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Do traditional hurling counties honestly want hurling to grow or stay as is?

  • 22-05-2023 11:56am
    Registered Users Posts: 18,218 ✭✭✭✭

    This thread is sparked by the furore that Donal Og created recently when making comments about the other code.

    So I listened to his podcast the 'Hurling Nation'/Morning Ireland from two episodes - I wouldn't normally. On the face of it is tongue and cheek and a persona - a dictator/cult leader addressing the masses those in his 'nation'.

    But I see it as giving Donal the opportunity to hide behind that premise and have a cut at everything he doesn't like, and can drastically talk Munster up. That seems to be the basis of it. 'No slow games in Munster etc'

    But despite being a good analyst when on TV - hurling tactics etc. I was shocked by his sneering attitude to not only the other code, but hurling counties that are basically not Munster, KK or Galway etc.

    How in the name of Jayus does that sneering attitude grow the game of hurling? And encourage other counties?

    Yet on the other hand Donal Og 'claims' he wants huriing to grow. His answer is throw money at it. It doesn't seem like much of a thought out plan does it?

    But this line that Donal Og is spouting above is incongruent with his sneering attitude when he talks about the games/counties on his 'Hurling Nation'. There does not seem to be sincerity to the man

    Are the majority of 'traditional county' hurling people like this? Secretly happy with the status quo when it comes down to it? Honestly?

    Are people like Liam Griffin who is (worried about the growth of hurling) the exception to the rule ?-

    Liam Griffin - 2023 'I can’t say that hurling has come on greatly in my lifetime.' 

    For many decades he has been going on about the growth and development of hurling - in contrast to Donal Og there is a real sincerity about the man IMO.

    Brian Cody saw how an improving Dublin could be good for hurling well over a decade ago. And he was always quick to praise the development Dublin hurling did.

    Brian Cody 2011 -

     'I am thrilled to see the quality of hurling in Dublin and I would love to see every county playing the same quality to what they are playing.'

    Again is Cody the exception to the rule?

    Is the real traditional county view quietly happy with the status quo? A very small select club that has not changed much or does not look likely to change much ever.

    Guff about stuff, and stuff about guff.



  • Registered Users Posts: 504 ✭✭✭Davys Fits

    Im not here to debate Donl Ogs comments.

    As a Clare hurling fan I can recall from a young age the devastation of being regularly beaten out he gate in big hurling matches. Decades later we are riding the crest of a wave and enjoying every minute of it. There is no easy route to top level hurling. It literally takes decades to move up to the top. My question is what are other counties doing for themselves in promoting hurling rather than turning to the so called top counties an blaming them for their demise. Ultimately there has to be a desire and love for the game and a genuine desire to promote the game within the county to make it happen.

    What do you propose the top counties do? Is providing top level entertainment week in week out not enough to encourage it elsewhere??

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,936 ✭✭✭I says

    Look best way to develop hurling is group the top teams as is in Munster. And add the top three in Leinster KK, Galway and Wexford or Dublin. Have an eight team all Ireland series play 7 games league format. Top 2 or 4 into semi or a final. Relegate one team and promote JMcD winners.

    leinster is nothing but arse boxing till the Leinster final. Munster still keeps the intensity with derby games. Who wants to see Offaly, Westmeath or Carlow/Laois get hammered and get nothing from it.

    Until most county boards who favour football over hurling that’s the way it’ll be. It’s cheaper supply clubs with footballs that sliotars and helmets to get kids playing gaa.

    County boards must do better.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,798 ✭✭✭CrabRevolution

    The whole discourse about hurling is bizarre, every week the commentators try to outdo themselves with hyperbolic guff: "greatest game on earth, what a spectacle, classic Munster championship game for the ages etc." but then in the next breath will say hurling is on the brink of death.

    I don't honestly believe Dónal Óg has much more than a boilerplate interest in hurling growing, nor is he obliged to have any interest in it really. I can reassure him that it's utter nonsense to think that Free to Air vs. GAAGO for 2 Munster Championship games will be the deciding factor in whether hurling grows or dies in Meath. It's punditry's version of "Think of the children" .

    It's a complete red herring anyway; how come hurling didn't explode in strength countrywide 2 or 3 decades ago solely because provincial games went from almost no coverage to every game?

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,831 ✭✭✭Gusser09

    Donal og doesnt give a toss anyway. The more hurling is on tele the more he gets on the tele. That equals more money for him. He'd sicken the stomach of ye. He was a disgrace yesterday when questioned about his nasty tailteann cup comments. Wouldnt bother answering the question. Just wants to say what he wants and not be challenged. Arrogant. This is the man who downed tools during his career thus hurting the game he loves so much. All for money again.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,831 ✭✭✭Gusser09

    And one question. What is the measurement used to decide if hurling is growing or not? Is it solely success or is it playing numbers and interest?

