SEPTEMBER 3, 2017
Skilful, brutal and whippet quick, hurling is a Gaelic sport that dates back at least 3,000 years and remains the fastest field sport on the planet.
Today, hurling stands alongside Gaelic football as the most popular sport in Ireland, and the GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) All Ireland Final whips the nation into a frenzy. Somewhere between lacrosse and field hockey, hurling is played on a large grass pitch with two teams and a goal at each end. Players carry an axe-shaped wooden bat called a hurley, and score points by belting a hard, tennis ball sized ‘sliotar’ into their opponent’s goal. The pace of it has to be seen to be believed, and the strength and dexterity of the players is formidable. The 82,300 capacity Croke Park Stadium holds a near-sacred place in the hearts of Dubliners, and the elite traveler can expect the most lavish hospitality in one of the stylish corporate suites. Equip yourself with an Irish whiskey and look on as Ireland’s top two teams go hell for leather below.