Monday 3 December 2018

Hurling recognised by UNESCO as Irish Living Heritage

Hurling has been recognised by UNESCO as a key element of Ireland's living heritage and has been added to the organisation's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

My grandad, from Cahir,  would have
agreed with the sentiment.
The sport of Hurling (and Camogie, a form of hurling played by women) is a field game played by two teams. It dates back 2,000 years and features strongly in Irish mythology, most notably in the epic saga of Cú Chulainn.

Announcing the inscription last week, Josepha Madigan, TD, Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, said: “I am delighted that Hurling has achieved international recognition by UNESCO. Hurling is a key element of Irish culture. For centuries, hurling has been an important part of the Irish identity, with men and women passing on this living tradition to each rising generation. I am grateful to the Camogie Association and the GAA for their work with my Department to achieve this UNESCO recognition.”

Intangible cultural heritage, or living heritage, refers to customs, traditions, crafts, games, and practices that are part of people’s lives and identities both individually and as part of wider communities, and that are passed on from generation to generation.

Uachtarán CLG John Horan said: “The UNESCO award... reaffirms the fact that Hurling is more than just a sport. It is a national treasure; an ancient tradition that connects us to our Celtic past and a part of our DNA. At a time of unprecedented popularity for the Game here, we owe a debt of gratitude to the generations of people who preserved, protected and promoted the game at school, club and county levels so that it would survive and thrive for our benefit. All of us involved in the Association are charged with ensuring that the promotional work we undertake preserves Hurling for future generations.”

Find out more about Hurling in the short video below, from GAA Learning in 2014.