    Take my county kildare. There are more youngsters than ever playing the game. We have new adult clubs come online this year because underage in those clubs has thrived.

    I dont think the situation is as grave as some who have a vested interest would have is believe.

    What about football in Killenny? Who is trying to promote that? Ffs. Some of these hurling lads need to be told a few home truths.

    "Thats proper munster hurling championship" "Holy moses"

    A good game yes. But some of the cliches, nicknames and commentators having sex with their microphones is laughable.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 595 ✭✭✭Mad about baa baas

    All clubs in kilkenny participate in football league/ championship at all ages ...

    Do all clubs in Leitrim/ cavan/probably 15 more participate in hurling league/ championship?

    To answer the original question I think kilkenny are better than most at helping promote/ improve hurling in weaker counties..they regularly allow teams from kildare/ carlow to participate in kilkenny league/ championship at several grades underage

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,096 ✭✭✭✭bucketybuck

    Don't know much about Cusack, but I know he came across as a complete and utter pillock when Cantwell asked him about those comments.

    If he represents the hurling fraternity then **** the lot of them.

  • Registered Users Posts: 536 ✭✭✭Treble double

    Hurling can be an enjoyable game to watch when closely matched teams go at it hammer and tongs and it goes down to the wire. But the guff out of the the likes of Cusack, Anthony Daly, Brendan Cummins etc. about it being the game of the God's and no other sport in the world to match it, would turn your stomach. They seem to feel the need to completely over egg it and it comes across as a bit of an inferiority complex. If they cut out all the guff and gave it straight good or bad I think it would be a more enjoyable experience for everyone. A good game of hurling is a thrilling watch but talk about its issues aswell, the huge scoring zone, lack of goals, diffulty implementing rules like the handpass and small number of elite teams etc. A balanced approach to analysis would garner more respect.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,410 ✭✭✭shockframe

    Cusack is at times worth listening to but he made a right clown of himself with the jibes about Football.

    Fair enough he adores Hurling and the culture and riverdance that go with it but equally so a vast majority of people across the country have the same passion if not more so for Football.

    James O Donoughue said he wasnt bothered in the slightest about what he thought as he is enthralled by Football and doesnt need to go down slagging other sports to make a point.

    Jamsie O Connor mentioned that he was at Clones last Sunday and enjoyed it thoroughly but nothing would top Hurling for him. He's always spoken fairly well on Hurling and even Football when I hear him.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,831 ✭✭✭Gusser09

    Kilkenny are the only county not to enter the championship.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,936 ✭✭✭I says

    Having made a point earlier regarding the promotion of the game of hurling some of the comments here show football followers hatred of hurling. I can only conclude that football is played by people not skilful enough to play hurling. Gaelic football is a form of soccer using your hands.

    This craic about KK not entering the football so what they’ve more clubs playing football than a lot of football counties combined have hurling clubs. The mandarins above in Croke park aren’t doing enough to promote hurling in all counties.

  • Registered Users Posts: 595 ✭✭✭Mad about baa baas

    This discussion has nothing to do with the promotion of hurling to start another thread regarding football

    Last thing I'll say is the senior county team in any code is not the only indication of its participation. Club/underage is where the vast majority of gaa is played

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,924 ✭✭✭WesternZulu

    Case in point about the way hurling followers go on. Can't speak about football without classing it as an inferior sport.

    It really is off putting and obnoxious.

    I think you'll find that it's hurling supporters who have a hatred for football far more than the other way around.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,936 ✭✭✭I says

    The Munster council is not growing the game with them locking in the big five and no relegation. They then crib about Leinster sides eg. KK and Galway having an easy time into the AI semis. As I see it the Munster council and Munster final are holding back the development of the game. Get the top eight teams in the country into an AI series(with relegation). Then get the gaa to start heavily investing in coaching in the so called lesser counties . The kids school got a new coach who now does a mix of hurling and football with them. The last one wouldn’t do anything if it was any way wet. As a hurling man now living in a predominantly football county I see the way hurling is such a poor relation to football. Hurling is a hard skill to pick up it needs coaching and a lot of effort from co boards to promote it. It’s easier kick a ball and master than skill quicker than hurling. So coaching is vital to keep young people playing it and interested in it. I’ve mine in the garden everyday doing hurling drills and football drills, to keep them at it.

    Christ evening teaching how to grip the hurl is a skill in itself get the kids to master that and you’re 90% of the way there. But if you’re in a football county that isn’t there because if the parents never played they can’t impart that knowledge. That’s why getting coaches out to teach that is important. Nobody trying to rob players from one code to another. People think they can pick up a hurl and hit a sliotar straight away,and when the can do it after a few minutes it’s given up on,you need plenty of coaching. It’s not a hard game once the basics are right. Coaching coaching coaching.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,004 ✭✭✭cosatron

    great post. A super eight league format with the top four going into semi finals and bottom one getting relegated would be a thing of beauty and same format all the way down,start in may and finish up first week of september. use the league for your seeded position so that you will get a favourable draw.

