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GAA Fans Invited To Talks On The Heritage Of Hurling

Some of Ireland’s most distinguished historians and cultural experts will line out at Croke Park on Saturday, June 29 to explore the history and evolution of our native game – hurling.

The GAA Museum has announced details of its one-day summer school, which will this year look at the origins and evolution of hurling, its decline and revival in the 19th Century, and the journey to its 2018 UNESCO designation on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. This designation gave international recognition to hurling as a key element of Ireland’s living heritage to be safeguarded for future generations.

During the event, which promises a rich exploration of the history of the sport, a panel of distinguished speakers will present talks and offer insights into the origins and mythology of hurling. They will also discuss how sport can provide the foundation for human and community emancipation.

Speakers include Professor Aidan O’Sullivan from UCD who will explore the early origins of hurling; and Tipperary historian Dr. Pat Bracken who has conducted extensive research on hurling pre-1884, in the 19th Century in Ireland and abroad, and the foundation of the GAA.

The GAA Director of Games Development and Research, Pat Daly, will also present on the concept of WeLL. This is the cultivation of Wellbeing and Lifelong Learning that underpins the entire games’ development process.

In the afternoon, Sinead O’Hara from the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht will outline the journey undertaken by the Department with the GAA and Camogie Association to achieve the UNESCO inscription of hurling on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. She will also explore what the recognition of Hurling at international level means for Ireland and for the game, and will ask, ‘What next for hurling in the context of recognition by UNESCO?’

The final address will be from Professor Pat Dolan of NUIG and UNESCO Chair for Children, Youth and Civic Engagement. He will explore the origins of UNESCO at the end of World War II to its current function for humanity; from heritage to sport (hurling) to its international capacity as a connector of communities across generations.

Tickets for the one-day summer school are priced at just €30. They are available to book online at www.crokepark.ie/summerschool. Admission includes access to all lectures, tea and coffee as well as lunch and entry to the GAA Museum.

For the full GAA Museum Summer School Programme schedule, see below.

  • 10am Official Opening
  • 10:15am Professor Aidan O’Sullivan (UCD), What was Hurling like in Medieval Ireland?
  • 11am Dr. Pat Bracken, Hurling in 19th Century Ireland and Australia
  • 11:45am Break
  • 12pm Pat Daly (GAA Director of Games Development & Research), Going WeLL – Wellbeing and Lifelong Learning
  • 1pm Lunch (Canal Suite – level 6)
  • 2pm Sinead O’Hara (Dept. Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht), The Journey to UNESCO Inscription on Hurling
  • 2:45pm Professor Pat Dolan (NUIG) – Connecting UNESCO, Sport and Hurling: A foundation for human and community emancipation – From Personal History to International Messages
  • 3:30pm Q&A
  • 4pm Ends

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