desmond O’Grady (1935 – 2014)


Hurling is their song and their verse

Sunday, 3 June, 2018

Splendid evening had by all in Páirc Uí Chaoimh, where Cork and Limerick delivered 70 minutes of epic hurling in front of 34,000 delighted spectators, for whom this uniquely Irish game is their song and their verse.

“I believe hurling is the best of us, one of the greatest and most beautiful expressions of what we can be. If you could live again you would hurl more, because that is living. Hurling is our song and our verse, and when I walk in the graveyard in Cloyne and look at the familiar names on the headstones I know that their owners would want us to hurl with more joy and more exuberance and more abandon than before, because life is shorter than the second half of a tournament game that starts at dusk.” — Dónal Óg Cusack

Hurling


Hurling: Letter from Ireland (1937)

Sunday, 20 May, 2018

For some people in the Northern Hemisphere, summer begins with the start of the Munster Hurling Senior Championship. It’s a cultural thing that has its roots in an agrarian society driven by grass growth and the arrival of better weather. Today, the festival opens at 2 pm with Limerick vs. Tipperary at the Gaelic Grounds.

The connection between Munster hurling and Graham Greene would not be known to most attending today’s game, but the great English novelist was the editor of Night and Day, described as a British rival to the New Yorker, in the 1930s and during its brief life he published a piece titled Letter from Ireland by Elizabeth Bowen, the doyenne of Anglo-Irish writing. Snippet:

“Cork left Cork for Killarney when the All Ireland Hurley Finals were played there. Tipperary won. This was a great day for the whole of the South of Ireland; special trains were run and the roads for a hundred miles round streamed with cars and bicycles, most of them flying flags. The Tipperary contingent passed my way. Those who unluckily could not get to Killarney stood on banks for hours to watch the traffic. This is, in the literal sense, a very quiet country: the Troubles and civil war were fought out in an almost unbroken hush, punctuated by a few explosions or shots. Voices are seldom raised, and you can (so to speak) hear a dog bark or a milk-cart rattle or a funeral bell toll two counties away. But these great Sundays of sport galvanise everything; from the moment you wake you know that something is going on.

Hurley is the fastest game, short of ice hockey, that I have ever watched. It is a sort of high-speed overhead hockey, played with sticks with flat wooden blades, and it looks even more dangerous that it apparently is. Though a game that would melt you in the Antarctic, it is, for some reason, played only in summer.”

There are gems of appraisal and style in everything that Elizabeth Bowen wrote. Her observation that “the Troubles and civil war were fought out in an almost unbroken hush,” is revealing, given that her Letter from Ireland was published just 14 years after the conflict ended, and “Cork left Cork for Killarney” is delightful. Today, some 80 years later, Tipperary will leave Tipperary for Limerick.

Limerick vs. Tipperary


One Ring to Rule Them All

Tuesday, 20 February, 2018 0 Comments

“Eight medals he has, a record unbroken
Of Cork hurlers he is surely the king
So now all together, one last rousing chorus
Three cheers for the maestro, the bould Christy Ring”

Christy Ring


From the Golden Gate to the Gaelic Grounds

Saturday, 13 July, 2013 0 Comments

Today’s post is dedicated to Barry O’Brien, home for a short break in Limerick from San Francisco. He left the temperate comfort of the Bay Area for an extraordinarily torrid Ireland, where temperatures have been touching the 30 C mark. Tomorrow, he’ll be in the Gaelic Grounds for the Munster Hurling Final between Cork and Limerick, which promises to be an epic encounter. Go Limerick!

“‘Adrift’ is a love letter to the fog of the San Francisco Bay Area. I chased it for over two years to capture the magical interaction between the soft mist, the ridges of the California coast and the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. This is where ‘Adrift’ was born,” says filmmaker Simon Christen.