  • Registered Users Posts: 854 ✭✭✭dmakc

    All things considered going forward, top 8 with 1 getting relegated gives a rotation of one of Dublin / Waterford / Wexford in the new Joe McDonagh. Would do great damage to the counties while any of them are kept outside for a year, and Westmeath / Antrim would never get a look in to the AI Series.

    Current format is fine, you can't predict Wexford going bad for a couple of years and quickly alter the format. Who's to say in 5 years time, Galway, Offaly, KK, Dublin and Wexford aren't living up to this year's Munster championship.

    Teams will inevitably have down years. Waterford were bad this year but until recently they were the only ones giving Limerick a game in Munster. It's fine as is. Renaming the Leinster championship is as far as I'd go on changes.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,004 ✭✭✭cosatron

    The standard of hurling would increase in the joe mcdonagh cup with a top team being relegated. also do wexford not deserve to be in relegated this year with their poor showing same as waterford last year. It's perfectly acceptable to be relegated at club level but not at intercounty level is a bit hypocritical and is serving the elitist view again. the current format is flawed with 3 teams progressing to the playoff stage from groups of 5 and 6.

  • Registered Users Posts: 96 ✭✭hurlaway

    But waterford won't be regulated since the play in the o so special Munster championship how's that fair

  • Registered Users Posts: 854 ✭✭✭dmakc

    While you can get relegated from Leinster, it's harder to qualify from Munster, for me that's a fair enough trade off considering the geographical / legacy limitations we're working under

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,004 ✭✭✭cosatron

    its not fair and this is the problem, westmeath,antrim and wexford will be fighting for their lives on sunday and waterford will go to tipp without a care in the world. If waterford lose on sunday, they will be the only team to not get any type of a result in a game but yet won't be relegated.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 96 ✭✭hurlaway

    So a team that is unlikely to win asinine match this year and only won one last year gets to stay up because of geography that's insane

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,775 ✭✭✭jacool

    Just to be clear here. I am not having a go at you, but this comment is a sort of answer to the OP's question.

    "legacy" is an English translation for "status quo".

  • Registered Users Posts: 595 ✭✭✭Mad about baa baas

    Is it that much harder ?1 septic team which then means 3 out of 4 qualify..if you can't get out then I don't think you have many reasons to gripe

  • Registered Users Posts: 96 ✭✭hurlaway

    And last year there were 3 teams competing for 3 places

  • Registered Users Posts: 589 ✭✭✭TAFKAlawhec

    I'm from a county not normally noted for its hurling - Tyrone, and I'm not from a hurling background myself. However about 20 years ago, hurling was introduced to my local GAA club starting with some U10 indoor coaching, with an U14 team entered a few years later. It suddenly stopped , but was revived again a few years later thanks to the efforts of a few outsiders that had played hurling when they were young and we're now fielding teams from Go-games to U18 levels. While the majority of our players also play football for us, we have several players whom are also dual players playing football with their "home" club next door.

    Some personal observations from my roving eye...

    * Hurling in Tyrone at county level is arguably now in its healthiest state that it has been at least in my lifetime. The senior county team is playing at levels this year that it never did previously, while the minor team - which my club had several players on its panel - had a decent run out in the Celtic Challenge tournament.

    * At club level, hurling has a fate similar to the highest levels of the intercounty championship whereby a "Big x" dominate and its difficult for others to make a breakthrough. The big two hurling clubs in Tyrone are Dungannon & Carrickmore, and other than the JHC those two clubs have won pretty much every top club title in the county for at least a decade now. There are at present five clubs fielding adult & youth teams as well as another five currently fielding at various youth levels, though it is a bit of a challenge beyond U14 at the moment with just four clubs competing at U16 & five at U18 this year. There's a lot of conflict for dual players in their teenage years being able to give enough time to both codes without also their education and other things inc. other sports like soccer. In saying that, the U14 league & championship has enough clubs to be split over two grades, giving the more middling & weaker hurling teams at that age level games which are not a completely foregone conclusion

    * One thing I haven't seen mentioned here yet has been the running of the Táin Óg leagues that operate in Ulster, northern Connacht & northern Leinster which from speaking to some people involved have been very successful in keeping young players interested in the game by grading teams to their ability accordingly. Yes there are some fair distances to be covered when traveling to fixtures, but the games are in general competitive for most involved. It's alright saying to gather 15 boys up for a county league game in a county like Tyrone where there might only be a handful at most of other (established) clubs to play against, but if you're getting thumped by at least 40+ points in most games against them it's not going to keep those players interested. At least in the Táin Óg, that shouldn't be happening unless a club has been seriously misgraded, and as such the players involved are enjoying themselves more.

