Dublin, Ireland MSMU Travels

Playing “Gaelic games” with Eden

Fáilte ar ais! Meaning welcome back in Gaelic. It is only appropriate for me to use Gaelic because in this blog we will be talking about Gaelic games. Gaelic games are a sport played here in Ireland.

The most played sport in Ireland is hurling. It is considered one of the fastest sports because the ball used can travel up to 93 mph in 361 ft. Hurling is an outdoor game. It is believed to be played for over 4,000 years. The game is played with a stick called a hurl and a small ball called a sliotar. The objective of the game is to use the hurl to hit the sliotar between the opponents’ goalposts, either over the crossbar or into a net guarded by a goalkeeper. The female equivalent to hurling is Camogie. When it comes to Camogie the only difference is that the amount of points to win is relatively less than hurling.

Another important Gaelic game is Gaelic football which dates back to the 19th century. Gaelic football is played between two teams of 15 players. The objective of the game is to score a point by kicking or punching the ball into the other teams’ goal or crossbar. The main difference between Gaelic football and American football is that the ball used resembles a volleyball, and as you move forward up the field the way your dribble and pass isn’t the same. In Gaelic football you can carry and bounce the ball for four steps and if you want to take more you’ll have to solo the ball. Soloing means dropping the ball and then toe-kicking the ball back up towards you into your hands.

When it comes to Gaelic games, there is no other sport that can compare. When we think of international games a lot of them are filled with politics, endorsements, or competition. But Gaelic games are so much more than that. The players in these games aren’t getting paid to participate! What they do is purely from the heart and filled with passion. As of today, there are 34 teams in the league which consists of the 32 counties of Ireland, London, and New York. What is unique about these clubs is that there is no trading of players or moving location. In gaelic games your club becomes a second family, it is a team you stick with till you quit. These games are not about winning for fame or money but rather to make your community proud and bringing honor.

Playing both these games made me appreciate and value the players of the sport in more ways than one.

Mount students fighting for the ball
Photo of Dr. Ward and Dr. Patterson in the hurling uniform
Mount students playing Gaelic football

Don’t forget to check up on me as I dive deeper into the Irish culture. I will will be posting every Thursday here on the blog and over on @msmutravels on Instagram. Follow #WhatstheCraic or #TrendingThursdays to stay up-to-date on my journeys. Tootles!


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