    * Simply throwing money at facilities & coaching into normally non-hurling areas will not & will never work on its own. In most of Ulster, there is simply no legacy of the game which outside of the Glens of Antrim & the southern Ards peninsula is seen as a game played in (most of) Munster, south Leinster & a bit of Galway. There's no cultural element in these places for hurling to the same capacity the likes of Gaelic football has. The phrase "you can take a horse to water but you can't make it drink" springs to mind - you may as well try and introduce them to Olympic Handball or Canadian Football in that regard. Also, guff like "it's de best game in de world boi!" and "football's a game for bad hurlers" just doesn't cut it when trying to convince boys & girls to try and take up hurling or camogie, especially in Gaelic football strongholds. The clubs outside of Ulster's small hurling heartlands that have been the most successful in growing the game in their locality never come out talking such sh*te, instead they sell the game on to young children & their parents in a way to actually make them interested in wanting to play, and that building a successful hurling club up that is able to last generations involves having a love for the game develop that will take a lot of time & people to be involved, rather than be something that flies-by-night thanks to what was in place driven by one or two headstrong people that eventually burned out (which has been the case in the past Tyrone several times) where they eventually cannot take everything on, on their own, and there's no one else to fill the voids.

    Yeah, I'd say both hurling & camogie in Tyrone are in a heck of a lot of a better position than they were ten years ago, when there was essentially only 4-5 hurling clubs operating in the county with only two or three teams playing at minor, and camogie was pretty much restricted to the eastern part bordering Armagh & Lough Neagh with a similar number of clubs whereas now the game is starting to grow again in the mid & west parts of the county.

    I can't comment about other counties, though I do know Fermanagh have also been trying to develop their own hurling base within their county in the last few years too, for a short while there was only one hurling club in Fermanagh at all age ranges (Lisbellaw) but there's been some work in establishing a few youth hurling bases like in Belleek, Lisnaskea, Enniskillen & Belanaleck..Camogie's dead there though, there's not even an active county board.

    Post edited by TAFKAlawhec on

  • Registered Users Posts: 533 ✭✭✭BaywatchHQ

    It is just like how people claim to want GAA to have a bigger fan base yet when the casual fans go to the games they are called band wagoners. So basically they can't decide if they want a large GAA fan base or not.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,875 ✭✭✭Rosita

    Just on your first couple of sentences, I was wondering what comment the Munster Council made about Kilkenny & Galway having an easy time if it until the AI semi finals?

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,875 ✭✭✭Rosita

    Not sure Dónal Óg ever suggested the not having matches on GAAgo was so significant to hurling in Meath. This is putting his argument to absurdly specific measures just to undermine it. His point was promotion of the game in a broader way considering the saturation coverage of the English Premier League (he did reference Liverpool).

    Your implication in the last paragraph that televising of sport does not promote the sport is fairly left of field I would say. I reckon most sports would believe otherwise. I'm not sure the obsessive interest in English soccer would be so in this country without TV.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,936 ✭✭✭I says

    Can’t have it all ways, they didn’t want relegation so don’t crib about kk or Galway. Top eight and let them battle it out you still have the derbies in Munster and kk Galway and 1 other in the mix.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,097 ✭✭✭keeponhurling

    I do think hurling is in a much better state than, say, 10 or 20 years ago.

    The post above about Tyrone is an interesting read.

    Firstly, the Joe McDonagh, Ring and Rackard cups have been a big success. While one could still argue they deserve more coverage, these "weaker" teams get much more coverage and structured games than ever before. Around 10 years ago I'd have known virtually nothing about the team and players from Kildare, Down, Kerry etc. but now I think most people at least follow the results and know the best players. I'll be tuning in for the McDonagh final between Carlow and Offaly. Last year Kerry v Antrim in Croke Park was a cracker.

    Secondly, the Leinster championship round robin has played a key role. It has afforded the likes of Antrim and Westmeath to play the big guns (Galway and Kilkenny) while also having some matches where they can realistically hope to win. It seems to have benefitted both counties.

    The winners of Carlow and Offaly can also see the Leinster championship as progress and somewhere they can stay.

    Munster doesn't do as much but it is a great advertisement for the game. When the time is right Kerry will be admitted (i.e. when they win the Joe McDonagh) so there is a path there. There's little point adding other teams, e.g. Offaly or Carlow to the Munster championship, the Leinster championship would be better for their development.

    Of course we could scrap the provincials but that just remove two big occasions from the calendar, and reduces the available prizes at top level from 3 to 1.

    Like in the football, there are plenty teams are are not All-Ireland contenders, but winning or reaching a provincial title is a realistic target to aim for. Even in football where there are 31 "senior" teams, there are only ever 4 or 5 realistic All-Ireland contenders each year. You need to give the rest a target (in this case provincials, or Tailteann Cup)